PSCSW Film Group Presents: Just Mercy – The Power of Resistance and Advocacy in the Midst of Systematic Racism

Clinical Title: Just Mercy – The Power of Resistance and Advocacy in the Midst of Systematic Racism
Presenter: Symone’ C. Miller, MSS, LCSW and Patricia Watts-Scheffel
Date: Sunday, February 7, 2021
Time: 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm Film and Discussion, 2 Ethics CEs
: via Zoom

Description and Reason for Film choice:

Just Mercy is a 2019 drama based on the written autobiography of a young lawyer, Stevenson and his history-making battle for justice. After graduating from Harvard, Bryan had his pick of lucrative jobs. Instead, he heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or who were not afforded proper representation, with the support of local advocate, Eva Ansley. On his first, and most incendiary cases is that of Walter McMillian, who in 1987, was sentenced to die for the notorious murder of an 18 year old girl, despite evidence proving his innocence and the fact that the main testimony against him came from a criminal with a motive to lie. In the years that follow Bryan becomes embroiled in several legal and political maneuverings, as well as overt and blatant racism as he fights for Walter, and others like him, with the odds-and the system-stacked against them.

Theoretical Orientations: Ethical Requirements for Social Workers regarding Social Justice, Advocacy

Key Concepts: Social justice, resistance and advocacy, systemic power, oppression, dehumanization, mass incarceration, hope and resilience, inhuman prison conditions.


  1. To develop a deeper understanding of the impact of disparities within the criminal justice system
  2. Identify opportunities for advocacy and policy changes for social workers
  3. To deepen our understanding of racism, corruption, and cruelty within the American court systems that have lead to the systematic abuse of marginalized communities

About the Presenter:

Symone’ C. Miller, MSS, LCSW specializes in adult psychotherapy, specifically with the geriatric population.  Symone’ completed her Bachelor of Social Work at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and graduated with a concentration in Children, Family, and Youth. She received her Masters of Social Service from Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research with focuses in Adult Development and Aging along with Children and Adolescents. Symone’ then went on to obtain a postgraduate certificate in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in 2014 and successfully completed Temple University's Clinical Certificate Program in 2019.

Symone’ is a member of the Pennsylvania Society for Clinical Social Workers (PSCSW) and the National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW). As a clinical social worker, Symone' is able to provide a unique perspective into psycho-social stressors while having a commitment to social change and equity. She is dedicated to incorporating families into treatment to begin a lifelong recovery process. Symoné is employed by a managed care insurance company which provides mental health and substance abuse services. She is also the owner and founder of Expanding Your Horizons, LLC which specializes in therapy and clinical supervision. Symone' is the author of The Life & Legacy of Lear Green - a memoir about her Godmother that gives a chronological account of her Godmother's life and legacy which has been featured in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and has been nominated for Divine Legacy Publishing’s 2020 Best Memoir and Reader’s Choice awards as well as TCK Publishing Reader’s Choice Award.  In her spare time, Symone' enjoys cooking, traveling and spending time with her family.

Patricia Watts-Scheffel, LCSW is a psychotherapist in private practice in Milford, NJ. A 1994 graduate from Rutgers University School of Social Work she has worked in many settings with a variety of populations. She has almost 20 years of experience in Hospice and Bereavement. During this time, she worked in the Youth Art Therapy Bereavement Program helping children and their parents navigate and heal from the loss of a loved one. Patricia has post graduate training in Gestalt Therapy and Expressive Arts. Patricia had the honor of working as a primary school counselor at an International School in Berlin where she and her family resided for 2 years. Upon returning to the United States, she opened her practice in Milford where she works with children, adolescents, adults and seniors.

Cancellation Policy:
PSCSW Members: There is a $5 non-refundable administrative fee for any cancellation up to 48 hours prior to this program. No refund will be issued if less than 48 hours’ notice is given for this program.

This program is presented and hosted by PSCSW members. Both the presenter and host put a lot of time and preparation to make sure that attendees are receiving a wonderful program and feel welcome at the program. Just as in your professional life when someone cancels last minute, it has an impact on you. Please be cognizant of this when you register for this program.

Continuing Education Credits:
For Pennsylvania Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors: This program is approved for ethics credits for professional workshops sponsored by the Pennsylvania Society for Clinical Social Work, a state affiliate of the Clinical Social Work Association listed in Section 47.36 of Title 49, Chapter 47 of the PA Code, State Board of Social Work Examiners. This program is also approved for ethics credits for professional workshops for marriage & family therapists (Section 48.36) and professional counselors (Section 49.36).
For New Jersey Social Workers: This program is approved for clinical credits. Attendance at programs or courses given at state and national social work association conferences, where the criteria for membership is an academic degree in social work, are a valid source of continuing education credit (N.J.A.C. 13:44G-6.4(c)4).

PSCSW Members - Before you begin any registration, you must log into the website to pay the member rate. If you register without logging in, you will pay at the nonmember rate. If you need assistance logging in, please contact the PSCSW office at:

  • February 7, 2021
    1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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