Janice Wood Wetzel is a graduate of the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, and a former Dean and Professor Emerita of Social Work at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York. She has served as a United Nations Representative in New York since 1988. Dr. Wetzel is a well-published international educator and researcher who has specialized in the human rights, mental health and advancement of women from a global perspective for more than 40 years. A mother of three and grandmother of four, she is a member of Professional Women Photographers and lives on the Upper West Side of New York City.
For more information about Janice Wood Wetzel and her book visit her website.
Listen to the interview:
Topics of conversation:
- The Profession of Social Work
- Women and the United Nations
- Women and Mental Health from a Global Perspective
- Writing a Memoir
Sorrows & Songs: One Lifetime – Many Lives
In words as clear and sharp as cut crystal glass, the memoir Sorrows & Songs: One Lifetime – Many Lives unflinchingly tells the story of a bright, beautiful, and promising young child who forged towards a fully realized life in spite of years of physical and mental abuse at the hands of her parents and pervasive society-wide gender discrimination.
Through her account, Janice Wood Wetzel shares a range of experiences in the context of her life and times – a Depression-era childhood, World War II, a teen pregnancy and miscarriage, a 20-year marriage that produced three much loved children but ultimately ended in divorce in her late thirties, the numbing social conformity that informed the ‘50s and early ‘60s, a mental health crisis in the form of depression, a stint in a psychiatric hospital, the suicide of her father, and soon thereafter, the tragic death of her mother, and a bout with alcoholism. Finally, the mid-1960s brought hope in the form of second-wave feminism, which enlightened the world and consequently changed the author’s life.
One by one, through quiet acts of bravery, Janice Wood Wetzel broke through sexist obstacles and emerged as a civil rights pioneer, a recognized feminist and human rights researcher, strategist, and advocate, as well as a United Nations nongovernmental representative, and a highly regarded professor and Dean of Social Work.
A successful life, yes. But at a price. From a painful crucible of dreams deferred and loves lost emerged both a life of many victories and a rewarding memoir.