I STAND FOR: DECOLONIZATION. DIVERSITY. ANTI-OPPRESSION.
da Luz Scherf
First-generation scholar and researcher in the Social Sciences. I am particularly interested in critical inquiry in Social Work and Health Sciences, and human rights-based approaches to Health and Social Care Services.
First of all, thanks for your interest in learning more about me and my work. I'm Erick, and among many other things, I'm an early-career researcher with a strong track record of research experience and publications.
I have a passion for research and service at the intersection between human rights and social work/policy, especially concerning vulnerable groups and historically marginalized populations.
Writing and publishing is an essential part of one's life in academia. I'm a published co-author in at least 4 books. In addition to that, I have published over 30 peer-reviewed articles in academic journals.
"Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes ... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. ... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things. ... They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do."
- Steve Jobs
Academically speaking, I am a 1st year Ph.D. student in Social Work at the University of Alabama School of Social Work, which ranks in the Top 20% of best Schools of Social Work in the United States. I also hold a Master of Science in Social Work degree from the University of Stavanger (UiS) in Norway (2021-2023), awarded through the Erasmus Mundus Mobility Program, and a Bachelor's degree in International Relations and Politics (2016-2019) from University of Vale do Itajai, which is located my home country of Brazil.
My works have appeared in different academic venues such as the Journal of Human Rights and Social Work, International Social Work, the Social Policy Review, Human Rights in Healthcare, and AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples, among many others.
Personally speaking, I'm a young man, who identifies as gay/queer, and who grew up in a small town in Southern Brazil, called "Camboriú". Growing up, I experienced every traumatic event possible: poverty, child abuse, domestic violence, my father's alcohol use disorder, and homophobia. I was fortunate enough to have had great friends during my childhood, stable relationships with responsible adults in my extended family and Church, as well as some awesome teachers in high school who really saw something in me: all that helped me bounce back from a troubled upbringing and led me to grow into a whole, meaningful life.
In fact, I cannot really separate the personal from the academic, the kind of researcher and academician I am today is highly influenced by the things that I have lived, the things I have seen (both good and bad), and the roads I have taken in life. Growing up deprived of many things has instilled in me a sense of justice, a duty to always fight for those who cannot often fight for themselves: this is my calling and purpose.
Even though life was not always easy for me, I tried really hard to take the wheel and to have control over my destiny: I was determined not to waste my life, and I wanted to do great things.
Don't get me wrong, I don't want to naturalize oppression, I wish I did not have to experience the things I did, no child should have to grow up in an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty. I am still not whole, of course, I am on a constant journey towards self-improvement, betterment, and self-awareness.
I truly believe in social justice and social change, especially in the role of Education in transforming one's life.
I am the first in my family to do many things.
Neither of my parents has finished the fourth grade.
I am the first one in my immediate family to go to university.
I'm also the first to have ever travelled abroad.
I, in many ways, feel like a cedar growing in the desert.