#MacroSW Twitter Chat 4-27-2017 Resistance Strategies for the Long Haul

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We have collectively survived the first 100 days of a new presidential administration. We have protested, demanded town hall meetings, written letters,  organized petitions thorough social media, increased and decreased time on our smartphones and have found creative ways to commiserate with and inspire one another. We have developed new curricula, increased our advocacy and watched- sometimes in disbelief at the ever unfolding political and social chain of events.

The good news is that we can make change, start or stop a movement and it doesn’t take a lot of people to do so.

We are addressing the issue of self care periodically in #MacroSW, not only because it’s a timely topic but a necessary one. How do we sustain ourselves, but also how do we sustain movements of resistance? In order to resist oppression, injustice, inequality,In order to continue our work and to make it sustainable, however, we must be strategic about what we are doing, who we ally ourselves with and and how we organize. We need synergy and sustainability.

Here are the questions to ponder for this week’s chat:

What are the greatest challenges ahead?

Name a self care tactic, and a greater resistance tactic that works for you.

Is social work leading movements of resistance? Why or why not?s

What are your practice priorities in terms of sustainable resistance?

Bring your ideas and actions to the chat, as well as resources you find valuable to share.

Perhaps the following articles will inspire a shift in mind or action:

https://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/preparing-long-haul-trump-administration/

http://www.findingsteadyground.com

http://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/how-to-resist-from-a-place-of-love/

Media Night – Bullied: The Jamie Nabozny Story #MacroSW Chat 4/20 at 9pm EST

This chat is archived here

Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 10.52.22 AM.pngFor our April 20th Media Night Chat, we will discuss the short documentary film Bullied: A Student, A School and a Case That Made History. The documentary features the story of Jamie Nabozny. While attending high school in Wisconsin, Nabozny suffered persistent, unchecked anti-gay attacks and harassment by classmates. For Nabozny, this abuse was understandably highly traumatic; however, as shown in the documentary, Nabozny was able to hold the school accountable for failing to acknowledge the true nature of the abuse. As the Southern Poverty Law Center states in its materials for this film, “anti-gay bullying is wrong – morally and legally.”

Bullied was produced by the Southern Policy Law Center, as part of their Teaching Tolerance program.

To prepare for this chat, please view short documentary, “Bullied: The Jamie Nabozny Story” at this link: https://youtu.be/FZZTjm1GoKs
Here are some questions we hope to discuss during the chat:

  1. What issue from the video was most interesting to you and why?
  2. In what ways did Jamie’s system fail him?
  3. What are common misconceptions about bullying?
  4. For macro social workers, what are the key areas we need to address when we encounter bullying?
  5. What ethical duties do we have as social workers when we encounter bullying in our work environment (example: addressing the bystander effect?)
  6. What steps can we as social workers take to eliminate bullying from our schools?
  7. What other impressions of the film do you have?

 

About #MacroSW:

#MacroSW is a collaboration of social workers, organizations, social work schools, and individuals working to promote macro social work practice. Macro social work practice focuses on changing larger systems, such as communities and organizations. It encompasses a broad spectrum of actions and ideas, ranging from community organizing and education to legislative advocacy and policy analysis. The chats are held weekly on Twitter every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST (6 p.m. PST). Click here for a list of chat partners. For information about how to participate in the #MacroSW chat, view our FAQs. For chat schedule and chat archives check out: http://macrosw.com.

About #MacroSW Media Nights:

Tune in for our once a month #MacroSW Media Night to talk about different social problems highlighted by the press. We’ll feature a video, podcast, blog post or article that features a hot topic. These chats are ideal for class assignment or extra credit opportunity.  For the chat schedule: https://macrosw.com/special-events/.

References:

Jamie Nabozny’s Official Homepage: http://www.jamienabozny.com/

The Southern Policy Law Center, (2010, September 23),  “‘Bullied’ Offers Lessons for Students, Educators.”https://www.splcenter.org/news/2010/09/23/%E2%80%98bullied%E2%80%99-offers-lessons-students-educators

Teaching Tolerance: A Project of the Southern Policy Law Center. http://www.tolerance.org/

Fighting an Anti-Social Work Agenda: The Power of Protest #MacroSW Chat 4/13 at 9pm EST

Update: Chat archive available!

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At first glance, social work may not appear to be intrinsically linked to protest. After all, we’re more likely to be found working behind a cluttered desk or our car between home visits. But in the earliest days of the profession social workers were integrated within the communities they served. Settlement houses were often used as meeting locations for community activists to organize strikes and other public demonstrations.

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Image source. Photograph shows the American delegates to the International Congress of Women which was held at the Hague, the Netherlands in 1915. The delegates include: feminist and peace activist Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence (1867-1954), social activist and writer Jane Addams (1860-1935), and Annie E. Malloy, president of the Boston Telephone Operators Union. To the right of Malloy may be labor journalist and activist Mary Heaton Vorst (1874-1966) and the woman wearing a hat on the far right may be Lillian Kohlhamer of Chicago. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2012)

Since the election of Donald Trump, America has seen a resurgence in public activism in

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Left to right: Rudra Kapila, Sunya Folayan, Karen Zgoda, Kristin Battista-Frazee at the Women’s March in DC, January 2017. See more #MacroSW at the March here.

the form of mass protests and actions. Social workers of course have taken part in many of these actions as individuals or small groups, but our profession’s collective presence has been limited. The current administration has taken many actions that are explicitly contrary to social work values. With calls from the NASW and other social work institutions to organize, oppose, resist, and educate in response to an anti-social work agenda, it is time for social workers to consider how we can take bolder action to resist unjust policies.

Fighting Anti-SW Agenda Twitter.png

This discussion continues the #MacroSW organizing chat series. The first chat focused on understanding power as organized people and organized money. The second chat discussed how we can effectively build relationships to develop grassroots power. How can we now take these concepts to develop public demonstrations of our power? And to what end? In the third chat of the series, we will answer the following questions:

Q1: Have you ever taken part in an action (rally, protest, disruption, etc)? What was it? Describe the experience. #MacroSW

Q2: Was the action effective? Why or why not? If so, what did it achieve? #MacroSW

Q3: Are there specific forms of protest or tactics you think social workers should be engaging in? #MacroSW

Q4: Do you have plans to participate in an upcoming action? What is it? If not, what would you like to see in your area? #MacroSW

About the Host

Justin Vest is the lead organizer for Montgomery County at Progressive Maryland where he leads issue-based advocacy campaigns and develops volunteer organizers to fight for social and economic justice. He earned his BSW from the University of Montevallo and MSW from the University of Alabama before relocating to the DC Metro area.

Inequality for All Movie Night w/ @JimmySW on 4/6

Here is the Symplur transcript from tonight’s chat.

Inequality for allSocial work students (and everyone else) from across the country are welcome to participate in a student-focused chat about income equality.  Join us for a live, interactive event in which social work professors Jimmy Young, of the California State University San Marcos, and Laurel Hitchcock, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, will facilitate a live discussion about the documentary film Inequality for All on Thursday, April 6th at 9 p.m. EST (6 p.m. PST).

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to connect with social work students, educators and practitioners from around the world. To participate:

  1. Watch the documentary Inequality for All. See below for information on how to access the movie.
  2. Your instructor may ask you to write a brief statement about your reaction to the movie.
  3. Participate in the live Twitter chat using the hashtag #MacroSW. Tweet any questions or responses directed to the moderators and social work professors Jimmy Young (@JimmySW) and Laurel Hitchcock (@laurelhitchcock). Include #MacroSW in all of your tweets.
  4. Following the live chat, your instructor may also ask you to write a brief self-reflection essay about your experience of participating in this event.

The written parts of the assignment are optional and are not required to participate. However, we do encourage you to take some time to reflect upon what you learn from the film and the topics that are discussed in the chat. How might they inform your future social work practice?

To Access the Film: Visit the film’s website at: http://inequalityforall.com/. Scroll down until you see “Watch it Now.” You can rent the movie ($2.99 – $3.99) or purchase. You can still request the DVD from Netflix. Alternatively, you can watch this interview between Bill Moyers and Robert Reich discussing the film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-rpkZe2OEo

About the Film: Directed by Jacob Kornbluth, Inequality for All is a 2013 documentary film that examines the widening income gap in the United States. Using the stories of real people and real lives, the narrative explores the effects this increasing gap has not only on the U.S. economy but also on democracy itself. Presented by American economist, author and professor Robert Reich, the film premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and won a U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Achievement in Filmmaking.

Questions for the live chat:

  1. What is happening today in terms of distribution of wealth? Why is it happening? What do you see happening and what are the causes?
  2. When do you think inequality becomes a problem?
  3. If the government sets the rules for how the market functions, who do these rules benefit or hurt?
  4. Who is looking out for the American worker? Who do you think should be and what could be done?
  5. After watching the film, do you agree/disagree with the idea of equal opportunity and the American Dream?
  6. What do you think most Americans don’t realize about income Inequality?
  7. What single word best describes how the film made you feel?
  8. What’s next? How do we as social workers address inequality or move forward?

If you are an educator wanting to incorporate this chat as an assignment in your class, please click here for details.  We hope you can join us! Please contact Jimmy or Laurel if you plan to have your class or maybe student groups participate in the chat.  They will also welcome your questions.

Media Night on 3/30: Ethics in Macro Social Work Practice with Heather McCabe

hamccabeHere is the transcript: https://storify.com/OfficialMacroSW/media-night-on-3-30-ethics-in-macro-social-work-pr

Social workers are often asked to consider the ethics of working with their clients in a therapeutic relationship. Here we will discuss the implications of ethics working along the full continuum of social work – from micro to macro. Most have heard about ethical issues like Confidentiality, Dual Relationships, and Sexual Relationships. How do ethics look when working with communities? What ethical obligations do social workers have to work for social justice when working one on one with clients?

We will explore how practitioners and students view ethical obligations around macro practice and social justice issues. Our guest expert is Heather McCabeAssistant Professor of Social Work at Indiana University.  She served as a medical social worker at a pediatric tertiary care hospital for several years before returning to school for her law degree.  She also served as the Director of the Public Health Law Program  and then Executive Director for the Hall Center for Law and Health at the IU School of Law – Indianapolis before coming to her current position.  Professor McCabe’s research is primarily in the areas of public health, health policy, health disparities, health reform, and disability related policy.  She is particularly interested in exploring the effects of multidisciplinary education and collaboration in her work.

To prepare for this chat, please review the NASW Code of Ethics: https://www.socialworkers.org/pubs/code/code.asp

Questions to be explored:

  1. Do you think about the NASW Code of Ethics applying to community organizing, policy practice, advocacy? If so, how?
  2. If you see multiple clients with the same systemic issue, do you have any ethical obligation to address the issue?
  3. What types of bills do you see as impacting your clients? What responsibility to you have to advocate for/educate about them?
  4. Do you advocate for policy in your day to day work? Give an example.
  5. How do we continue encouraging social workers to see practice as a continuum, which includes macro practice?

Resources:

  • Reisch, M. & Lowe, J.I. (2000). “Of means and ends” revisited: Teaching ethical community organizing in an unethical society. Journal of Community Practice, 7(1), 19-38.
  • Hardina, D. (2000). Guidelines for ethical practice in community organization. Social Work, 49(4), 595-604.
  • Harrington, D., & Dolgoff, R. (2008). Hierarchies of Ethical Principles for Ethical Decision Making in Social Work. Ethics and Social Welfare, 2(2), 183–196. doi:10.1080/17496530802117680
  • National Association of Social Workers. (2008).  Code of ethics of the National Association of Social Workers. Washington, DC: NASW Press.
  • Rome, S.H.,Hoechstetter, S., and Wolf-Branigin, M. (2010). Pushing the envelope: Empowering clients through political action. Journal of Policy Practice, 9(3-4), 201-219.
  • Rome, S.H. (2009). Value inventory for policy advocacy. In E.P Congress, P.N. Black, and K. Strom-Gottfried (Eds.) Teaching Social Work Values and Ethics. Alexandria, VA: Council on Social Work Education.

About #MacroSW: #MacroSW is a collaboration of social workers, organizations, social work schools, and individuals working to promote macro social work practice. Macro social work practice focuses on changing larger systems, such as communities and organizations. It encompasses a broad spectrum of actions and ideas, ranging from community organizing and education to legislative advocacy and policy analysis. The chats are held weekly on Twitter every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST (6 p.m. PST). Click here for a list of chat partners. For information about how to participate in the #MacroSW chat, view our FAQs. For chat schedule and chat archives check out: http://macrosw.com.

About #MacroSW Media Nights: Tune in for our once a month #MacroSW Media Night to talk about different social problems highlighted by the press. We’ll feature a video, podcast, blog post or article that features a hot topic. These chats are ideal for class assignment or extra credit opportunity.  For the chat schedule: https://macrosw.com/special-events/.

 

We’re Listening! Contribute to Future #MacroSW Chats

Chat Archive

During Social Work Month as we honor, teach about and praise our profession and those who have made an indelible impact, the #MacroSW partners want your input and participation as we plan for the rest of 2017 and 2018.

Join us on Thursday, March 23 at 9 pm EST to tell us what topics you would like to see discussed on future chats and learn about how to become a #MacroSW chat contributor or partner to effectively promote macro social work practice. We will explore in this open chat:

  1. Which topics you would like to discuss on future #MacroSW chats.
  2. Your interest in becoming a chat contributor to co-host a chat on your suggested topic.
  3. If you would consider becoming a #MacroSW chat partner to grow this community.
  4. If you are not interested in becoming a partner or contributor, who would you recommend to join our work?

Taking a leadership role with #MacroSW chat is a resume builder and could give you the opportunity to shape our discussions.

Thank you for your energy and enthusiasm in our weekly online conversations which have become a vibrant community.  We are inspired by your engagement to come together to thoughtfully tackle some of the greatest challenges we face. We look forward to your feedback and ongoing support.

Resources

Check out our partner page

Submit to become a contributor or partner

About #MacroSW:

#MacroSW is a collaboration of social workers, organizations, social work schools, and individuals working to promote macro social work practice. Macro social work practice focuses on changing larger systems, such as communities and organizations. It encompasses a broad spectrum of actions and ideas, ranging from community organizing and education to legislative advocacy and policy analysis. The chats are held weekly on Twitter every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST (6 p.m. PST). Click here for a list of chat partners. For information about how to participate in the #MacroSW chat, view our FAQs. For chat schedule and chat archives check out: http://macrosw.com

Social Work Month 2017: For What Do You Stand Up?

Poster for 2017 Social Work Month : Name in Red background at top with white band in middle with the motto, "Social Workers Stand Up" in White space - the "d" in "Stand" has an arrow pointing up as the long side of the "d." Ath the bottom is the logo for NASW, the national association of social workers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poster: National Association of Social Workers

(archive of this chat here)

March is Social Work Month, a time to “educate the public about the contributions of social workers and give social workers and their allies tools they can use to elevate the profession,” according to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). “Social workers stand up for millions of people every day. These include people who are experiencing devastating illnesses and mental health crises, our veterans, children, families and communities. Yet many people still misunderstand who social workers are and the invaluable contributions they bring to society…Social workers are trained to look at situations in a holistic way. They help people increase their ability to solve problems, to cope with stressors and to get needed resources. Social workers bring individuals together with other people and their communities to find solutions for problems that continue to plague our society, including hunger, lack of affordable housing, and equal rights for all. And social workers make organizations responsible to people through sound social policy.”

Every year, Social Work Month highlights resources and information that can lead to policy, laws and legislation that serve to increase social justice and advance the social work profession. It was established in 1963.

Logo for 2017 World Social Wrok Day has human head with long hair in streams of multi-colored ribbons, blue background, at bootom are country- and cityscapes, with the title in upper left in oick letters.
Logo: International Federation of Social Workers http://ifsw.org/news/world-social-work-day-2017/

 

 

World Social Work Day is celebrated on the first day of Spring, March 21st.

 

 

 

 

Join the #MacroSW chat this Thursday, March 16, with host Pat Shelly from @UBSSW, as all kinds of social work organizations, practitioners, agencies, legislators, schools and students share ideas and actions that help celebrate our profession in all its aspects. We’re pleased to have Greg Wright of @NASW on the chat too!

Discussion questions:

  1. What activities are you engaging in for #SWmonth 2017?
  2. Who or what do you stand up for?
  3. Why this choice?
  4. How does Social Work Month help you and other social workers?

And…
~Please share media – news, movies, books – that feature social workers~

The New Social Worker Online magazine has many articles, art and poetry by social workers in its special Social Work Month Project 2017 series.

Here is an annotated list of novels about social workers from 2015. Titles:  All Our Names (2014); The Believers (2010); Fourth of July Creek (2014); The Interestings (2014); The Social Worker (2011); Unprotected (2012). And let’s add PUSH by Sapphire (1997).

 

Multi-colored letters wiht a sunburst effect spell out "social work month" in a design of 3 tiers, one word on each line.
Image: Media Education Foundation

 

Resources:

Green, Adrienne. (2016. August 11). From social worker to foster parent and back. The Atlantic. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/08/social-worker/495533/

International Federation of Social Workers. (n.d.) Global definition of social work. Retrieved from http://ifsw.org/get-involved/global-definition-of-social-work/

Lewis, C.E. Jr. (2017 March). Young social workers should be preparing for the future. The New Social Worker. Retrieved from http://www.socialworker.com/extras/social-work-month-2017/young-social-workers-should-be-preparing-for-the-future/

National Association of Social Workers. (n.d.) Social Work Month 2017. Retrieved from http://www.socialworkers.org/pressroom/swmonth/2017/default.asp

New Social Worker (2017 March). Social Work Month 2017.  [Blog posts].Retrieved from: http://www.socialworker.com/topics/social-work-month-2017/

Social Work Licensing Map (n.d.) [Social worker’s salary guide] [Infographic]. Retrieved from https://socialworklicensemap.com/social-worker-salary/

Zimmerman, E. (2017, March 12).  Social workers help many people. Sun Herald. Retrieved from http://www.sunherald.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article137497983.html

 

 

 

#MacroSW 3-9-2017 Documentary Movie Night “13th” Topic: Mass Incarceration

Update: Chat archive now available!

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for a crime, whereof the party shall  have been duly convicted, shall exist  within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Section 1; Ratified 1865.

We live at a crucial time in the United States characterized by a rapidly changing social, informational, global and political climate.  Social workers and allies in other professions are poised to assume leadership in variety of pressing issues with implications for social change. One such issue is that of mass incarceration.  The documentary 13th by filmmaker Ava Duvernay raises a host of issues on the subject and ties this country’s historical position of institutionalizing racial and economic inequality to present day systems of oppression. Mass incarceration has had severe repercussions for many of our country’s most vulnerable groups.

Presently, on any given day in the United States, over 700,000 people are in jail, the portal of entry to the prison system. In addition, the families, children and communities of those incarcerated also experience wide-reaching effects. In essence, we all pay a price for this loss.

The film 13th, traces incarceration in the United States from the abolition of slavery and the ratification of the 13th amendment in 1865 to how the loophole in the amendment  has been  been exploited for financial gain through today’s prison industrial complex. Currently, in the United States a widening network of for- profit prisons and detention centers has flourished.  According to the writer and director of 13th, Ava Duvernay, the film was created so viewers would have a “revolution within” regarding our thoughts about mass incarceration in this country and to serve as a catalyst for new thinking about how we approach this issue from now on. ” ’13th’ is coming out at a time where it might provide some foundational knowledge for folks as we really make demands of our candidates to go beyond Twitter beefs and get into the real issues that affect our everyday lives,” she said. With incarcerations having increased 5 fold since 1940, this is certainly time for both renewed and ongoing conversations.

Join us March 9, 2017 at 9pm EST for our MacroSW Movie night on Mass Incarceration.  Alongside #MacroSW chat partner and host Sunya Folayan, our guest hosts for this timely discussion are:

Becky Anthony, Ph. D; MSW Online Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Social Work at Salisbury University, Salisbury, Md.

Jennifer Jewell, Ph. D; Director of BSW program and Coordinator of Dual Degree program at Salisbury University, Salisbury, Md.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What role do social workers play in reducing mass incarceration?
  2. What do you think are some of the factors that allowed this system of racial control to evolve?
  3. What was the Omnibus Crime Bill of 1994? What were aspects of the bill that contributed to the rise in mass incarceration?
  4. How does the media influence our viewpoints of people who are currently in prison, specifically men of color?
  5. “13th” highlights the policies that have helped create the devastating mass incarceration problem. What current policies are proposed and how could they affect the current and future prison system in our country?
  6. What further thoughts do you wish to express about social work’s role in addressing mass incarceration?

Additional Resources:

http://www.theatlantic.com//video/index/404890/prison-inherited-trait/

Smart Decarceration Initiative (website): The homepage of the Smart Decarceration Initiative [hyperlink: csd.wustl.edu/OurWork/SocialJustice/Decarceration/Pages/default.aspx]

Social Work and Criminal Justice (website): A website created by the SDI co-founders that promotes social work research and teaching in the area of criminal justice: [hyperlink: http://www.sw-cj.org/ ]

Formerly incarcerated individuals are a crucial element in building a decarceration movement [hyperlink: http://www.safetyandjusticechallenge.org/2015/11/formerly-incarcerated-individuals-are-a-crucial-element-in-building-a-decarceration-movement/

http://www.epi.org/event/mass-incarceration-contributes-significantly-to-the-racial-achievement-gap/

Mass incarceration: How the U.S. Prison System Creates a Cycle of Poverty: http://www.genfkd.org/mass-incarceration-cycle-poverty?/

About #MacroSW:

We are a collaboration of social workers, organizations, social work schools, and individuals working to promote macro social work practice. Macro social work practice focuses on changing larger systems, such as communities and organizations. It encompasses a broad spectrum of actions and ideas, ranging from community organizing and education to legislative advocacy and policy analysis.  Learn more here: https://macrosw.com/about/

Learn More about #MacroSW on inSocialWork Podcast Episode #210!

podcast-macroswchat_204ubssw

Listen to the podcast here: Episode 210 – Karen Zgoda, Rachel L. West, and Patricia Shelly: Promoting Macro Social Work Through Social Media/Twitter Chats

In this episode, our guests Karen Zgoda, Rachel L. West, and Patricia Shelly describe how they are using macro social work Twitter chats to promote support for and education about all forms of macro practice activities. They discuss what Twitter chats are, why they matter, and why social workers are producing and participating in them.

Karen Zgoda, LCSW, is an instructor in the School of Social Work at Bridgewater State University. She starting hosting online social work chats in 2000 and is currently a collaborator and chat host for the #MacroSW Twitter chats, focused on macro social work practice. Karen previously wrote the SW 2.0 technology column for The New Social Worker Magazine and served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member and project coordinator at CTCNet working on digital divide issues. Her research and pedagogical interests include technology in social work and education, macro social work, social policy, and research methods. You can find Ms. Zgoda on Twitter as @karenzgoda.

Rachel West, LMSW, is social media manager for the Association for Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA), where she became one of the founders of the #MacroSW Twitter chats. In 2012, she founded The Political Social Worker, a blog dedicated to community practice social work and politics. Providing consultation to nonprofits and private practices since 2013, Ms. West’s consultation focuses on a number of issues related to advocacy and community outreach, including the use of social media as a community organizing tool. Ms. West also works privately as a career coach, coaching and training macro social workers. Additionally, she is an instructor at Stony Brook University, School of Social Welfare, teaching advanced macro social work practice. You can find Ms. West on Twitter as @poliSW.

Patricia Shelly, MSW, is director of community engagement and expansion at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work. She has served as a member of the LGBT Domestic Violence Committee of Western New York for 12 years and the Women in Black Buffalo movement for 15 years. Previously, Ms. Shelly was the associate director for the Institute for Research and Education on Women and Gender at the University at Buffalo. She is the editor of SocialWorkSynergy, the blog of the University at Buffalo School of Social Work. She is a chat partner for the #MacroSW Twitter chats and often serves as a chat host. You can find Ms. Shelly on Twitter as @PatShellySSW.

Direct podcast link here.

APA (6th ed) citation for this podcast:

Episode 210 – Karen Zgoda, Rachel L. West, and Patricia Shelly: Promoting Macro Social Work Through Social Media/Twitter Chats. (2017, February 27). inSocialWork® Podcast Series. [Audio Podcast] Retrieved from http://www.insocialwork.org/episode.asp?ep=210

#MacroSW Organizing Chat 2: Building Relationships 3/2 at 9pm ET

Update: Chat archive is now available!
otupa1qvrelmmztkthdvlii0dvaffyko_k_xpzzqpiharv9ejqnewo2regenyjwuov2nd5qtpxjzepntvl6jtit8xb-itxqrrlbwxnbmb85lzan3vktjajxxtjyhcsby9buch19As the new presidential administration comes into power, basic assumptions about the role of government in assisting the most marginalized have been thrown into question. Social workers should be deeply concerned about proposed changes to social service programs and the government agencies that administer them.


The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) has called on social workers to organize, oppose, resist, and educate in response to the anti-social work agenda that is being put forward by the new administration. But how do we actually proceed?

fighting-anti-sw-agenda-twitter

In the first chat of this series, we discussed power–how it’s defined, who has it, and how we build it. To build the power we need for change requires organized people or organized money. In this week’s chat, we will discuss how to build the relationships needed to effectively organize. What starts as a small group of likeminded people can grow into a network of activists driving a movement.

The most important component of organizing, like social work, is listening and building relationships. We must meet people where they are and forge connections based on empathy, shared experiences, or common interests. This development of trust allows us to ask people to take necessary actions they may not ordinarily take–attending a protest or challenging an elected official–in a way that isn’t transactional, but based on mutual self-interest and respect.

To take a closer look at these concepts, we will discuss the following questions:

  1. Organizing builds public relationships which differ from personal or professional ones. What do you think this means?
  2. How would you engage stakeholders to start organizing around an issue you care about?
  3. Do you see a unique role for social work institutions to build relationships for change?
  4. Once you’ve established public relationships for organizing, what do you think is the next step to address an issue?
  5. What will you do in the next month to organize around around the issue of your choice?

Resources:

About the HostQqXY63jEj1wbBoicVsEaQjGfuDlpZCo8Xk8T4KinZTZcZT9U3sPkz6_NTKAIrmeTRJJD1X2hwwQNBPuWdgNTzwsqRdzIL6RGlQ7LjWleiZlI08MQ1maO-VeWIKaxgKcdaVnMTmgX.jpg

Justin Vest is the lead organizer for Montgomery County at Progressive Maryland where he
leads issue-based advocacy campaigns and develops volunteer organizers to fight for social and economic justice. He earned his BSW from the University of Montevallo and MSW from the University of Alabama before relocating to the DC Metro area.