#MacroSW 6/29: Toxic Inequality Chat w/ Dr. Thomas Shapiro

Jane-Addams
Image source: http://www.sociologyatwork.org/international-womens-day-jane-addams/

At #MacroSW, we often address inequality issues and the seemingly impenetrable macro systems that sustain them. We explored the AASWSW Grand Challenge: Financial Capability and Asset Building for All. Economic justice and equity were one of NASW’s top five social justice priorities for 2016. As Dr. Thomas Shapiro, the Director of the Institute on Assets and Social Policy and the Pokross Professor of Law and Social Policy at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, has said:

Inequality goes far deeper than just income and wealth. It determines who can overcome obstacles: some have them cleared from their path, while others have trouble recovering from even minor mishaps. At its heart, inequality is about access, opportunity, and just rewards. For too long, toxic inequality has defined the landscape of our country, dictating where people live, how they fare, and what futures their children face. Its mechanisms can seem invisible, even inevitable. But they are man-made, forged by history and preserved by policy. Changing them is up to us.

Professor Shapiro’s primary interest is in racial inequality and public policy. He is a leader in the asset field with a particular focus on closing the racial wealth gap.  He co-authored a groundbreaking study, The Roots of the Widening Racial Wealth Gap: 

shapriohorizontal.jpgExplaining the Black-White Economic Divide. The Hidden Cost of Being African American: How Wealth Perpetuates Inequality, 2004 was widely reviewed. With Dr. Melvin Oliver, he wrote the award-winning Black Wealth/White Wealth, which received the 1997 Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award from the American Sociological Association. In 2011 he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study the wealth gap in South Africa.

Shapiro - Toxic InequalityJoin us this Thursday, June 29 at 9pm EST, as we welcome Dr. Shapiro to #MacroSW and discuss his latest book,Toxic Inequality. Dr. Shapiro’s widely anticipated new book Toxic Inequality: How America’s Wealth Gap Destroys Mobility, Deepens the Racial Divide, & Threatens Our Future was recently released March 2017.

Chat questions:

  1. How do you define toxic inequality? Why is it important?
  2. Describe how wealth is a “fundamental pillar of economic security” (pg. 14).
  3. Describe the role of racial disparities in wealth and income inequality.
  4. How can social workers and others fight toxic inequality?

#MacroSW Chat 6/22/17: Self-Care for Sustaining Our Social Work Practice

View the chat archive.

Over several decades, social work and other helping professions have become increasingly cognizant that professional stress too frequently leads to burnout, compassion fatigue, and vicarious trauma. These pandemic phenomena contribute to practitioner impairment, staff turnover, compromised services, risk management concerns, and professional crises. Attention to self-care is necessary for sustaining individual practitioners and our profession and essential for professional effectiveness.

Join us on Thursday, June 22 at 9 pm EST (6 pm Pacific) for the #MacroSW chat to discuss self-care co-hosted with media partner The New Social Worker Magazine (@newsocialworker)‏ and featuring guest experts:

Dr. Erlene Grise-Owens, Ed.D., LCSW, LMFT, MSW, MRE, Partner, The Wellness Group, ETC and co-author of  The A-to-Z Self-Care Handbook for Social Workers and Other Helping Professionals

@DrGriseOwens

 

 

Laura Escobar-Ratliff, MSW, CSW, Partner, The Wellness Group, ETC, Division Director, Centerstone of Kentucky

@LauraE_R

Focus on self-care requires acknowledging the interaction between micro, mezzo, macro, and even meta dimensions.  The emphasis on self-care as a core element of ethical and competent practice requires developing knowledge, skills, and resources. The A-to-Z Self-Care Handbook for Social Workers and Other Helping Professionals is for individuals, agencies, and educational programs to guide the development of self-care as a core aspect of professional practice.

Five Questions We’ll Explore:

  1. How do you define self-care?
  2. What are your successes, struggles, and strategies with self-care?
  3. In what ways do you integrate self-care in HOW you do your work?
  4. What are some connections between macro practice and self-care?
  5. What is one self-care commitment you will make to sustain YOUR social work practice?

Self-care is a lived experience. Dr. Erlene Grise-Owens was fired from a full, tenured faculty position, and simultaneously, Laura Escobar-Ratliff (and other colleagues) resigned from the same university. This difficult path required radical self-care, especially since this development was made public through media coverage of the comprehensive and censuring investigative report by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP’s) report. AAUP officially censured the university on June 17, 2017. Also, read Erlene’s recent blog post, Fired Up to Spark Self-Care.

Self-care sustains us, personally—and is essential to sustaining the profession of social work! We look forward to an engaged and important discussion with you about macro social work and #SelfCare!

Resources

  • The New Social Worker’s Self-Care Section, includes Eriene Grise-Owens’ Self-Care A-to-Z blog and other articles on self-care, The New Social Worker magazine
  • Self-Care Solutions: Facing the Challenge of Asking for Help, Liza Greville, MA, LCSW, Social Work Today
  • The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW)’s Statement of Ethical Principles (approved in 2004) states: “ Social workers have a duty to take necessary steps to care for themselves professionally and personally in the workplace and society” (Article 5, Professional Conduct, #6)
  • NASW published in 2008 an Issue and Policy Statement on Professional Self-Care and Social Work The statement delineates key aspects for both individual and systemic attention. This compact and compelling statement on the crucial importance of self-care should be required reading for every social worker on a regular basis.
  • This blog post on Self-care and Organizational Wellness provides a succinct contextual understanding of the interactive nature of (micro) self-care and larger systems (e.g., teams, organizations, etc).
  • University of Buffalo’s online Self-Care Starter Kit hosted by Dr. Lisa Butler and colleagues.
  • The Wellness Group, ETC which provides evaluation, training and consultation to human service professionals and organizations.

#MacroSW Chat 6/15/17: Aging in the 21st Century with Dr. Nathalie P. Jones

Update: the archive for this chat can be found here

For our Thursday chat on June 15th, #MacroSW chat will cover Aging in the 21s Century.

digital life

When thinking about aging in the 21st Century, consider that individuals are: living longer, making more healthy life choices, using technology to stimulate their minds, and becoming more physically active.

The current condition of the aging population is a focus of heightened discussion within the social work profession (one example of this focus is the upcoming virtual NASW conference, Aging Through the Social Work Lens). According to the National Institute on Aging, in 2010 there were 524 million people aged 65 years and older, representing eight percent of the global population. Moreover, older adults are increasing participation in physical activities, and have demonstrated increased technology use, which increases cognitive stimulation. This suggests possible explanations for increased life expectancy. As a result, academic and practical social workers are seeking deeper insights for this life expectancy, and overall quality of life.  Research emphasizes the life choices that the older adults are making as it relates to health, physical activity and brain activity through technology use. When older adults become more active, their heart rate increases and their confidence is heightened by their independence (Berlin, Kruger and Klenosky, 2017).

According to Pew Research Center, 79% of people in the United States use technology on a regular basis. Of this percentage, adults aged 65 to 69 are known to spend large amounts of time online. Technology use has become popular across the board with populations ranging from infancy to older adults. In particular, it has impacted the older population by increasing their cognitive activity; provided support for safety precautions (security cameras); and has allowed for overall heightened independence (Rogers, Stronge and Fisk, 2005). While the aging population has more choices to prolong life, it seems that they are in need of more social workers to support and advocate on their behalf. While discussing and exploring aging in the 21st Century, the limitations include current literature in practice and social work education on aging in the 21st century. The strengths include the ability to explore and to add to this body of literature as well as to increase the emphasis on social work with aging populations within social work education.ProfNJones

Our guest host will be Nathalie P. Jones, PhD, MSW (@DrNJonesTSU), Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work at Tarleton State University.

Nathalie enjoys working with the aging population and has a research interest that includes Healthy Aging. As a Masters level student Nathalie completed her internship serving the older population. Also, while in practice Nathalie was a gerontology social worker for the West Palm Beach Housing Authority. Currently, she is a Faculty Fellow and is proud to have the opportunity to discuss Aging in the 21st Century during the #MacroSW chat.

Possible discussion questions for the #MacroSW chat:

  • When you were younger how did “aging” look to you?
  • As you got older, how did your impression of aging change?
  • What age is considered the late adulthood phase?
  • What does aging look like to you in the 21st Century?
  • What impact does the younger generation have on the aging population?
  • How has technology impacted the aging population currently, like social media?
  • How can social workers support the aging population in the 21st century?

Additional Questions:

  • In what ways have you seen technology among members of the aging population?
  • What barriers to physical activity have you seen older adults struggle with?
  • How should social workers become more visible/interactive with and to the aging population?

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.

References:

Anderson, M. & Perrin, A. (2017), Tech Adoption Climbs Among Older Adults. Pew Research Center Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2017/05/17/tech-adoption-climbs-among-older-adults/

Berlin, K., Kruger, T., & Klenosky, D. B. (2016). A mixed-methods investigation of successful aging among older women engaged in sports-based versus exercise-based leisure time physical activities. Journal of Women & Aging, 1-11.

National Institute on Aging Retrieved from https://www.nia.nih.gov/research/publication/global-health-and-aging/living-longer

Rogers, W. A., Stronge, A. J., & Fisk, A. D. (2005). Technology and aging. Reviews of human factors and ergonomics, 1(1), 130-171.

20 by 2020 proposal to the CSWE

By Rachel L. West

You can help make macro matter. The Commission to Advance Macro Social Work Practice has delivered the 20 by 2020 proposal to the CSWE.

The CSWE (Council on Social Work Education) is a regulatory body charged with accrediting all BSW and MSW programs in North America. They set the standard for social work curricula and field placements.

Since it’s inception, the Commission has worked to advocate and strengthen macro social work practice. For the past couple of years they have worked on creating the 20 by 2020 proposal.

The proposal calls for:

The Special Commission proposes that CSWE actively supports steps to increase MSW student enrollment in macro practice concentrations nationally to 20 percent of MSW students declaring a concentration by the year 2020. (This is a national figure, not a school-by-school objective.) (Source)

The CSWE will review the proposal at its June 15th Board meeting.  #MacroSW has written an endorsement letter. On behalf of the Commission we are asking social workers and organizations (schools of social work and associations serving macro practice professionals) to do the same.

Below you will find links to a sample letter and the proposal. The endorsement letter must be in PDF format. Please email your letter to Michael Reisch by June 14th.

You can read the full proposal here. If you need assistance writing your letter you can refer to ACOSA’s endorsement letter here. Please do not copy and paste from the letter. Use your own words to express why your in support of the 20 by 2020 proposal. Your support is much appreciated.

Building the #MacroSW Syllabus Chat, 6/8 at 9pm EST

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The author’s “it’s on the syllabus” T-shirt, lying on a syllabus.

Chat archive now available!

It’s on the syllabus” may be one of the most common refrains in the classroom and educator email inbox. It is a phrase meant to tactfully remind students that they may already possess the answer to the question they are asking. However, we do not yet have a syllabus for #MacroSW, and we need your help to build one.

The #MacroSW Syllabus (http://bit.ly/macroswsyllabus) is an open source document created by #MacroSW Chat Partners that enables macro social work practitioners to share community practice resources. It is a free resource whose aim is to gather resources for students and professionals who are engaging in macro practice. #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.

If you have questions or problems accessing the document please email us at OfficalMacroSW@gmail.com. You can also connect with us on Twitter (@OfficalMacroSW) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/macrosw). We encourage you to share the link with other macro social workers. This includes sharing the syllabus link via email, social networking account or through other forms of media. When sharing through social networking sites, such as twitter, please use the hashtag #MacroSW.

Submission Guidelines:

  1. Material must be focused on macro practice social work
  2. Shared resources must be easy to access
  3. Resources should be free or low cost
  4. Please use APA style
  5. The #MacroSW Syllabus uses a Creative Commons license. Please read the licensing guidelines here.

Chat Questions:

  1. Why does #MacroSW matter to you? What is your #MacroSW story/journey?
  2. What are your favorite #MacroSW resources?
  3. What #MacroSW resources do you still need?
  4. Help us develop this resource by adding directly to the syllabus here: http://bit.ly/macroswsyllabus Please share with at least 5 contacts!

We will use this discussion to develop the #MacroSW syllabus – your feedback and syllabus additions will help us make sure it best reflects our community, concerns, experiences, and voice.

Community Intervention Models: Problems, Strengths and Future Applications

 

 

Community Intervention Models: Problems, Strengths and Future Applications

Many community intervention models are mentioned in the literature, and three key approaches are referenced (Rothman, Erlich & Tropman, 2001). Let’s look at a brief description of these approaches. The first, locality development, stresses the involvement of a wide range of participation among community members addressing issues of central concern to them. Social solidarity is a strong requirement for success in this approach (Homan, 2004; Rothman et al., 2008). The second approach comes from social planning and policy and stresses the use of experts and educated professionals solving the community’s problems-often from a distance. This approach is empirical and data driven (Homan, 2004; Rothman et al., 2008). The third type of model comes from social action approaches which frequently emphasize the differences between the advantaged and disadvantaged within a community. This approach applies pressure on the advantaged group to leverage social change (Hoeffer &Chigbu, 2015).

Strengths

While these three models are not exhaustive, (Rothmanm 1996) this has been somewhat of a useful lens from which to conceptualize and develop and evaluate community change efforts. Each model has been utilized to some degree to help create and measure community change, has mobilized community members and has provided useful ways for people to address systemic problems.

Associated Problems

In today’s rapidly moving and complex social environment not all of the three models produce positive community change.  In fact, they are likely outdated ( Boehm & Cnaan 2012). To meet the challenges of today’s societal demands, scholars and community practitioners have called for a hybrid approach due to the problems inherent in each modality. For example the locality approach emphasizes helping people help themselves, but this approach is often to blind to the larger factors of national, state or local government which often overshadows the ability of the localized population to mobilize for themselves see themselves as relevant actors (Carlton-LaNey, &Burwell, 1995). The social planning approach is criticized for being overly, rigorous, rational, and technical. In communities where the populace has less educational opportunities data driven strategies may leave people behind. Finally, one of the problems associated with the social action approach is that is highly militarized (Hoefer &Chigbu). The use of confrontational tactics and pitting one group against another usually requires the use of a third-party to resolve the inherent conflicts.

Newer Approaches

The literature suggests newer models have been developed in recent years including the community advocacy model, community engagement and feminist models, as well as a number of others (Boehm & Cnaan, 2012). While all these models have relevance and are more useful, than previous ones, they are primarily rooted in the classical models so many of the original limitations exist. One of the main criticisms is the overall lack of community involvement from the beginning stages. Newer approaches will need to include community members and community practitioners’ perspectives from conceptualization, implementation through evaluation. This empowers participants to share and build strengths as active initiators based on their perspectives on what needs to change, how it will change and when change will take place (Hoefer & Chigbu).

A new conceptual approach to community intervention is called the MAP-  Motivation and Persuasion Process, which is a hybrid configuration that addresses most of the gaps in the 3 classic models .(Hoefer & Chigbu). A major criticism of all three classic models is the lack of community involvement of its members in decision-making (Boehm & Cnaan, 2012). Bundled in a theoretical framework of empowerment, the MAP brings together persuasive psychology, motivational counseling, and principled negotiation to integrate community involvement as central to the model.  A number of studies indicate these approaches have been successful in working with communities, institutions and individuals (Cialdini , R.,2009; O’Donohue & Beitz, 2007; Pliois, 2007).  The MAP helps community members develop skill in self- negotiation with institutions and is built on principles which are central to social work:  self-determination and community empowerment (Goldworthy, 2007). Community members work alongside community practitioners and policy makers to learn a variety of skills leading to positive outcomes including use of authority, maintenance of consistency, demonstration of commitment, maintenance of objectivity, tactful response to resistance, display of empathy, and pursuit of self efficacy. These components comprise a model of community change by empowering community members to collectively come together with a skill set that can lead to successful outcomes (Hoefer and Chigbu).

macrosw 6-1-17 community models

Conclusion

Hopefully as macro social workers assume more central roles in public policy, urban planning and municipal government, social work values will support more community planned change models.   We must continue to advocate for centralized, normative opportunities for collaboration between community members, community practitioners and strength based problem solvers to work equitably in solving community problems.

Questions for tonight’s chat:

1 .What are the macro (social and community) challenges receiving most attention in your community today and why?

  1. In addition to the MAP what community intervention models do you think are more relevant to today and why?
  2. How do you see macro social work values operating in your community’s approach to solving problems and identifying strengths?
  3. What is the level of engagement between community members and community practitioners in addressing your community’s challenges?

If time permits-

  1. How visible are macro social workers and allied professionals in city planning, municipal and county government in your community?
  2. What is social work’s role today in helping our communities develop new models of community intervention?

 

References

Boehn, A. & Chnaan, R.  (2012). Towards a practice-based model  for community intervention. Linking So theory and practice. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 39, 141-168.

Carlton-Laney, I.,  & Burwell, N. (1995). African American  community practice models:  Historical and contemporary responses. Journal of Community Practice, 4(2),1-6.

Cialdini, R. (2009). Influence: Science and Practice (5th ed.). New :York NY; Pearson.

Hoefer , R. & Chigbu, K.2015) The motivation and persuasion process (MAP):  Proposing a practice model for community intervention

Goldsworthy, J. (2002). Resurrecting a model of integrating  individual work with  community development and social action. Community Development Journal, 37, 327-337.

Homan,M. (2004). Promoting community change: Making it happen in the real world. Belmont,CA: Brooks/Cole

Pliois, E. (2007).Competency in generalist practice: A guide to theory and evidence based decision making. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Rothman, J. ,Erlich, J., & Tropman, J., (2001 strategies of community intervention. (6th ed.).  Itasca, IL: F,E.Peacock.

 

 

Media Night on 5/25/17: Indian Child Welfare Act with Melanie Sage and National Indian Child Welfare Association

Transcript from this chat: https://storify.com/OfficialMacroSW/media-night-on-5-25-17-indian-child-welfare-act-wi

For our Maimagesy Media Night, we will be talking about the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). ICWA, a federal law passed in 1978, seeks to keep American Indian and Alaskan Native children with their families. Although nearly forty years have passed since this problem was identified and a legal intervention made, American Indian children are still significantly overrepresented in foster care. The ICWA law is often not properly upheld, and has not addressed the problem it was designed to fix. There are no clear means of enforcing ICWA outside of court appeal.

Major components of ICWA include: 1) the need for active efforts to prevent removal of AI/AN children from their families and to reunify them as soon as there are no longer imminent risks to safety; 2) placement preference to keep children with family, cultural community, or an AI/AN family if they must be placed out of home or adopted; and 3) communication with the tribe with whom the child is enrolled whenever the public child welfare agency intervenes.

Here is a link to four short YouTube videos that share the stories of families affected by ICWA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpxlN7vL_lA&list=PLDv7Yx44CyGQWp2gwf094UnZBeKnMJx5w

These stories were produced by National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) and are called The Heart of ICWA.

Our guest hosts will be Melanie Sage (@melaniesage) , PhD, LICSW, Assistant Professor at the University of North Dakota, and the National Indian Child Welfare Association (@NativeChildren).

MelanieSageMelanie Sage is a child welfare researcher, and is currently leading a statewide ICWA compliance improvement project. This $2.5 million federally funded project seeks to bring stakeholders together across systems to improve ICWA compliance and the rate at which AI/AN children are protected safely with their families and in their communities after contact with child welfare systems.

downloadThe National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) is a national voice for American Indian children and families. We are the most comprehensive source of information on American Indian child welfare and the only national American Indian organization focused specifically on the tribal capacity to prevent child abuse and neglect.  NICWA is a private, nonprofit, membership organization based in Portland, Oregon. Our members include tribes, individuals—both Indian and non-Indian—and private organizations from around the United States concerned with American Indian child and family issues.

Our #MacroSW Partner facilitating the chat is Laurel Hitchcock (@laurelhitchcock).

Here are the questions we hope to discuss during the chat:

  1. Why is the ICWA federal law of 1978 insufficient for changing child welfare practice?
  2. Whose responsibility is it to enforce ICWA, and how should they be held accountable?
  3. How can child welfare agencies become more responsive to the value of family and cultural connections?
  4. How can social workers be better advocates for ICWA?
  5. What will you do to defend ICWA?
  6. What was the most piece of information you learned about ICWA from this chat and why?

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/.

Environmental Justice, Sustainability, and Social Work: #MacroSW 5/11 at 9pm EST

The Storify archive of this chat can be found here.

Reduce, Reuse, Recyle.

Think globally, act locally.

Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.  (New England proverb)

green square with quote from the Great Law of teh Iroquois Confederacy in white letters:
from The Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy

Environmental Justice

More than slogans are needed to reverse the alarming rate of environmental degradation we are experiencing. Social workers are part of this reclamation; indeed, we have the ethical obligation to do so: “Fundamental to social work is attention to the environmental forces that create, contribute to, and address problems in living.” The authors of the NASW Code of Ethics may originally have had a human environment in mind, rather than the broader one of earth, air, water and non-human life forms, but 21st century conditions means we must enlarge our definition of environment.

Environmental justice is needed to redress the racism, economic and gender discrimination that combine to provide a safe, clean environment to only to a certain segments of the world’s population.

Sustainability as an Essential Social Work Value

The United Nations defines sustainability as what meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This is a concept that many  Indigenous Peoples have as a principle.

In  Sustainability, human rights, and environmental justice: Critical connections for contemporary social work, Professor Catherine A. Hawkins of Texas State University explains:

“[Social workers] need to pay more attention to the critical role of the physical environment…The important connections between social work, sustainability, human rights, and environmental justice in our contemporary world need to be more clearly articulated…  for the profession to effectively pursue the goal of making the world a more just, humane, and sustainable home for all life.”

The focus of this chat will look at how we advance environmental justice and develop sustainability as a constant in our social work practice. #MacroSW chat partner Pat Shelly from the University at Buffalo School of Social Work @ubssw will host.

Quote from 2005 commencement address to the College of Natural Resources, Univ. of California Berkeley. Image: Pat Shelly

Questions for discussion:

  1. How do you define environmental justice?
  2. Is sustainability the same as environmental justice? Why or why not?
  3. How does the recent March for Science and the Peoples’ Climate March relate to social work?
  4. If you participated in the marches, why?
  5. Give examples of practices that fulfill our mandate to work for environmental justice. What would Catherine Hawkins suggest?

Resources:

Sustainable Development Goals_E_Final sizes
Image: United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: 17 Goals to Transform Our World

(This is adapted from the April 22, 2017 post SocialWorkSynergy.)

Fighting an Anti-Social Work Agenda: Building a Better World #MacroSW Chat, May 4th at 9pm EST

Update: Chat archive now available!

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The organizing chat series was born out of a need to fight back against an anti-social work agenda being pushed by the current president and his administration, but also to start a dialogue about the role of social work in organizing and direct action. Is our work simply to ameliorate the suffering of the oppressed or is it to transform systems to end oppression?

Now more than 100 days into a new presidential administration, this question–and the answer to it–is becoming increasingly critical.

Many social workers are engaging in various forms of resistance both individually and collectively. Whether developing new programs and resources for oppressed people being increasingly marginalized, advocating for policy change, or participating in public actions, social workers are on the front lines in the fight for a just and equitable society. But what does that society look like and how do we get there?

fighting-anti-sw-agenda-twitter.jpg

This discussion is the last in the first ever #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. The third chat focused on the power of protest as a tactic among many to achieve strategic change. How can we now take these concepts into the real world? And to what end?

In the fourth chat of the series, we will answer the following questions:

  1. What is your vision for a world consistent with social work values?
  2. What needs to change to make make your vision for a better world a reality? What are you doing to make that happen?
  3. Which social work skills do you think are most useful in your work to build a better world?
  4. How can #MacroSW help? What topics would you like to see discussed in future organizing chats?

About the Host
IMG_20170120_121533_860.jpgJustin 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.