#MacroSW at #WomensMarch 

Many members of our #MacroSW community around the world participated in Women’s marches on January 21, 2017. Here are some of their stories, experiences, and photos.


Kristin’s Photos and Story

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Left to right: Rudra Kapila, Sunya Folayan, Karen Zgoda, Kristin Battista-Frazee

Standing on the platform at the McLean metro stop waiting for the train to take us into D.C. for the Women’s March I was excited and had no idea what to expect from this experience. I attended with my fellow #MacroSW partners, Karen and Sunya, and Rudra, a colleague from the Clinton campaign and hoped the masses gathering would effectively carry a message for our ever-growing list of causes.  Trump’s rhetoric was on the verge of becoming reality and that prospect chilled me to my core. As a social worker, I realized our profession would be on the frontlines in fighting for the many people Trump policies would impact. At the Women’s March, my goal was to soak in the energy, observe the strength of so many people coming together, as well as understand the depth and fervent nature of what is shaping up to be “the resistance.”

As you now know, the crowds were twice as large as expected and worldwide women, men, children and people of difference backgrounds converged on Capitol Hill. At the March everyone was kind to each other, I met people from all over the country and there was an unspoken understanding among us that we were taking part in history. The marchers route was diverted from Independence Avenue to the wider Constitution Avenue/ Pennsylvania Avenue route towards the edge of the Treasury Department near the White House.  We passed the National Archives Building, the home of the Constitution and Bill of Rights; the Newseum, where we chanted “freedom to the press” and the Trump International Hotel, in which the crowd erupted into shouts of, “shame, shame, shame.” It is shameful what Trump espouses and shameful when elected officials do nothing to fight the injustices unfolding right before them. I’m confident this Women’s March is just the beginning and will turn into further action. People are ready to stand up and fight back. I also know, and this I impress to advocates everywhere, we will not be alone in doing what is right and speaking out about any unjust actions by the Trump Administration.

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Sunya’s Photos and Story

I participated in the Million Woman’s March in Philadelphia in October 1997. It was a joyous coming together of women from the African diaspora in the United States to bring our best efforts to make our nation, families and communities better. I took my children, one of whom was in a stroller at the time. I came back from that march energized, and willing to WORK even- harder for human rights, social justice and community change. Not boasting, but in record time, and with minimal resources I was able to do some amazing things in partnership with others. So much so, the Department of Justice noted our innovative work. I embody the “Strong Black Woman, and I know how to WORK and get things done. I have been socialized for generations to do this.  Fast forward to 2017 and the Women’s March on Washington.

I had decided I was not going to attend.

Why? I had become pretty much battle and WORK weary. I was tired of Black women’s leadership coming in behind that of White women’s leadership, or not being recognized at all. Like everyone else I was experiencing the collective grief and trauma from a brutal political campaign and its unfathomable result. (It wasn’t really unfathomable for me, I was just hoping common sense would prevailt. It didn’t). I was fed up  with  still having to prove Black Lives Matter in every endeavor of human activity. I didn’t want to have to bite my tongue or talk in code to state my reality. I didn’t want to have to fight with any feminists who  believed their contribution to today’s injustice would be simply to “listen and try to understand.” I wasn’t up for any of that bulls*#t. So I pretty much decided to stay home and WORK.

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Sunya & Karen

Then, I decided to make another decision. I wanted to spend my birthday with my friends in #MacroSW.  I wanted to connect with them, and share a unique experience in coming together to craft our own agenda for activism in this new age. I decided to come to the march as an act of self care, and for Black women self care is often a radical act of resistance.  So, I laughed, danced, sang, chanted, swore,and flashed my middle fingers.  I took off my work hats (there are many) and drank mimosas, had great discussions, connected with our growing sisterhood, ate cake and, had many plates of lasagne. I didn’t have any answers, I slept in late, I shed tears, I treated myself to dinner and I walked around in my pajamas the day after the march. I left the Strong Black Woman at home, enjoyed myself and allowed myself to become relaxed and renewed. Self care has been my focus the past few years. It allows me to return to my work with a mindful presence, and the need to pace myself in this long protracted ground game of working for human rights, social justice, and refusing to normalize what is not. I marched for financial capability and equal rights for women.

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I marched for affordable health care, and decent wages. I marched for  the lives of those lost and those to come. I marched for my daughters and grandsons. I marched for the Black feminist leadership I saw  front and center during the day’s festivities.  But most of all, I marched for myself and my right to sit down when I feel like it.


Karen’s Photos and Story (Cross-posted at Feminist Foreign Policy)

img_5860I marched in solidarity with millions of women around the world, to find the common core of our varied intersectional historical struggles and funnel our collective compassion, strength, and anger to resist the upcoming carnage of President Trump’s administration. I will partner with those who support our cause to fight the insidious forces of sexism and misogyny from damaging women’s rights and bodies.

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The March Without End
By Patricia Shelly, MSW  @PatShellySSW
January 28, 2017

[Six women stand in a line with arms around each other; two woman in center wear a Wonder Woman apron and a shirt, two women on left and two women on right wear hats with the double-W logo for Wonder Woman]
Pat Shelly, center left with red beret, met these five women sporting Wonder Woman apparel (we are everywhere!) near the National Museum of the American Indian on the Mall. Image: courtesy of author.
The Women’s March on Washington was massive. Yet the size of the crowds, in the District of Colombia and around the globe, will not be its only measure.  This is a march that will not end; it will continue in various places in various ways like an expanding web of global resistance. This will further strengthen all the actions countering attempts to roll back women’s rights, human rights, and help in the efforts to protect rights that enhance the collective good.

That collective good includes addressing the deeply entrenched racism in the U.S., gender-based violence, gun and drug epidemics, dismantlement of public education, disability rights, action on climate change, access to healthcare, criminal justice reform, LGBTQIAP rights, environmental justice, and the inherent right of all to the four freedoms:  of speech, of religion, from want and from fear. Working to protect human rights is essential to redress injustice and injury that arises from so many sources:  living with gun violence,  immersion in the violence of poverty, multiple systems of oppression.

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Image: The Public. Adriana Ragland holds a sign with an Angela Davis quote. She is a Univ. at Buffalo MSW ’17 student. at a November 2016 post-election demo in Buffalo, NY.

As Angela Davis said, “I am no longer accepting the things I can not change; I am changing the things I can not accept.”

The march itself generated discussions about white women’s privilege and racism.  Disability advocates  wrote critically about how organizers did not think to include elements that would have made it a truly accessible march. Many men and boys attended, and one of the memorable moments for me was toward the end of the march – the crowd I was following ended our march at L’Enfant Plaza. As we chanted, “My body, my choice,” it turned into a call-and-response with men chanting, “Your body, your choice.” The crowds watching from the overpasses cheered us. It was heartening to have so many men present as allies. And about time!

marchers in street with people lining the overpass as it travels through L'Enfant Plaza in Washnington D.C. Sign in forground says,
Photo: Pat Shelly. Crowds lined the overpasses at L’Enfant Plaza, Washington D.C.
Sign on left: “LGBTQIA + Equality.” Sign in center: “1968 is calling. Don’t answer.”

Black Lives Matter, Indigenous Women Rise, Refugees Welcome Here; millions of women and their allies stood for advancing the cause of social justice. This may mean we work to keep what had been gained circa 2016. It may mean that new people’s movements will lead to a world that nourishes, and does not diminishes. The march itself generated discussions on white women’s privilege (and men’s privilege) and racism. Disability advocates wrote very critically about how the organizers did not include many elements that could have made this a truly accessible march. And so we learn what can improve future marches planned in D.C. Here are a few: April 15-Tax Day for Trump; April 29-March for Science on Washington; May 6-Immigrants’ March; and on June 11-National Pride March.

The Women’s March Global stressed that its purpose was to promote “the beginning of a peaceful, proactive movement that has grown out of the rhetoric of the recent U.S. election cycle and galvanized people across the world to defend women’s rights and the rights of others.”

The march reached all seven continents;  this image is from Antarctica, where people promoted Seals for Science, Cormorants for Climate, Women for Earth, and (of course) Penguins for Peace.

 [square with 4 images, starting from upper left clockwise: two penguins face each other with human in background on rocky shore; logo for Women;s March Antarctica, three penguins walk in a line over snow, sign says,

 

Image from @wm_global

In news reports from Europe, I saw a sign in Budapest reads “Women of the World Unite.” In Wales: a sign has a photo of Nina Simone with her quote: “I tell you what is freedom to me: No fear.” In Ghana: “I stand for tolerance,” and in South Africa, “Stop Violence against Women.” Signs for our time.

As we work ( and march, and protest, and stand and call and email and tweet and blog) in order to advance #socialjustice, be assured the year 2017 will provide many opportunities to join together once again and take it to the streets.

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Collage: Pat Shelly


Fighting an Anti-Social Work Agenda: Understanding Power #MacroSW 2/2 at 9pm EST

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Chat archive now available!

As the new presidential administration comes into power, basic assumptions about the role of government in assisting the most marginalized have been thrown into question. Regardless of your political affiliation, 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?

#MacroSW is introducing a organizing chat series to educate social workers on the important role they play in resisting cuts to services and advancing social justice in their communities by teaching basic community organizing skills that will move social workers from an online space to real world action.

In the first chat of the series, we will discuss the concept of  power–who has it, what structures support it, but also how to build our own to confront injustice. For most of us, power does not come naturally. We have all been disadvantaged in some way by a lack of power–through economic oppression, racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism or based on some other characteristic. Therefore learning to want power can be challenging. But social workers also have a unique relationship to power. We may experience personal oppression from society while working at institutions that uphold traditional power structures.  

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

  1. How do you define power and how do you know it when you see it?
  2. Who has power in our society and why?
  3. What role does social work play in maintaining or challenging current power structures?
  4. How can advocates for justice build power to challenge inequality
  5. What new or existing opportunities do you see for yourself to build power?

Resources:

About the Host

img_20170120_121533_860Justin 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.

Media Night 01/26/2017 – Status of Child Welfare Workforce in US

Here is the transcript: http://embed.symplur.com/twitter/transcript?hashtag=MacroSW&fdate=01%2F26%2F2017&shour=17&smin=30&tdate=01%2F26%2F2017&thour=19&tmin=30

For our January Media Night, we will be talking about the current status of child welfare workforce in the US. This #MacroSW chat will focus on how those who practice macro social work can empower and impact change to address many of the long standing issues related to our country’s child welfare system and workforce.

imagesPlease read the following statement from the National Association of Social Workers about how to strengthen delivery of services to children and families in the US: NASW’s Advocacy Issues Statement on Child Welfare

This infographic from the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute also provides some back ground information: Why the Workforce Matters

toodsageOur host will be Todd Sage (@socialworksage) who is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of North Dakota. Todd has 10 years of child welfare work experience in three states and is currently the grant coordinator for UND’s National Child Welfare Workforce Initiative (NCWWI) grant. The grants focus is to address training, recruitment and retention of front line child welfare workers.

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

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

  1. In 2014, @NASW reported over 147K children received Foster Care services. What role does #MacroSW play in ensuring appropriate services?
  2.  How can the Macro SW community address large CPS caseloads, employee turnover & caseworkers needing more training to improve outcomes?
  3. Programs are at risk with the appt. of Tom Price as Sec of HHS. @NASW has opposed his appointment. How will you work to protect services?
  4. How would you design a national recruitment campaign to encourage SWKers to go into CW practice?
  5. The Social Work Reinvestment Act has proposed funding and support for SW and CW. How can we get this act passed?
  6. How can #MacroSW address the disproportionality of persons of color in CW?

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/.

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.

Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Social Work: #MacroSW 1/19 at 9pm ET

gis1/19/17 New Resources:

  1. GIS PowerPoint Presentation and Treasure Hunt GIS activity from Robert Vernon, ACSW, Ph.D. Here is some information from Bob about these resources:
    1. Narrative for the opening PowerPoint slides:The cave drawing of a horse could be possibly directions on where to locate a weir and drive ’em off a cliff for a winter’s supply of horse-meat.   Sort of an early add for Safeway or Krogers…  (My interpretation)The Romans had extensive tax and census records on an individualized bases throughout the empire.The Domesday book was a complete census to inventory all of William’s holdings.The shot of Jane Addams includes ethnicity maps they created to pinpoint where various nationalities and cultures lived near Hull House.  The complete set is on display at Hull House over the fireplace.

  2. Chat Storify Archive!
  3. Chat statistics!

Geographic information systems (GIS) technologies have become a commonplace part of our daily lives. However, GIS technologies can also be used in social work practice for a variety of purposes including planning, education, and evaluation. Social work has a history with mapping going back to Jane Addams and her colleagues at Hull House. GIS mapping also seems to be a good fit given the person-in-environment perspective of the social work profession. While some social work professionals have adopted GIS technologies in their work, it has been a slow process overall.

GIS software has become more user-friendly but issues related to costs and the ethical use of data have hampered the growth of GIS technologies in social work. This chat will examine the potential uses of GIS technologies in social work practice. We will also explore potential issues with the application of GIS technologies in social work and how these can be overcome to promote their expanded use.

Join us for the #MacroSW chat on Thursday, Jan. 19 at 9 pm EST (6 pm Pacific) to discuss uses of geographic information systems in social work.

This topic is based on chat host Dr. Thomas Felke’s (@SocWrkDoc) work using GIS to examine various topics including poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity.

Questions to Discuss

  1. How do you currently use mapping technologies in your daily life?
  2. How do you think GIS could be used for your work?
  3. What ethical issues do you think arise with the use of GIS in social work?
  4. Why do you think the adoption of GIS technologies has been slow in social work?
  5. What would you need to incorporate GIS into your practice?

Resources

Is the High Tech Social Worker a Myth or Reality? Let’s Discuss on Jan. 12

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View chat archive and Symplur data.

It is commonly said that technology has changed our personal lives and impacted social work practice. We have seen technology shape some big innovations, such as counseling provided online and across state lines, the creation of global advocacy communities at a swipe, and healthcare information stored in the cloud and accessible from anywhere.

With these rapid changes, we should examine whether or not social workers are keeping up in a digital world.  More specifically, is the high-tech social worker a myth or reality? There is no clear-cut answer to this question. While many social workers are early technology adopters and traditionalists have been resistant to change.

Join us for the #MacroSW chat on Thursday, Jan. 12 at 9 pm EST (6 pm Pacific) to discuss if the high-tech social worker is a myth or reality.

This topic is based on the Kristin Battista-Frazee’s, #MacroSW partner and chat host @porndaughter, upcoming article in Social Work Today entitled High Tech Social Worker: Myth or Reality?  

We will explore how social workers can become more tech savvy to avoid being left behind in the healthcare profession of the 21st century and discuss the challenges in using technology in practice. Also, our top professional associations are finalizing the technology standards in social work practice which are due out this spring.  This guidance will have an indelible impact on the social work profession, so let’s share any last thoughts in addition to the many thoughtfully comments already submitted to NASW and the committee.

Questions to Discuss

  1. What are the ways technology has impacted social work practice the most?
  2. What are the pros and cons of technology in social work practice?
  3. What are the barriers for social workers using technology?
  4. Some social workers are resistant to adapting to technology, how can we help them catch-up?
  5. What do you hope will be reflected in the updated technology standards in social work practice due out this spring 2017?
  6. Is the high-tech social worker a myth or reality?

Resources

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