#MacroSW Chat 7/13/2017: Social Work in a Post-Election Nation

View the chat transcript.

The 2016 presidential election left many social workers wondering about the future of the profession and what Donald Trump’s victory would mean for social workers and the populations they serve. Now, more than eight months later, we’d like to hear about what you’ve been doing since the election.

Join us on Thursday, July 13, at 9 p.m. Eastern (6 p.m. Pacific) for the #MacroSW chat co-hosted with Social Work Today (@SocialWorkToday). We’ll explore social work in a post-election nation, share ideas about how to get/stay involved in advocacy and discuss ways social workers can help heal the deep divisions exposed by the election.

Chat Questions:

  1. How has the election affected you as a social worker and the populations you serve (clients, students, etc.)?
  2. Has your involvement in political action/advocacy changed since the election? In what ways?
  3. What advice would you give a fellow social worker who wants to get more involved but isn’t sure how?
  4. Have you experienced “resistance fatigue”? How do you combat it?
  5. What can social workers do to foster respectful dialogue with individuals who have different political opinions?

Shortly after the election, Social Work Today magazine spoke with social workers around the country as they contemplated the effects of a Trump administration. Many worried about cuts to social programs, rollbacks of legislation protecting vulnerable groups, an exacerbation of income inequality and an increasing polarization of political discourse. As evidenced over the past several months, these fears were not an overreaction. Programs to help low-income people are on the chopping block, the Affordable Care Act is under threat, and immigrants, people of color and LGBTQ individuals worry about their safety. And the political environment in governments across the country seems more toxic than ever.

However, social workers also expressed hope that the election would ignite a new sense of purpose among social workers and drive them to more actively advocate, engage in the political process and educate people about the profession’s role in promoting equality. These hopes, too, have been largely realized, and social workers are more involved in political protests, reaching out to their legislators and even contemplating running for office. They also are standing up for people who may feel confused, anxious or threatened in a post-election world.

Resources:

Campbell, O. (2017, May 9). Liberals and conservatives are equally likely to seek out political bubbles. New York. Retrieved from http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2017/05/the-right-and-left-are-both-bad-at-hearing-opposing-views.html

Dale, M. (2015). Social work tips for creating grassroots advocacy. NASW News, 60(6). Retrieved from http://www.socialworkers.org/pubs/news/2015/06/grassroots-advocacy.asp

National Association of Social Workers. (2008). Code of ethics. Retrieved from https://www.socialworkers.org/pubs/code/code.asp

National Association of Social Workers. (2017). Advancing the American agenda: How the social work profession will help. Retrieved from http://www.naswdc.org/advocacy/issues/EX-BRO-24617.TrumpTransitionBro.pdf

Reardon, C.C. (2017). Social work in a post-election nation: Facing challenges, encouraging hope. Social Work Today, 17(2). Retrieved from http://www.socialworktoday.com/archive/032117p10.shtml

Weinstein, E. (2017, January 30). Are you experiencing resistance fatigue? HuffPost. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/are-you-experiencing-resistance-fatigue_us_588ff968e4b080b3dad6faf1

 

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