What Would You Say to Donald Trump? #MacroSW Chat on 2/23 at 9 p.m. EST

trump_chatYou are on the front lines every day fighting for social justice, important causes and effective programs. What would you say to Donald Trump if he were sitting in your office about the policies we need to strengthen our communities and solve our nation’s toughest problems?

Join us for #MacroSW chat on February 23 at 9 p.m. EST to delve into pressing topics raised by social workers and the Trump Administration and share your stories, policy remedies and suggestions for how we can collaborate. This chat follows up on our invitation to the President and his administration to engage the social work community in a question and answer forum.

For this #MacroSW chat we will compile ideas and feedback to deliver to the Trump Administration. We hope Trump officials will join us and also extend an open invitation to Trump supporters who have similar concerns.

Here are some guidelines and posed questions for the chat.

  • Review the topics proposed to in our open invitation which include, refugees and immigration reform; child care beyond tax credits and paid leave; reducing opioid, crack, drug and alcohol addiction and criminalization; affordable healthcare for everyone; veteran’s mental health and addiction; violence against minorities and the police and, economy and social justice. Feel free to discuss other topics as well.
  • Questions/Contributions:
  1. What do you want @realDonaldTrump and his administration to know about social workers?
  2. What are your top three issues you want @realDonaldTrump to address and why?
  3. Share with @realDonaldTrump and his administration a challenge, success story or research/data related to your priority issues.
  • Don’t forget to tell us what state you work and live in and tweet directly to your Congressional reps too so they get the message or thanked for their efforts. Find your House Representatives and Senators.

Guidelines for engagement: Our goal is for a respectful and substantive dialogue on both sides of the political aisle so we can work toward real solutions and contribute to emerging policy discussions that impact social workers and those we serve. No cursing or disparaging comments about the President or the Trump Administration. We will also block and report anyone who is trolling, cyberbullying and disrespectful to chat participants who express their opinions. We stand by creating a safe environment for discussion consistent with the NASW Code of Ethics. Check out the Twitter rules for reference.

After the #MacroSW chat, consider writing a blog post to share resources, successes, and struggles and tell your personal stories.  When sharing don’t forget to use the #MacroSW hashtag so everyone can see your post!

We will do everything we can to deliver the transcript of this chat to the Trump Administration. If you know anyone with a direct connect, let us know!

Resources

Open Invitation to the Trump Administration to Engage the Social Work Community

white_houseWe, the partners of the #MacroSW Twitter Chat, invite Trump Administration representatives and the President to join the #MacroSW chat on Thursday, February 23, 2017, at 9:00 p.m. EST for an open question and answer forum to engage the social work community and professionals who work with people in need of healing and hope and to discuss a range of pressing issues.

#MacroSW twitter chat is a collaborative group of social workers who promote macro focused practices and fight for social justice. We are conveners in the social work profession and host weekly conversations on Twitter every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST with social workers nationwide who come together online to strategize about practice, share resources, and network.  Here is our weekly schedule and feel free to connect with us at @OfficialMacroSW or email us at OfficialMacroSW@gmail.com.

Social workers have a mission to reach those who have been forgotten and left behind and to solve our toughest social problems. There are more than 640,000 social workers in the U.S. and we are the largest provider of mental health services in the country.  As a reminder, the National Association of Social Workers has sent the Trump transition team this document, Advancing the American Agenda: How the Social Work Profession Will Help which details social work’s rich history, our impact, and how we serve. It provides detailed research and statistics that touch on pertinent issues.

For a Twitter chat forum, questions would be posed to President Trump, and/or administration representatives, from social workers on the below topics. We would also welcome this chat to be convened on Twitter through Periscope or other video streaming service to answer questions live. These topics were selected because President Trump had spoken about these issues on the campaign trail or taken action by executive order.  We are open to other topic suggestions from both the Trump Administration and social work community.  Leave comments below this post or tweet us and mention our handle @OfficialMacroSW.

If no one from the Trump Administration joins the #MacroSW Twitter chat,  we will proceed with convening this question and answer forum and compile ideas and feedback to deliver to your administration. A blog post will follow this invitation closer to Feb. 23 outlining the questions and additional resources to prompt discussion.

Topics

  • Refugees and immigration reform. The Executive Order, Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, which bans aliens from the nations of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, and Somalia from traveling and seeking refuge in the U.S. This ban has caused alarm at home and around the world, raised constitutional questions which led to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a suspension of this order and has left many believing we are abandoning our core principles as Americans. Social workers play a key role in helping settle immigrants and refugees in communities, protect illegal immigrants who live in the shadows and are at a higher risk to suffer abuse and victims of crime. We also advocate fair and just immigration reforms which honors our nation’s history. We should agree humane treatment of all people is necessary to resolve the struggles our communities face in helping immigrants.  
  • Child care beyond tax credits and paid leave. Greater flexibility in affording childcare is a goal for everyone. We also need to improve opportunities and wages for the childcare workforce, which has an underpaid and predominantly female and minority-race workforce. And, there are too few affordable and high quality child care options for middle class and low income families, often negating efforts to work full-time.
  • Reducing opioid, crack, drug and alcohol addiction and criminalization. Nationwide addiction has destroyed families and communities. Social workers are on the front lines in combating addiction and can be relied upon to deliver treatment programs to break the cycle of addiction. We also seek to end the criminalization of addiction in which people end up in prison instead of treatment and minorities represent a disproportionately high number of inmates.  Social workers seek solutions to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline, especially in communities of color, and offer treatment instead of jail for nonviolent offenders.
  • Affordable healthcare for everyone. As the Trump Administration and Congress seek to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, social workers have grave concerns about how this will be done. The expansion of health insurance and Medicaid has increased social workers’ ability to provide mental health and addiction services and created parity for health and behavioral healthcare and we want this to continue. Also, we know basic healthcare is a necessity for people to live independent and productive lives. This is especially important for the disabled and older adult communities who are entitled to live healthier and stay at home for as long as possible instead of in expensive nursing facilities.
  • Veteran’s mental health and addiction. Social workers are the largest provider of mental health and addiction services for veterans and their families. We need more social workers working in the veteran’s health administration to end the high suicide rates, heal PTSD and treat trauma, addiction and mental health disorders.
  • Violence against minorities and the police.  The intersection of racism, trauma and violence experienced by black communities and law enforcement officers has led to an untenable situation for everyone. It’s a tragedy that there is a greater incidence of violence and killings of people of color at the hands of police. When police officers die in the line of duty protecting our communities, this is a tragedy that happens far too often.  And here is a troubling statistic:  over 50 percent of police brutality incidents involve disabled people especially those of color.  Cases like Arnaldo Rios-Soto and Korryn Gaines are not isolated occurrences and show the dangerous realities some face if they encounter law enforcement.  Social workers are on the ground in every community, working to stem acts of violence and the aftermath of social unrest in the wake of the shootings and killings of black citizens and police officers.
  • Economy and social justice.  Jobs are the backbone of thriving communities; social workers often support those who are un- or under-employed, as are many people with disabilities.  Social workers are instrumental in supporting working-class families who are seeking work as well as creating opportunities for people to start businesses and build wealth in the shifting  economy with its many changes due to globalization and automation.

Social workers’ expertise and interests extend beyond this list. We are collaborators by nature and dedicated professionals who believe in equality, diversity and advocacy for those who cannot advocate for themselves. We work with marginalized and oppressed people everywhere and care deeply about human and civil rights. Our reach is broad:  social workers help people on a one-on-one basis as well as creating large-scale community change and policy initiatives.

In policies and philosophies where the Trump Administration and the social work community have mutual interest, mission alignment and the potential for productive work, we will work with this administration to reach important goals on behalf of all Americans.

We must state clearly, while we are open to collaboration with the new Trump Administration, we will organize and speak out against policies deemed harmful to minorities, immigrants, women, and other disenfranchised populations.  The purpose of this invitation is to open respectful dialogue which is necessary in order to devise the best solutions for our rich and sound democracy.

As President Trump has demonstrated so well, Twitter is a rich social media community where people can express themselves freely, and easily organize and communicate. Twitter is an incredible platform to engage large numbers of people and harness the best ideas. We hope that President Trump and his administration will join us for this conversation.

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.

Get Out the Vote 11/3/16

By Rachel L. West, LMSW

Thursday November 3rd #MacroSW Chats will cover get out the vote efforts. I (@poliSW) will host the chat starting at 9:00 PM EST/6:00 PM PST.

The chat will delve into specific actions we can take to get voters to the polls on November 8th. We will also discuss long term efforts that can be taken to increase voter participation.

same-day-reg

Questions:

Q1: What GOTV efforts are you undertaking this year?

Q2: What action can be taken to reform campaign finance?

Q3: What are your ideas to positively reform the electoral process?

early-voting

Resources:

N.A. (N.D). FairVote. Retrieved from http://www.fairvote.org/.

N.A. (N.D). Voting Reform Agenda. Brennen Center for Justice. Retrieved from https://www.brennancenter.org/issues/voting-reform-agenda.

N.A. (N.D.) Yes on 5 More Voice. Retrieved from http://www.rcvmaine.com/faq.

Theroux, K. (2008). Strengthening U.S. Democracy Through Campaign Finance Reform. Carnegie Corporation of New York. Retrieved from  https://www.carnegie.org/media/filer_public/4b/5e/4b5e1520-7c54-40e3-92da-99eb2b528552/ccny_creview_2008_reform.pdf.

Student Documentary Movie Night 2/25/16 – Inequality for All

Inequalityforall

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a link to the transcript from this chat on Storify: https://storify.com/laurelhitchcock/student-documentary-movie-night-2-25-16-inequality/preview.

Social 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, February 25th 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:

The film is available for streaming from iTunes and Amazon Prime. You can still request the DVD from Netflix.

Alternatively, you can watch this interview between Bill Moyers and Robert Reich discussing the film:

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.

#MacroSW Chat on 1/21 Discusses Politics Happening Right Now

I_Voted_StickerChat archive is now available.

As the 2016 election heats up and with the Iowa caucuses right around the corner, join us on Jan. 21 at 9 p.m. EST for this #MacroSW chat for a timely conversation about politics happening right now and the social worker’s role in this election season.

Our participation in the political process is instrumental in creating advocacy efforts and change for our clients. We also have an opportunity to position important policy issues for debate during this election and impact getting the vote out to have our voices heard.

#MacroSW chat will host this discussion periodically to focus on the intersection between politics and social work as a core value of macro practice. Our goal is to keep this non-partisan and we welcome all political points of view.

Questions

  1. What do you think are the most important issues for social work to be addressed this election season? (i.e. immigration, healthcare)
  2. Did candidates in the recent presidential debates address issues important to your work?
  3. Are you aware of, or participating in any get out the vote efforts? Please share them.
  4. What else should social workers be doing to participate in this year’s election?

This week (Jan. 21) let’s reflect on the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade (#ReproJustice) and how participation in the political process made this decision possible and has positively impacted the lives of women in the U.S.

References