Dear NASW Chapter Members,
I am reaching out to you on this cloudy Wednesday afternoon, November 9, 2016 as your Chapter President, your colleague and your friend.
The relief that we imagined would come with the election’s end has for many, been replaced by shock, terror, anger and heartbreak. For those who made their way out into the world to work, to parent, to teach or to learn this morning, the simple tasks of life and the landscape may feel changed, alien and unwelcoming. They certainly have for me.
We may ask ourselves, “Who are we?” “Is this my country?” While the election results represent what a large portion of our country believes is the path to “safety” and “economic stability”, the other, half of our great country, sought a different road; to an equitable and inclusive society where opportunity, safety and freedom would be shared by all of its people. That road has not been closed with this singular, albeit, threatening election result.
Throughout this election process, many dimensions of suffering impacting our country have been revealed while institutional structures that sustain economic and social inequity remain unchanged. As social workers, who bear witness to struggle, social injustice, and intolerable pain, we will certainly be called upon to serve as a candle of hope, for our children and the many, many people that we serve.
Despite the fog of fear and grave disillusionment that has descended upon us today, I am committed to remaining engaged, to holding this new administration accountable and to championing the rights of all people – now more than ever.
As Social Workers and human beings, we need first, to come together to mourn, heal and support one another. We are stronger together and when ready, we must leverage our collective strength to mobilize. We are a powerful force for humanity and social justice, collaboration and inclusion.
Please know that your National Association of Social Workers Massachusetts Chapter will:
- Reaffirm our commitment to pursue social and economic justice policies and legislation.
- Reinvigorate our advocacy efforts on behalf of transgender rights, de-incarceration, immigrants, racial and ethnic minorities, and all in our state who lack access to the resources and care they need.
- Be vigilant about any effort to marginalize groups of people.
With 7,000 members in our state and 123,000 in the nation, we are a strong voice and a powerful constituency.
Please let us know what would make a difference for you. There are many ways you can get involved with the chapter, especially our Legislative Action Committee and shared interest groups – send an email to learn more: email@example.com.
Allison Scobie-Carroll, MSW, MBA
President of NASW-Massachusetts Board of Directors
Thank you for this letter. I wish the NASW President and board had made such a supportive and bold statement about what our profession must do.
We all need to work together to make a stronger United States.
The simple truth in strength! Thank you Diane!
Thank you Beth for a very nice posting. I think we all need to be respectful and offer positive regard toward our nations’ leaders regardless of whether they offer a diversity of opinions. Often times we (including me) cherish diversity and honor differences of opinion unless it is coming from someone who has a different world view then us. At that point, we are tempted to forget our core value of acceptance. While practically everyone in the country was upset at either the 2012 presidential election or the 2016 election, this is part of our national heritage. There are quite a few social workers (perhaps in the minority) and half our clients who are happy with the 2016 results. We all need to celebrate the diversity of the profession even in the political arena, and show them the same respect we afford our diverse clients. You said this very eloquently Beth: “begin where the client is.” Thanks for challenging us to be open minded. Ted
Thank you Beth and Ted for such humbling and respectful responses. Social Workers at their best!
I call for the Social Work profession to view the opportunities afforded by a new federal government. These opportunities call for the profession to engage in quantitative research to identify positive outcomes from our interventions, as well as innovate new approaches to alleviation of human suffering. We are a profession that prides itself on its Strengths-Based approach.
Let’s open our views to creating a better business model to obtain funding for services in which we can measure outcomes superior to other helping professions, in order to promote and grow our profession.
When addressing our legislators, please remember how we “begin where the client is”, regardless of our beliefs. Our Code of Ethics calls for us to remain non-judgmental of all persons, including those with whom we differ.
Mourn what exactly?
My thoughts exactly!
This election certainly requires self assessment. As a social worker I had to step back and realign myself. It was important that I realized the needs of so many far exceeds how I feel. It reaffirmed that ther are so many who will need us to know how to guide them through the challenges they are likely to encounter. The need to empower and be empowered has surfaced. I hope I am able to provide what’s needed to those in need.