Friday, May 6, 2011

Ms. Trust goes to Washington

Each year the NASW Annual Leadership Meeting (ALM) brings together all the Executive Directors, the Presidents or the President Elects of the Chapters (there are 55 chapters), the National NASW Board of Directors and the National staff to receive training on issues common to the Leadership of the Association.  It is an extraordinary experience being in among all this brain power, exuberance, leadership and passion for the profession. One day is spent on building strong relationships between elected volunteers, leaders and staff so that this team can go home and recreate the powerful voice of social work in its local Chapter.  The training that our President, Betty Morningstar, and I received will be passed on to our Board of Directors and other Committee and Shared Interest Group Chairs as we increase the strength of leadership in the Chapter.

President Morningstar and I had the opportunity to visit the offices of our two Massachusetts Senators, John Kerry and Scott Brown, as well as each of our Congressmen, Barney Frank and Michael Capuano.  Our main objective was to lobby our Congress people to sign on to the Dorothy I. Height and Whitney M. Young Jr. Social Work Reinvestment Act (HR 1106/S.584.  This Act will not only strengthen the social work profession by giving it National Visibility, but it will also provide demonstration grants advancing the implementation of social work practice models in agencies and organizations throughout the country.  Senator Kerry has just signed on as a co-sponsor, as a result of our visit. You can count on President Morningstar and me to lobby the other three Congress people to a favorable decision.

A highlight of the 3 day event was the awarding of National Awards to exemplary social workers and public citizens.  The Massachusetts Chapter’s nominee for Public Citizen of the Year, Clementina Chery won the award with her exceptional vision and passion for creating the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute in Dorchester , MA.   In 1993, Ms. Chery’s son, Louse, was shot and killed while on his way to a Christmas party given by a group called Teens Against Gang Violence- a violence prevention, intervention and peer leadership development program. The Institute is dedicated to carrying on their son’s legacy of preventing violence in their community. The audience of National leaders and citizens were spell bound by the work of NASW-MA Chapter’s Ms. Chery.

So that’s a short round up  of what your Executive Director is up to on these yearly trips.  I am proud and grateful to represent the Massachusetts Social Work Community in the Nation’s Capital.

Carol J. Trust

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