Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Leading From Possibility

The ‘Occupy’ phenomenon is growing across the nation.  A few blocks from the Chapter office, Dewey Square is filled with individuals that are calling our attention to what they see as pervasive social and economic inequities that shame our wonderful country and state.  I want to share with you the statement that the MA Chapter has released on the ‘Occupy Boston’ event.  We are in support of the occupation as it retains its peaceful context.  Below is the Chapter’s statement.
NASW MA Chapter's Statement in Support of Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Boston
As an organization that is committed to social and economic justice and unimpeded access to services for all, NASW-MA Chapter supports the Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Boston protests. These protests are shining a light on the exacerbated income and social inequality that has gripped the nation in recent years. America’s “new economy” is a tale of skewed wealth and income. The new economy generates extraordinary riches for the few, but creates declining wages, rising debt, and the risk of deep and persistent poverty for many. 

Social Workers know that joblessness and economic insecurity contribute to the incidence of mental illness, family violence, suicide, substance abuse, crime, and diminished capacity for healthy family and community functioning. It is this knowledge and experience that gives the social work profession a special responsibility to advocate for income, employment, and social support policies that promote the economic justice and social well-being of all members of society and why NASW-MA Chapter has always been on the forefront of progressive taxation campaigns in the commonwealth. NASW-MA Chapter supports social, economic, and political actions to end poverty and the vast inequalities in wealth and income, to which protestors at “Occupy” events are so effectively drawing the country’s attention. 

NASW-MA Chapter urges its membership to raise awareness about and take part in the Occupy Boston peaceful protests, as social workers see fit.

 Betty Morningstar,PhD, LICSW, President, and
Carol J. Trust, LICSW, Executive Director

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Carol and Betty, for taking a lead on this issue and publicizing it for social workers to become involved. I had the great opportunity to intern and learn at NASW-MA two summers ago, and this is exactly what I would expect from the chapter and its members.

    Overall, it's very concerning for me that it seems social work in general, as well as social work schools (in my experience) have been strangely silent in support of this movement. Yet, many other professions and disciplines, like political science and history, are becoming much more actively involved.

    It disturbs me, in particular, that our profession is caught in the oppressive, gendered cycle of low wages for difficult and equal work, leaving us to feel like we don't have the time or energy to actively participate. How can we prioritize this involvement as individuals and within our organizations?

    What can we do to encourage involvement and leadership among social workers, in general? Is it possible for NASW-MA to run an article in the FOCUS newsletter?

    Stacie E. Hebert
    Salem State University Graduate Student