Wednesday, April 2, 2014
LEAD: THE BEST YEAR YET
Every year the Chapter’s annual Legislative Education and Advocacy Day gets better and better. This year’s event hit the top of the scales. What a powerhouse of speakers, workshops and attendance. Every MSW program in Massachusetts sent a contingent with Boston College Graduate School of Social Work offering a special gift to its group of 200 MSW students, paying everyone's registration fee. Nine of the Massachusetts BSW programs were in attendance. There was even a group of criminal justice students from Merrimack College who joined us so they could rub shoulders with and learn from social workers on how to lobby and make one’s voice heard. In total, 750 students, professionals and other advocates joined legislators, professional lobbyists, faculty, and Health and Human Service administrators who were either in the audience or at the podium.
The event was highlighted by the appearance of several Constitutional officers. State Treasurer Steven Grossman addressed the group, acknowledging several of his family members were professional social workers. Attorney General Martha Coakley brought greetings from her office. Both these high profile officers are closely aligned with the values and priorities of the social work profession.
The featured dignitary, Governor Deval Patrick graced the audience with his usual thoughtful and substantive remarks about the social work profession and the work we do. And of course, the centerpiece of the morning was Governor Patrick’s declaration of March as Social Work Month and the handing over to me, his official proclamation.
The day was truly memorable, not only for the substance of the presentations, the energy of the participants but also the celebration of Social Work Month through the banner that flew on the front of the State House. LEAD is a reminder of what it means to be a part of our proud profession.