Sunday, March 19, 2017

Social workers are marching!

Social workers are marching!

NASW-MA Hosts Annual Lobby Day (LEAD) on Monday, March 28, 2016

Social Workers for Social Justice

Boston – The MA Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers holds its annual Legislative Education and Advocacy Day (LEAD) on Monday, March 21st from 9am – 3pm. Celebrating March as National Social Work Month, LEAD is one of the largest annual lobby days at the State House each year with a record-breaking 800 participants expected on the 21st. 

For the first time in LEAD’s 12-year history, this year’s event will begin with a plenary inside historic Faneuil Hall, capacious enough to seat the 800 social workers who will be participating. Then social workers will march through the streets of Boston to the State House.

“The March for Social Work Values” highlights the importance of our profession and social justice for those with whom we work.

LEAD empowers social workers to effectively advocate for legislation that advances human rights, anti-racism, economic justice and access to health and mental health care – all the more important in 2017 given the policies, budget priorities and threats coming from Washington.

Many legislators will be in attendance or expecting social workers for lobby visits. Representative Byron Rushing, longtime Civil Rights Activist, will speak with participants in Faneuil Hall about what makes a good advocate and why engagement is so critical at this time. Other speakers include Tiziana Dearing, Boston College Social Work professor known for her anti-poverty work, and Kate Audet, social worker and State Government Relations Director at Boston Children’s Hospital, who will tell the story of a legislative win.

The first priority for many social workers will be the Social Work Loan Forgiveness bill establishing a pilot program for young professionals aimed at building the workforce in underserved agencies and including elder services and child welfare. Social workers on the front lines of the opiate crisis will advocate to increase treatment from 14 to 30 days, referring to evidence that demonstrates much stronger effectiveness. Child welfare, economic justice, ending mass incarceration, mental health access, and other social work issues will be at the forefront with related bills.

As the legislative session gets underway, timing could not be better for social workers to make an impact!

From 12-2pm social workers will be headquartered in the Great Hall of the MA State House. Please join us for interviews and photos

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