Social Work Month is in March and this year’s theme is “Social Workers. Leaders. Advocates. Champions.”
Social workers for generations have served as leaders, advocates and champions, helping individuals overcome challenges so they can live up to their full potential. Social workers also work tirelessly to improve our communities and society.
Thanks to social workers such as social reformer Jane Addams, former Labor Secretary Frances Perkins and Civil Rights leaders Dorothy Height and Whitney Young the nation improved voting rights, extended civil rights to African Americans and women, and instituted unemployment insurance, a minimum wage, and Social Security.
Social workers also touch the lives of millions on a more personal level.
They comfort people who are experiencing devastating illnesses and mental health crises, ensuring they get the best care while on the road to recovery. They support our brave military personnel, veterans and their families.
Child, family and school social workers stand up by protecting children who have been abused or neglected, helping children find new families through adoption, and ensuring young people reach their full academic and personal potential.
Social work has proved a calling for many. It is one of the fastest growing professions with more than 680,000 professional social workers in our nation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
I was called to become a social worker because I believe all people should have an equitable chance at achieving the “American Dream.” There are many injustices that occur in this country that social workers have taken the charge to help change. I want to do the same for the LGBTQ+ community, people living with HIV, and those vulnerable to becoming HIV positive. As a gay black male, the most vulnerable population for becoming HIV positive, I see it as my duty to become an agent of change in my community. After I earn a degree in social work, I plan to help lower the HIV infection rate in African-American communities by educating people on preventative medications and safe sex practices, advocating for the decriminalization of being HIV positive, and fostering a community where people rarely go.
Social workers are needed more now than ever as our nation continues to grapple with issues such as income equality, environmental change, the need for health care and mental health care, a national opioid addiction crisis and the continuing push to attain equal justice and treatment for all.
During Social Work Month we urge you to learn more about the social work profession and how you can help members of this great profession continue to make this nation a better place for all to live.
This month Auburn’s Association of Student Social Workers will celebrate Social Work Month and Women’s Month on the Haley concourse on March 19 and 21, 2018. As Vice-President of Auburn’s Association of Student Social Workers, I would love for students, faculty, staff, and others to visit our table to learn more about the profession and the women that pioneered it.
Ferendez Lowery, Social Work Student
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