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Sunday, April 1

From the Pen of the President: April 2018

Mary Gollings
NASW-Illinois Chapter President

As a young adult, I volunteered to phone bank for several races, trying to find a way to support both my candidates and my views. Learning how to serve this world as a social worker opened up those possibilities by learning about advocacy. It took me many years to find my voice and to learn how to truly use my words to be heard. I found myself frightened at times to speak out, to be defeated, or to be misunderstood.

I have found myself in awe of the students from Parkland, and now across the country standing up and demanding action. The strength displayed by the Parkland students to cope and grieve while calling on congress to act is extraordinary. The clarity of their goals and their words is nothing short of remarkable, and I am deeply moved by their commitment to hold us accountable. The organizing that went into students marching, including the group who are walking over 50 miles this week from Madison, WI, to Speaker Paul Ryan’s home, is incredible The fact that none of this should be placed on the shoulders of a child does not escape me, though, either.

Our profession calls on us to use our roles to advocate for all of the clients we serve and our professional standards. We lend our voices to the macro and mezzo. Advocacy Day in Springfield is an opportunity to do just that. Please join over 1,000 social workers and social work students on Wednesday April 11, 2018.

REGISTER HERE: https://naswil.wufoo.com/forms/advocacy-day-041118/  

Mary Gollings (MSW, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; LCSW) is currently social work supervisor at Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago, IL, overseeing clinical social workers in medicine and surgery services, primary care, and specialty clinics. Prior to serving the profession as supervisor, Mary worked in the VA system’s Geriatric Extended Care services and inpatient medicine service. She then served for several years as program coordinator and clinical social worker for veterans with sinal cord Injuries. Prior to joining the Jesse Brown VA, Mary worked at the Captain Lovell Federal Health Care Center. Mary has served on local, regional, and national committees to help with efforts on system redesign and process improvement as well as promotion of patient-centered care. She has also served on local and regional professional standard boards and continuing education committees to ensure that the highest level of professional standards in social work are met. Mary serves as field instructor for second-year MSW students and as mentor for social workers new to the professional field to assist them in their professional growth. Mary served on the NASW-Illinois Chapter Board of Directors since 2010 as member at-large and served as treasurer for the chapter’s Political Action Committee (PAC). Mary also served as chair of the 2015 NASW-Illinois Chapter Statewide Conference. She is an active volunteer with JDRF, mentoring children with Type One Diabetes and their families, as well as fundraising for research in the field.

Posted on 04/01/18 at 08:00 AM


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