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Call for Volunteers! NASW-Illinois Chapter Task Force on Racial Justice

NASW-Illinois Chapter Task Force on Racial Justice Co-Chairs Latesha Newson, LCSW, and Kristin Rubbelke, MSW, LSW

The NASW-Illinois Chapter is putting together a Task Force on Racial Justice to give member-driven leadership guidance on how to approach racial justice initiatives throughout the state. As co-chairs of the committee, we implore all social workers who have the time, dedication, energy, and insight to apply for a position on the task force in efforts to help make an impact in the systems we serve and the policies that are created. 

As social workers, we recognize that racial inequities span far beyond personal biases, interactions, and belief systems. It seeps into the work that we do as professionals, the systems we interact with, and the policies we perpetuate. Acknowledging the expansive workforce that falls under the umbrella of social work, it is imperative to have a variety of voices within the task force to more adequately address issues that have plagued our communities since this country’s inception. 

Coinciding with one of the main values of social work practice, social workers are often called upon to address social justice issues. Under NASW’s ethical standards, we are called on to be responsible to the broader society. This includes the promotion of “policies that safeguard the rights and confirm equity and social justice for all people.”

Now more than ever social workers not only need to be doing the work of self-reflection, but also to be taking a deep look into institutional and systemic racism that plagues our workplaces, communities, and policies in order to work toward necessary change. 

In the wake of the unfortunate deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, and the health disparities highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic—the time is now. We implore you, our social work experts, to take up the call to apply for a position on the NASW-Illinois Chapter Task Force on Racial Justice.

>> Click here to apply to become a task force member. DEADLINE: August 21, 2020.


Latesha Newson, LCSW

NASW-Illinois Chapter Calumet District Chair & Board Member

Kristin Rubbelke, MSW, LSW

NASW-Illinois Chapter Member At-Large & Board Member

More About the NASW-Illinois Chapter Task Force on Racial Justice

The NASW-Illinois Chapter Task Force on Racial Justice will review the issue of police reform in Illinois with an emphasis on gauging where member support is on this issue. The task force will work to create a membership survey, review the responses to the survey, and provide recommendations to the chapter board which may help to inform the chapter’s advocacy efforts. The task force will eventually shift to a programming role and assist the chapter identify and develop possible speakers and CEU presentations based on their recommendations as well as additional programming on social justice, anti-racism, and related topics.

Task Force Goals:

  • Review internal and external efforts regarding social work and racial justice including police reform

  • Develop survey to gather feedback from chapter membership regarding racial justice initiatives and the role of social work

  • Review feedback and create recommended advisories

  • Present recommendations to NASW-Illinois Chapter Board of Directors

  • Assist NASW-IL staff in identifying and developing possible speakers and CEU presentations based on chapter board–approved advisories

To apply to become a task force member, click here. DEADLINE: Friday, August 21, 2020

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