From the Pen of the Executive Director: July 2022
Joel L. Rubin, MSW, LSW, ACSW, CAE
NASW-Illinois Chapter Executive Director
I am writing this column, two days after reversal of Roe v. Wade. I was sitting in a plenary at the National NASW Conference on the morning of Friday, June 24, 2022, when the news of Roe’s demise came through. As the national NASW statement
noted: the “decision is not only the first time the Court has taken away a recognized individual liberty, it also decimates the nearly 50-year precedent that established abortion rights as an extension of the implied Right to Privacy found in the 14th Amendment.”
As Governor Pritzker noted after the Supreme Court ruling, “Illinois will be a safe haven for the exercise of your reproductive rights. In Illinois, Roe v. Wade is still the law, and it will remain the law as long as we have a pro-choice legislature and a pro-choice governor. Here, we trust you to make your own decisions about your reproductive health. We will defend your right to bodily autonomy.” The NASW-Illinois Chapter will continue to support and strengthen pro-choice endeavors and assists individuals and social workers from other states that have already initiated trigger laws outlawing reproductive rights.
Planned Parenthood Illinois: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/planned-parenthood-illinois
National NASW Policy Issues Page: https://www.socialworkers.org/Advocacy/Policy-Issues/Reproductive-Rights-Are-Human-Rights
During the national NASW conference, chapter president Kenna Dunlap Johnson and president-elect Latesha Newson presented a workshop on Illinois’ social work workforce initiative over the past two years. We also had an opportunity to visit with Congresswoman Robin Kelly from Illinois’ Second Congressional District in her office on Capitol Hill. She has been a longtime supporter of the social work profession in the U.S. House of Representatives as well as when she served in the Illinois General Assembly.
Many thanks to William Dwyer, Legislative Aide/Assistant Scheduler for the Congresswoman and former chapter intern for making this visit possible.
By the time you read this, the 2022 Illinois primary will have concluded. We have been working and canvassing on behalf of the NASW-Illinois Chapter Political Action Committee's (NASW-IL PAC). This year's NASW-IL PAC–endorsed candidates include three NASW-IL members on the primary ballots. I had the opportunity to canvass and phone bank for all of our endorsed candidates.
In other news…
A big welcome to the 2022–2023 NASW-Illinois Chapter Board of Directors who begin their terms on July 1st and many thanks to all outgoing board members that served as leadership for the chapter. https://www.naswil.org/post/2022-nasw-illinois-chapter-elections-1
Nominations are now being accepted for the 2022 NASW-Illinois Chapter Social Work Awards through 7/31/22. This is a great to acknowledge your colleagues. More information about the nomination process can be found on our website at https://www.naswil.org/post/accepting-nominations-for-the-2022-social-work-awards!
We have no shortage of issues that are currently impacting our profession here in Illinois and throughout the nation. I implore all of you to keep connected and get involved. Much will be happening during the second half of 2022, including our first in-person conference since 2019. Learn more at: https://www.naswil.org/conference. Don't forget to stay tuned as we announce more in-person and live virtual events this year too!
Enjoy the summer!