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  • NASW-IL Staff

From the Pen of the Executive Director: May 2021

Joel L. Rubin, MSW, ACSW, CAE

NASW-Illinois Chapter Executive Director

One hundred days.

This number has been a metric for many notable presidents in our history as they each started their presidencies, from Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1933 to Barack Obama in 2009. Now we add President Biden who, as of this writing, has completed his first one hundred days and addressed a joint session of congress, laying out a serious and positive path to recovery for our country. Included his remarks was discussion of the administration’s proposed American Jobs Plan which seeks to “reimagine and rebuild a new economy.” Included in this proposal are a wide range of infrastructure funding, including a major emphasis on the Caregiving Economy which proposes assisting our country’s elderly and the disabled. Additionally, the first one hundred days of the Biden administration has also witnessed the signing of the American Rescue Plan, the just announced American Families Plan, as well as plans and executive orders aimed at supporting the many individuals, families, and communities that social workers serve.

The past month has been an active one in the chapter. Sadly, we’ve had to continue acknowledging abhorrent police shootings as well as the rise of hates crimes against Asian Americans. Here are some other recent activities that have taken place and what is on tap for the chapter.

2021 Virtual Advocacy Day, April 8, 2021

On April 8, 2021, the NASW-Illinois Chapter (NASW-IL) held our first Virtual Advocacy Day with over 400 attendees. The event brought together leaders from all levels of state government including Lt. Governor Julianna Stratton, Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch, and other legislators. NASW-IL is currently monitoring over 300 bills during the current Illinois General Assembly session, with many important pieces that are headed for passage. To read the latest advocacy updates, visit the “Advocacy” tab on our “News” page.

Call for Authors: Social Work Speaks, 13th Edition – Deadline, May 10, 2021

I would like to encourage members to participate in the development of the 13th edition of Social Work Speaks. There are twenty-three policy statements up for revision over the next three years. The chapter uses Social Work Speaks as one of its guides when we develop our legislative policy.

Ideal candidates will include social workers and faculty who have practice experience and expertise in statement topics. Social workers of color, LGBTQIA+ people, those with disabilities, and others with lived experiences being part of marginalized communities are encouraged to apply. Prospective authors can apply here no later than May 10, 2021.

2021 NASW-Illinois Chapter Social Work Awards – DEADLINE: July 30, 2021

Nominations are now being accepted for the annual NASW-Illinois Chapter Social Work Awards! As always, we are seeking outstanding individuals whose work has supported and promoted the social work profession and the people it serves. Nominations will be accepted through Friday, July 30, 2021. Find out more here:

A Meeting of the Profession: 2021 Multistate NASW Conference (Live Virtual)

This year’s A Meeting of the Profession: 2021 Multistate NASW Conference will be hosted with our sister chapters in North Dakota and Nevada. Taking place on October 21 & 22, 2021, up to 8.0 CEUs will be available over the two afternoons. Please stay tuned as we announce conference workshops and more details in the coming weeks with registration opening in June. Join us for a virtual day of education with social workers from all over the US as we explore the latest advancements in the social work profession in 2021!

Lastly, this past week the profession lost a social work trailblazer in Illinois, Bernarda “Bernie” Wong, who was a fierce advocate for Asian Americans. She founded the Chinese American Service League. May her memory serve as a reminder of important social work leadership and social justice work.

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