• NASW-IL Staff

From the Pen of the Executive Director: November 2020

Joel L. Rubin, MSW, ACSW, CAE

NASW-Illinois Chapter Executive Director

The past month and through the elections, I—along with countless numbers of social workers across the country—have volunteered for phone banking for the Biden/Harris campaign. The NASW Political Action for Candidate Election (NASW-PACE) has been participating in a Healthcare Workers for Biden/Harris campaign to share information about the Biden/Harris ticket (NASW PACE formally endorsed the Biden/Harris ticket during the summer) and get out the vote. We have been calling into battleground states such as Florida, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. It has been an empowering experience, reinforcing Standard 6.04 of our code of ethics: “Social workers should engage in social and political action that seeks to ensure that all people have equal access to the resources, employment, services, and opportunities they require to meet their basic human needs and to develop fully. Social workers should be aware of the impact of the political arena on practice and should advocate for changes in policy and legislation to improve social conditions in order to meet basic human needs and promote social justice.” This guidance from our code couldn’t be more important than it has been this election year.


Let’s also not forgot about the down-ballot. If you have not yet voted, please check out the NASW-Illinois Chapter Political Action Committee (NASW-IL PAC) endorsements: https://www.naswil.org/post/nasw-il-pac-endorsements.


The NASW-Illinois Chapter Task Force on Racial Justice completed its initial work this past week, reviewing the close to 600 survey responses from members about how to approach matters of racial justice in Illinois. The survey results and task force recommendations will help to inform the chapter’s advocacy efforts. The task force has worked tirelessly and on behalf of the chapter, and I would like to thank all of its members here:

  • Latesha Newson, MSW, LCSW—Co-Chair

  • Kristin Rubbelke, MSW, LSW—Co-Chair

  • Jenny Andersen, LCSW

  • Jasmin Aramburu, MSW

  • Merari E. Fernandez Castro, LCSW

  • Chante Gamby, LCSW

  • Brit Holmberg , LCSW

  • Michelle McMartin, LCSW

  • Darby Morhardt, PhD, LCSW

  • LaTasha Roberson Guifarro, MSW

  • Jenna Sullivan

  • Heather Fraser, LCSW

  • Charisma Pryor, LSW

  • Cassandra Walker, LCSW

  • Grisel Rodríguez-Morales, MSW, LCSW

The NASW Delegate Assembly is the representative, decision-making body through which NASW members set broad organizational policy, establish program priorities, and develop a collective stance on public and professional issues. The NASW Delegate Assembly is comprised of 220 elected delegates, including the national NASW Board of Directors. In addition, the NASW executive director and executive directors from each state chapter are nonvoting delegates, making a total of 277 delegates. Article V of the national bylaws addresses the delegate assembly.

The NASW Delegate Assembly meets once every three years and approves all policies published in Social Work Speaks. They will convening virtually on November 6, 2020. Delegates from our chapter include the following individuals:

  • Grisel Rodríguez-Morales, MSW, LCSW, President

  • Kenna Dunlap- Johnson, MBA, MSW, LCSW, President-Elect

  • Don Phelps, Ph.D, LCSW

  • Candi Gray, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C

  • Mary Garrison, LCSW, ACSW

  • Cheri Sinnott, LCSW

  • Latesha Newson, MSW, LCSW

  • LaTasha Roberson-Guifarro, MSW

  • Kristin Rubbelke, MSW, LSW

As reported in mid-October, the efforts of the NASW-Illinois Chapter were successful in getting in-person CEU requirements waived by IDFPR.


There is still room to join us on November 19th for our all-virtual Rethinking Ethics conference. This exciting virtual format will include over 9 trainings and 10 speakers enabling you to earn up to 6 CEUs.


Lastly, the days leading up to the elections and beyond have left many of us anxious, concerned, and worried about the future of our country. I wish all of you strength during this challenging period of time. Please make sure that everyone in your family, professional, and social circles vote.


In rather a timely fashion, public television stations across the country have been airing the documentary, Mikva! Democracy is a Verb. Abner Mikva was a political mentor to many of us, including myself, who went to high school and college in the 1970s and early 1980s and who worked on his campaigns. I also had the honor and opportunity to have interned in his congressional office in Chicago during my senior year of high school. This incredible documentary reminds me of the hope that many of us like to see rekindled in our democracy and our country.


Take care and vote!

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