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ALISON MCKENNA, MSW, LCSW St. Augustine College Social Work Advocacy Day 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "ALISON MCKENNA, MSW, LCSW St. Augustine College Social Work Advocacy Day 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 ALISON MCKENNA, MSW, LCSW St. Augustine College Social Work Advocacy Day 2014

2 National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Advocacy Day, Illinois 2014 We departed St. Augustine College at 4am Who? 32 students in total +2 professors & 2 fifteen person vans 1 carpool + a lot of dedication= One positive experience for St. Augustine College (SAC) Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) students

3 Dr. Dubois drove a van and JC was his wingman

4 And it was a long ride to Springfield…

5 We made it to Springfield!

6 We made it, now what?

7 “Social Workers challenge social injustice” Social Workers “…broad ethical principles are drawn from the Code of Ethics of the NASW and are based on social work’s six core values of service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence. These principles set forth ideals to which all social workers should aspire.” (underline added)

8 Social Justice While all of the values of the profession are important, Advocacy Day’s particular focus was: Social Justice! “Social workers pursue social change, particularly with and on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed individuals and groups of people. Social workers’ social change efforts are focused primarily on issues of poverty, unemployment, discrimination, and other forms of social injustice…”

9 Social Justice & St. Augustine College “…These activities seek to promote sensitivity to and knowledge about oppression and cultural and ethnic diversity. Social workers strive to ensure access to needed information, services, and resources; equality of opportunity; and meaningful participation in decision making for all people.” This point is worth highlighting due to the diverse, working class student population served at St. Augustine College which is made up primarily of Latino students. As the College mission outlines, “St. Augustine College is an independent, bilingual (dual-language) institution of higher education created…to make the American system of higher education accessible to a diverse student population with emphasis on those of Hispanic descent; to strengthen ethnic identity; to reinforce cultural interaction and to build a bridge to fill cultural, educational, and socio-economic gaps.”

10 S BSW Students, Springfield, Advocacy Day 2014

11 What SAC Student’s had to say re: Advocacy Day “Advocacy Day (Lobby Day) was a nice experience for many reasons, to get social work students together to get to know each other, to talk, and to meet. Another [reason] was to learn information regarding bills, laws, etc. and networking. This was my first time to come to Springfield. Also meeting our Representatives was nice [it was nice to have the opportunity] to communicate, and learn.”

12 What SAC Student’s said about Advocacy Day “Having gone to Springfield many times, this time was different. I experienced lobbying with a group of different people [social workers and social work students]. It was cool how everyone was there to show support...”

13 What SAC Student’s said about Advocacy Day “Advocacy Day for social work was an amazing experience for me. I want to say that this field trip helps us as students to gain [a better understanding] and achieve more knowledge, to use later on in our professional field. Even though I did not have the opportunity to talk with my district representative because they were busy, to learn how the laws are being worked on and being passed was important for [me and for] our communities.”

14 Inside the State Capitol Building

15 The Rotunda in the State Capital Building

16 Observing the Legislature in Session

17 “The legislative aspect of government is often clouded with a lot of political humdrum. I learned [that] the voice of one is powerful, but the voices of many with the same mind is even more powerful.”

18 Wallezka, State Rep. Cynthia Soto & Grace

19 “I felt empowered!” “Going to Springfield was an AWESOME experience! It definitely put politics into perspective. I enjoyed listening to real like events, facts, and issues, but even more so I enjoyed advocating for them. Poverty is on the top of my list!” “Advocacy Day made government seem more accessible. It seemed like something out of reach before today.” “Advocacy day was an awesome experience. It was the first time I ever went to Springfield. Being able to go inside the Capitol, and see all those people of all ages, advocating for whatever their causes were, made me feel empowered.”

20 “Advocating in Springfield was a great experience. I learned a lot about advocating on a macro level. I felt encouraged to continue advocating and lobbying for the vulnerable communities even after graduation.”

21 What the Professors had to say: “Advocacy Day was an opportunity to see my students engage in the world. They demonstrated leadership, and supported one another in meaningful ways. It was a rewarding experience.” Alison McKenna, MSW, LCSW “…the NASW organization and morning sessions enabled us to get acquainted with the process of lobbying and advocacy and to see lobbying in practice; and I was exceptionally proud of our students, they were all professional, interested, and respectful of each other and what they were learning…St. Augustine should be aware that these Social Work students represented the College and the mission exceptionally well.” Dr. Clark A. Dubois

22 In gratitude: A special thanks to Jermaine Thomas, NASW Student Liaison, Julie Miller, NASW-IL Intern, Dr. Marcia Pantell, Social Work Dept. Chair, Professor’s Dr. Clark Dubois & Sheila Frost & Lee Maltby, Dean of Instruction. A big thank you also goes out to Jessica Gardner, BSW Student & Kara Syndor from for the generous donation of coffee and pastries which helped to fuel our advocacy work. “Advocacy day was a great experience for me. I met a lot of social workers, everyone [was] fighting for equal and fair opportunities for everyone. Thank you to Ms. McKenna for giving me the opportunity to attend.” 43 Alison McKenna, MSW, LCSW, Visiting Resident Professor St. Augustine College, Department of Social Work

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