The NASW California Chapter has sponsored various policy and advocacy events since the beginning of the year. We hope our members find these events useful and we encourage feedback and suggestions for future convenings.
On January 26th, we co-hosted the Budget & Workforce Summit in collaboration with our wonderful partners at the California Council on Community Behavioral Health Agencies. We invited various public officials and leaders in the behavioral health space to come and share with our provider field updates about the state budget and what to expect in the context of behavioral health funding and strategies moving into the 2021 year.
On February 1st, we organized a Meet-and-Greet with Daniel Lee, a social worker who was running for the Senate seat in District 30, and learned of Mr. Lee’s priorities, policy agendas, and strategies to bring justice and accountability to the table for all.
On February 5, we co-sponsored How Public Defender’s Offices Implement Policy to End Mass Incarceration. This event, which was geared toward legislative staff and members of the legislature, illustrated how public defenders, and social workers, work to implement recent criminal justice reforms passed by the legislature. Besides educating the legislature, this session was designed to support a budget request sponsored by NASW and other groups, to increase funding for public defenders and social workers in implementing criminal justice reforms.
On February 11th, we hosted a training on Advancing Social Justice through Grassroots Advocacy, featuring a panel of four dynamic social workers participating in local-level advocacy in very unique ways. They shared their own experiences pivoting into macro social work to push efforts to improve our schools, activate Black voters, run for public office, and contribute to the transformation of their own organizations to work toward anti-racism.
On March 22nd, we launched the inaugural Social Work Policy Consortium to create a statewide network for social work policy instructors and allied professionals interested in advancing macro social work.
On March 23rd, we hosted a Vaccine Forum to elucidate the most up-to-date science behind the vaccines, learn how to articulate the science to our clients while honoring where they are at in their decisions about healthcare, and honoring and addressing the history of harms of healthcare systems on Black and Brown communities.
On March 24th, we activated social workers across the nation to advocate to end hate incidents against the AAPI communities during our Joining the Stop AAPI Hate Movement event. We learned about the data relevant to the influx of violence against AAPI’s amid the pandemic, the social contexts that influence the experiences of AAPI individuals, and how social workers can get involved to impact positive change.
We thank you for joining us in these various spheres of the work. As social workers, we find a responsibility to advocate for just change within our agencies and throughout our own communities. NASW-CA is here to support you and we look forward to constantly finding new ways to ensure our field has the tools to continue their work but also the platform to share with us the advocacy they need.