Episode 203 - Dr. Linda Plitt Donaldson, Dr. Kristie Holmes, and Dr. Charles E. Lewis, Jr.: Wanted: Social Workers on Capitol Hill

Monday, November 07, 2016, 7:43:19 AM

Image of Dr. Linda Plitt Donaldson, Dr. Kristie Holmes, and Dr. Charles E. Lewis Jr.

For a variety of reasons, social workers in the United States, unfortunately, often avoid becoming actively engaged in the political process. In this podcast, Drs. Linda Plitt Donaldson, Kristie Holmes, and Charles E. Lewis, Jr. discuss the importance of social workers pushing past their reticence and becoming more involved in the political process. The panel shares their thoughts and suggests a range of approaches from advocacy to running for political office.

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Average Rating: 4.7 stars (3 listener reviews )

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Average Rating: 4stars  adding a quality of humanity to capitol hill, Monday, February 26, 2018

By Danielle Bernas :

I very much enjoyed this podcast and was delighted that UB felt this was a necessary topic to discuss. I myself am interested in playing a larger role in the political sphere in terms of fighting for the preservation of human rights, in addition to ensuring that legislation is continuously passed that build upon a human rights agenda. It was encouraging and exciting to see the response of the nation after this most recent election, such as fighting refugee and immigrant bans and fighting for women's rights. As was mentioned in the podcast, we need to part of any change that we desire and take advantage of any room for social work practice. We cannot simply complain about injustices and challenges in the systems in which we encounter as social workers. Rather, we need to encourage all systems to continuously re-evaluate their practices to ensure that the needs of people are being met. We need to provide opportunities for politicians and policymakers to learn about real life experiences. It was great to hear the discussion surrounding the intersection of macro and micro level practices and institutions and how nothing is truly one or the other. While I have heard of various opportunities for social workers to get involved in politics, I wish even more opportunities would be available. We need to provide more access to education about campaign processes as well as how to overcome barriers and get involved.

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Average Rating: 5stars  what i learned from this podcast, Friday, February 10, 2017

By Charlene Syers :

As a MSW student interested in macro work, I found this podcast very motivating as all three speakers rallied to encourage social workers to become more politically involved. The speakers shared that many social workers are reluctant to get involved in social policy because it is scary and outside their comfort zone. Especially during this election cycle because of all the mudslinging and fighting or they don’t see politics as part of what they do as social workers. However, if we as social workers want things to change then we need to take a more active role in making the change. Some examples of political activism that were shared by the speakers in the podcast included, working to educate and engage people in the voting process, the success from organized resistance such as the Black Lives Matter movement to running for a political office and all that it demands. So it does not matter if you are a micro or macro social worker we all need to be more politically active in our communities and encourage others to do so as well so “we can be the change we wish to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi

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Average Rating: 5stars  social workers in politics, Thursday, February 02, 2017

By K. Feser :

I found this podcast to be very inspiring, especially considering our current political climate. I appreciated the panel’s perspective of the ways in which clinical social workers can get involved with macro level issues. The panel discussed how clinicians can find a cause that they, or their clients, resonate with and devote time to advocating for that issue. Throughout the podcast, the panel discussed the importance of direct care providers involving their clients in their advocacy initiatives, explaining the therapeutic benefits of such involvement. Additionally, I valued their reminder that micro and macro social work are not mutually exclusive. In order to practice in line with the Code of Ethics, we all, whether micro or macro practitioners, must promote and advocate for systemic change.

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DISCLAIMER: The content shared by the presenter(s) and/or interviewer(s) of each podcast is their own and not necessarily representative of any views, research, or practice from the UB School of Social Work or the inSocialWork® podcast series.