The Mississippi NASW chapter's social justice committee hosted its second topical Zoom forum last evening under the heading, "social work is political." It just may have set the stage for some of the most important discussions that Mississippi social workers and students have had in a long while. Four panelists - Kathryn Rehner-Sullivan, government affairs … Continue reading NASW-MS chapter’s social justice committee declares that “social work is political”
Opinions about last week's jury trial exoneration of Kyle Rittenhouse on murder charges, stemming from shooting and killing two Kenosha, Wisconsin Black Lives Matter protesters, are all over the map. I surely won't attempt to catalog them here, or try to discern which opinions have merit, and which do not. (There's a virtual river of … Continue reading Rittenhouse trial outcome and the violent right’s presumptive “license to kill”
It's a sad history, but it tells us everything we need to know about the prospects for substantial progressive change under the nation's current political leadership. An ambitious social spending bill addressing critical needs - for family support and reducing child poverty, for education, health care, jobs creation, and for making a start on addressing … Continue reading Biden’s social welfare policy agenda is rapidly nearing the vanishing point
Voting rights are in sharp focus in social work, as well they should be. The coming week features two social work-related forum events - a Wednesday night presentation on the history of voting rights in Mississippi, sponsored by the Social Justice Committee of NASW Mississippi chapter, and a Friday late morning inaugural entry in "The … Continue reading Attack on voting rights is the tip of the spear that can kill what’s left of U.S. social welfare policy
Is this title some sort of trick question? Of course social workers (truly, anyone in their right mind, right?) would choose solidarity over breakdown. But why is that even a "choice" to begin with? To be sure, humanity faces a number of serious challenges, but a "breakdown of civilization" still sounds like alarmist hyperbole. Human … Continue reading The choice seems starkly clear: Social solidarity or civilizational breakdown. Which side is social work on?
At this moment (5:00 p.m., Friday, October 1), fierce "negotiations" continue within the Democratic Congressional caucus and between the caucus and the White House over what it will take to to get one or two holdout senators - the notorious so-called "moderate" Sens. Manchin of West Virginia and Sinema of Arizona - to join with … Continue reading The U.S. cannot afford its dysfunctional national government
The worst aspects of the U.S.'s profoundly undemocratic "democracy" is summed up in a single stunning situation. A New York Times article posted today begins like this: "Joe Manchin, the powerful West Virginia Democrat who chairs the Senate energy panel and earned half a million dollars last year from coal production, is preparing to remake … Continue reading Senator Joe Manchin’s outsized power subverts “our democracy” no less than Trumpublicans
At its best, public policy-making is a fundamentally rational process, essentially a version of the practical problem-solving process at the heart of all forms of social work practice. While details may vary, the core elements of the process are universally familiar: a problem is perceived and defined; next the problem is assessed, or analyzed; based … Continue reading Is rational incremental policy-making dead? It sure looks like it, leaving traditional social work policy practice in the lurch.
"This" civilization is the one built on an industrial foundation. By the most generous measure, it's scarcely 500 years old, and it's really only in the second half of that period that the techno-capitalist organization of society and economy picked up steam - a time span of wondrous, accelerating, almost magical achievement and transformation of … Continue reading This civilization is finished. We need a new global community compatible with social work values and commitments.
The title question is one I hope to explore in a series of posts over the course of the fall term. I'm sure there are colleagues across the country and around the world pondering precisely this question, though I suspect that at present their numbers remain far too few in comparison to the enormity and … Continue reading Shock upon shock upon shock – What are the implications for social work?