Wednesday, April 7, 2010

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever does.”

This powerful quote by Margaret Mead directly applies to Social Work Lobby Day. April 6, 2010, was a day full of exposure, experience and excellence. I have never been more proud of my profession as I was this day. More than 630 social workers and social work students gathered in the Florida state capitol in Tallahassee to advocate for social justice; to speak for those with no voice. The School of Social Work gathered outside the capital and sang a song for the rest of the Social Work Lobby Day attendees. Amanda Evans, NASW-FL President, stood on the steps and presented us with empowering message: We are the change, we are the future.

During the training provided by NASW-FL, we learned more about the bills being advocated for by the agency and the impact the budget cuts will have on the services. The high-profile bills focused on Autism and Developmental Disabilities (HB 107/SB 214), Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment and Crime Reduction (HB 1189/SB 1140), Crimes against Homeless Persons (HB 11/SB 506), Juvenile Justice-Offenders 9 years and younger (HB 7181/SB 1072) and Transitional Services for Youth (HB 627/SB 1356). We also learned about how to build relationships with our representatives, as building human relationships is a core value for social workers. While I was not able to make an appointment with my representatives to voice my support for Adoption Equality (HB 3/ SB 102), other attendees were able to speak up about this concern with their representatives. I attended a meeting with classmates who were advocating for Medicaid money for Disabled persons. I was also able to sit in the Criminal & Civil Policy Council as they passed or denied bills on the agenda. Some of my classmates were able to attend meeting and advocate for Foster Kids Transitioning out of the system, as well as changing the statute language to better protect "vulnerable" adults, just like they protect children.

Unfortunately, about 9 AM I spoke with my mom and received a serious blow of a message regarding a family member. It kinda had my mind wandering around for the next few hours and I wasn't really concentrating on why I was there. That being said, it was still an invigorating experience and I will go next year and prepare myself more. Aside from the lengthy bus ride, the trip and experience were memorable and proud moments for all of us.


  1. Sorry to hear about your family member - hope all is okay soon.

  2. The cycle is repeating in my family. *sigh* I may post about it...