Students on Capitol Steps
Social work students on capitol steps at 2015 Social Work Day on the Hill.
Social workers from across the United States will gather in the nation’s capital on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 1-2, 2016, for the second annual Social Work Day on the Hill, celebrating the month of March as Social Work Month. The two-day happening will begin with an all-day Student Advocacy Day on Tuesday in the Capital Visitor Center Congressional Auditorium. There will be three events on Wednesday, beginning with a 9:00 a.m. symposium on Social Work and Voter Empowerment held at the National Press Club, followed by a 2:00 p.m. reception honoring retiring Maryland U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski. The day’s events will be capped with a 6:00 p.m. reception marking the third anniversary of the Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy (CRISP) at the CBC Institute House,.
The inaugural Social Work Day on the Hill held March 17, 2015, was the brainchild of former Brooklyn, NY, Congressman Edolphus “Ed” Towns, who served in the House of Representatives for three decades. A professional social worker, Mr. Towns founded the Congressional Social Work Caucus in 2010 to expand opportunities for social workers to engage Congress and the federal government. He was succeeded by Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) as chair of the Social Work Caucus when he retired in 2013 and helped create CRISP to complement the work of the caucus. Rep. Lee is one of eight professional social workers currently serving in the House and Senate. This year’s events are being sponsored by CRISP, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the Greater Washington Clinical Social Work Society (GWCSWS), and the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB).
Activities for Student Advocacy Day will begin at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday with a panel discussion on H.R. 3712—Improving Access to Mental Health Act—introduced in October by Rep. Lee. A companion bill, S.2173, was introduced in the Senate by Senators Mikulski and Debbie Stabenow (MI). Featured on the panel will be Dr. Darla Coffey, president of the CSWE, and Tanya Rhodes Smith, director of the Nancy A. Humphrey’s Institute for Political Social Work (NAHIPSW). Following the panel discussion, students from social work schools and departments will fan out across the Hill to visit offices of their Congressional representatives to urge them to sign on as co-sponsors for the bill.
Wednesday’s activities begin with a symposium on Social Work and Voter Empowerment at the National Press Club, featuring award-winning author Ari Berman whose book, Give Us the Ballot, traces the historical quest of African Americans to gain equal voting rights. He will be joined by Dr. Nancy A. Humphreys, past president of NASW, former dean of the University of Connecticut School of Social Work, and founder of the Nancy A. Humphreys Institute for Political Social Work. The 2:00 p.m. reception in the Dirksen Senate Office Building will honor Senator Mikulski, a social worker, who announced her retirement after serving in Congress since 1976—10 years as a Member of the House of Representatives and five terms as a U.S. Senator—making her the longest-serving woman to serve in Congress and the U.S. Senate. Rep. Lee will also be honored for her leadership as Chair of the Social Work Caucus.
For additional information, contact Dr. Charles E. Lewis, Jr., at email@example.com. CRISP is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization created to complement the work of the Social Work Caucus.