Woman with megaphone
by Ashley Huie, LMSW
March is Social Work Month.This is my first time actually celebrating this month as a full on thriving social worker. It is always nice to hear appreciation for the difficult work we do as social workers/change agents/social justice seekers/healers/educators/advocates - that loud voice standing up and projecting out.
I remember my second placement in social work school. I was working on an inpatient psych unit. And one of the nurses says to me, "So you wanna be a social worker, huh?" I was like,"Yeah, that’s why I’m here." He says, "So you must be loud, 'cuz all social workers are just loud!" And I laughed, thinking this dude is weird.
But now reflecting back on his comment, I’m like, "Yeah, social workers are loud!" Not just in terms of volume. Actions speak louder than words, and as social workers, we know how to act on behalf of our clients in some bold and compassionate and loving ways. Now don’t get me wrong - some of us are just plain loud, but that’s because we speak out against some really big systematic, oppressive issues that need to be corrected and restructured for justice to prevail.
Social workers are loud because we speak out for those who have been silenced by pain, shame, and stigma that society buries them under. Social workers speak loudly because we understand the beauty that is being human, that is being humane.
As a social worker, I think the greatest gift is not what I do to help my clients. Every time I meet with a client I am honored and privileged to be able to bear witness to their truth, their journey, their hurt, their joy, their pure emotion, their soul, their reflection, their humanity.
Happy Social Work Month to my fellow loud social workers! Keep on raising your voices for humanity.
Ashley Huie, LMSW, graduated with her MSW from the University at Albany. She is a medical social worker in the emergency department at North Shore University Hospital.