2022 Social Work Day On The Hill
Wednesday, March 9 - 11:00 am until 5:00 pm EST
March is Social Work Month
We were planning to return to the Hill in March to celebrate Social Work Month and continue our mission to keep social workers engaged with Congress and the federal government. However, Capitol Hill remained closed to the public so we hosted our events virtually again this year. Because threats to our democracy remain ever-present, we continued to focus on the theme:
Social Work and the Future of Democracy
11:00 AM EST -- CRISP Politics and Policy Forum
Can Social Work Help Save Democracy?
CRISP Director Dr. Charles E. Lewis, Jr. moderated the morning Town Hall session with three members of the Social Work Democracy Project board of directors. They discussed past and current threats to American democracy and offered ideas about what needs to be done and the roles social workers can play in preserving and strengthening democracy as we officially launched the Social Work Democracy Project.
We began this discussion during our 2018 Social Work Day on the Hill shortly after the publication of Nancy MacLean’s groundbreaking book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America in which the noted Duke University historian presented in great detail the plans of libertarians, led by the Koch brothers, to change the rules to ensure monied interests were not contrained by the will of the majority. We continued the discussion as we have since witnessed the January 6, 2021 insurrection that attempted to decertify the election of President Joe Biden and numerous laws passed in states to suppress the vote or corrupt the process of counting votes.
Charles E. Lewis, Jr.
Introducing the Social Work Democracy Project
The Social Work Democracy Project is a 501(c)3 organization that was created out of the need for a response from social workers to growing threats to democracy that were clearly evident during the Donald Trump administration and led to the violent attempt to nullify the 2020 presidential election on January 6, 2021 when a mob of Trump supporters stormed Capitol Hill.
Social Work Democracy Project Board of Directors
Charles E. Lewis, Jr.
1:00 PM EST - Young Social Workers Speak
The Social Work Day on the Hill midday event is a panel discussion by social work students or recent graduates to bring their voices and persepctives to the table. The will give their views on the challenge for social workers to be engaged in activities that perserve and strengthen democracy while responding to the question: Can Social Workers Help Save Democracy? The panel will be moderated by Taylor Brown, a recent MSW graduate of the Brown School of Social Work at the University of Washington in St. Louis. Taylor will be the 2023 CRISP Student Advocacy Day Lead Organizer. He will be joined by four members of this year’s Student Advocacy Day Leadership Team.
3:00 PM EST - Recognition Ceremony & Panel Discussion
Social Work Day on the Hill is an event conceived by former Congressman Edolphus “Ed” Towns as a day to invite social workers to Capitol Hill to celebrate our long history of making contributions to the nation through our work with Congress and the federal government. Beginning with Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to the House of Representatives from Montana in 1916, four years before the ratification of the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote, through such stalwarts as Jane Addams, Ron Dellums, Dorothy I. Height, Barbara Mikulski, Whitney M. Young Jr., and Barbara Lee, to name a few, social workers have had significant influence on federal policy.
Each during a reception held on Capitol Hill, CRISP presents awards to several social workers who distnguished themselves during the year leading up to our event. We are foregoing out usual voting process this year and hope to resume it next year when we are able to gather in person on the Hill. However, we will recognize outstanding contributions of social workers during this year’s ceremony to be followed by a panel discussion on the future of Political Social Work.
Panel Discussion: The Future of Political Social Work
More social workers are showing an interest in using their unique and valuable skills in the political arena. Whether it running for elected office, working on political campaigns, working in legislative setting at all levels of government, social workers are entering the political arena in siginificant numbers where our values, skills and knowledge of people and communities are profoundly needed. Several self-indentified political social workers will join a panel moderated by CRISP Board of Directors President Justin Hodge to discuss the future of political social work. Is it destined to become a certified field of practice? Will it attract people who may otherwise not enter social work? The panel will discuss these and other questions from the audience.