The Social Work Democracy Project, officially launched last month during CRISP’s Social Work Day on the Hill event, is pleased to welcome Marla Blunt-Carter to its Board of Directors. An Associate Professor of Professional Practice at Rutgers School of Social Work, to say that Blunt-Carter has extensive experience in the world of politics is an understatement. We are thrilled to have Marla Blunt-Carter working with us to do all we can as social workers to help save our fragile democracy. She brings a deep understanding of how our political system works and a passion and zeal matched by few people. “As social workers, we have knowledge, skills, and values that we bring to the political world that are so important,” Blunt-Carter stated. “And we have the responsibility to do all we can to keep democracy alive in this country.”
To understand how deep her political roots are, you must know her family. She says it all begins with her dad, Theodore “Ted” Blunt who served on the Wilmington, Delaware City Council for almost a quarter of a century beginning in 1985 and was elected President of the City Council in 2000. Many believed he was on his way to the National Basketball Association during his days as a point guard at Winston Salem State University where he ran the floor with the legendary Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, only to have his career short-circuited by fallen arches. He later earned his MSW at Rutgers School of Social Work. A fact that gives Marla great pride.
Marla’s sister is Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester who was elected to the House of Representatives in 2016 as the first person of color and first woman to represent Delaware in the United States Congress. Both are friends of the Biden family, including and maybe especially President Joe Biden. Many people in Delaware say they know Biden, but few people can say he knows them. The above photo is an expression of that friendship. Marla had accompanied her sister Lisa (far right) to Iowa to support the Biden campaign. Then Vice President Biden was shocked to see her because when they last had spoken, he called her at the hospital to wish her a speedy recovery from a stroke she suffered in 2019.
Marla promised him she would recover, and she made him promise to restore dignity to the nation by getting Donald Trump out of the White House. As she regained her health, she was determined not to sit on the sideline. That’s Marla. When I first heard about her, the word mostly associated with her name was amazing. I heard it from colleagues and students. Of course, I was anxious to meet someone with her political experience and immediately knew I wanted her on my team. Amazing is an apt description. Her students think she is amazing. She was selected as the Outstanding Professor of the Year at Rutgers School of Social Work for 2017, 2018, and 2020; Most Innovative and Creative Professor of the Year for 2019 and 2020; and Most Supportive Professor of the Year for 2019.
She first worked with then Senator Biden in 2005 as Projects Manager creating projects to support nonprofits and community organizations, coordinating seminars and conferences. She later served as Director of Constituent Services, overseeing casework operations and constituent outreach efforts. She was selected as the state director for the 2008 Obama/Biden campaign, supervising statewide activities, local media and communications strategies, staff, and recruited a thousand volunteers for outreach activities in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. She later served in the Obama Administration as a senior agency liaison in the President’s Office.
We’re excited to have her join the other members of a phenomenal board of directors. You can watch Marla for yourself on her Ted Talk titled, The Importance of Being Color-full.
On another note, we are equally excited about the imminent return of Dr. Eddie Uehara, dean at the University of Washington (Seattle) School of Social Work who help spearhead the formation of the Social Work Democracy Project. She had to take some time to deal with health issues and will being returning to the project shortly. This is an amazing team we are putting together!