Happy Social Work Month!
A Message to DC Social Workers from NASW Metro DC Executive Director Debra Riggs, CAE
When I heard that the NASW theme of the 2023 Social Work Month in March is “Social Work Breaks Boundaries,” I thought, “Yes! Spot on!” While many commemorative months often focus on historical capstone achievements in an industry or profession, I’m glad that this year’s choice has a forward-looking ring while still tipping a hat to the pioneers of the past. Although our profession is centuries old, social workers like you are among the most resourceful, innovative professionals I know, always anticipating and adapting creatively to whatever the future throws at them (I’m looking at you, telehealth!). I hear stories all the time from our members about how you each are identifying barriers—and then digging under them, climbing over them, or skirting them completely as you create new solutions to serve your diverse clients. I love that you don’t see boundaries as walls that would stop you from achieving what needs to be done to protect and advance the interests of individuals, families, communities, and society as a whole.
To celebrate YOU and Social Work Month, NASW Metro DC Chapter is conducting some celebratory activities throughout March, and we hope you’ll participate in some or all:
1) Join our Social Work Month Celebration reception that kicks off the Joint Annual Conference in Williamsburg Thursday, March 23 at 5:30 p.m. You’ll get to meet new friends, reconnect with old ones you may not have seen for three years, and simply revel in the fellowship of being among your peers. We’ll have a communal toast and some tasty nibbles, and later watch the Emmy-winning social justice documentary “Mending Walls,” followed by a director’s panel discussion (1 CE). You must be registered for the Annual Conference to attend, and in-person registration closes March 17, so I truly hope you’ll hurry and register to save your spot!
2) Rise and shine for an informal coffee and chat with me Saturday, March 25 at 7:15 a.m. at the Annual Conference, where I’d love to hear how you’re “breaking boundaries” in your career and life. Like the reception, the event is at the host hotel, DoubleTree by Hilton Williamsburg, and you need to be a registered attendee to drop by for some java.
3) Plan to attend a fun, free virtual Social Work Month celebration event with laughter yoga instructor Mayra Reyes the last week of the month. Details will follow soon, but mark that week to party, network, and laugh with fellow Virginia and Metro DC social workers from the comfort of your home! You may recall that Mayra did a similar session at our celebration several years ago, and she got such great reviews that we’re bringing her back. Registration (free) will be required. Bring a beverage for a virtual group toast!
4) Follow us on @NASWDCMETRO on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram for a Social Work Month series where we’ll be sharing social work facts, honoring past “boundary” breakers, and raising awareness of all that social workers do. Coming up:
School Social Worker Awareness Week (March 5-11) and World Social Work Day (March 21).
Thank you again for all you do as a social worker. Please plan time this month for some important self-care to celebrate and nurture yourself, as our Code of Ethics recommends. Have a wonderful Social Work Month!