Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lately I have spent a lot of time thinking about stories and storytelling, and about how our history is such an integral part of the identity of social work.

If you will allow me for a moment, I'd like to put in a plea for a connection between history and social work and storytelling that is near to my heart. As we all know, the social work profession and social work faculty are aging, with a majority of us over fifty and a great number of us near retirement. As this generation retires and leaves, a vast quantity of social work history will go with them.

So my plea is to not let that history be lost. Just as NASW honors social work pioneers, I hope each of you will work to honor the social work practitioner and academic elders in your agencies, schools and departments, and to capture their stories through recordings and writings. It’s important to us and to the future generations of social workers we wish to shape.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The NC General Assembly began its long session this past week, and I've heard lots of people bemoaning the budget and the leadership, and falling into general despondency. As a leader it is important to balance realism with ongoing energy and optimism, so people don't become paralyzed and hopeless...but don't see you as Pollyanna and naive.

I think the message I'd like to convey is that this is a time for building and strengthening relationships, working to lose as little ground as possible, asking hard questions about whether we are truly lean and mean, and positioning for when the economy and political forces turn.

Stay strong and stay focused and stay together, all.