Category Archives: Administrative

Happy Birthday to Me!

So today’s my birthday.

Sam’s excited, because I’m an even number again.

And how are we celebrating?

Fighting famine.

I’m donating the $150 I get from my parents, in-laws, and grandfather-in-law–we call it “hobby money”, because it’s money that we can spend however we want, since the rest of our financial decisions are made jointly.

And, I guess, trying to keep kids from starving is my hobby.

It’s selfish, partly.

I cannot stand to see pictures of starving kids
. Or to think about mothers who have to listen to their children cry in hunger, without having any food to give them.

I can’t tolerate raising my kids in a world where we let this happen.

Famine is obscene, in a world as rich as ours.

Let’s do something about it.

Can you make saving kids your hobby today, too? Or at least your birthday present to me?

Thank you, for everything.

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Two years and…

My sister has a cake business and let me use this picture in exchange for free advertising--email me if you're interested in ordering a cake!

I’m in a sort of reflective mood right now anyway–the end of the semester always prompts that in me, as I look back on what my students and I have accomplished together–and, with the new baby coming, I’m acutely aware of how much my life has changed in the past couple of years, and of how many new changes are coming, too.

So, on this, the second anniversary of when I started this blog at the urging of some of my many fabulous former students, I’m linking to the top 10 posts of the past year, according to comment and view volume (both here and in my Twitter and Facebook feeds). Later this year, I’m going to rerun some of my own, personal favorite posts, during the weeks following the arrivals of the fourth baby Lewis, when I’ll quite honestly be too sleep-deprived to do much else. In some cases, your favorites and mine overlap. But this day is fully yours. Without any further reminiscing on my part, here are your (collective) favorite posts from May 2010-April 2011.

Thank you for reading, which gives me so much: an excuse to read and write and think about all of this, the richness of an online community (and its nexus with my offline ones), challenges to my conclusions which often provoke new lines of inquiry, and the chance to bridge this transition time in my career with the luxury of some contemplation. I appreciate you, even more today than two years ago.

In no particular order, the Top 10 of the past year:

  • Kiss Me, I’m Mexican
  • Starting where people are: When Life Interrupts Activism
  • Going Public, and Being a Whole Mom
  • In Search of the Tipping Point: Why Groups Matter
  • Social Justice and the School Finance Formula
  • Resetting our Default: Making Change Reflexive
  • Dear Santa, Please Bring me Immigration Reform
  • The Morning After: what it means for social workers
  • The Future of our Female-Dominated Profession
  • Is a feminist uprising the traditional ninth anniversary gift, or the modern?

    Thank you again, and happy anniversary to us!

  • Happy Anniversary to Us!

    squared circles, Leo Reynolds via Flickr

    No, it’s not my wedding anniversary (that’s August 18th, for anyone so inclined!). It’s OUR anniversary, together–the anniversary of when I launched this blog and some of you began reading and commenting along with me. Yay!

    Apparently, the traditional first anniversary gift is paper, so feel free to print this out. The modern first anniversary gift is a clock. Please see above.

    And, as an extra present, here are the 10 most viewed/commented upon (on the blog and on Facebook) posts of the past year. Thank you, all of you, for making this whole endeavor so very, very much fun.

    10. Social Work Ethics and Social Media
    9. Top 10 Things we should be paying attention to in 2010
    8. I’m a social worker, too! Guest post by Heather Bradley-Geary
    7. How Organizing Made me a Better Parent
    6. Too Vulnerable for Empowerment?
    5. Wither the Nonprofit?
    4. So you want to have a marcha?
    3. Why isn’t popular education more, well, popular with social workers?
    2. I’ve found my people–Building Movement
    1. The Shame of a Nation, and this Mommy

    Help Requested–What do social workers need to know about advocacy?

    I’ll be presenting to a group of about 50 social workers in late September, and the title of the workshop (which runs about 3 hours) is “Advocacy in Tough Times.” I’m starting to work on the agenda now, and I know I want to include some content on the legalities of advocacy, social workers’ ethical mandate to engage in advocacy, some of the current budget context, how-tos (including not only lobbying but also regulatory and media advocacy, how to involve clients), and some success stories. And I want to give them a chance to practice lobbying and media interviews and do some action planning regarding how to integrate advocacy into their own organizations.

    I know, it’s already A LOT. And I’ll have handouts–lobbying tips, how to write a letter to teh editor, state budget and political overviews, web links, tips for working with media…

    But, before I get too far down the planning road, I want to know what you think that social workers/nonprofit leaders need to know about advocacy. If you were in this workshop, what would you most want to walk away with? What parts of the advocacy process are most daunting to you? What advice/assistance has been or would be most helpful? Please let me know–and I’ll be happy to share what I work up with you, too!

    A Little Housekeeping

    First, thank you to everyone who has let me know that they have enjoyed something here! It is a lot of fun for me, and a good outlet, but it’s very vulnerable to have so much of yourself ‘out there’, so it has been so encouraging to hear from people.

    My chief technology aide, my wonderful husband Kory, has fixed it so that, if anyone wants to, you can get an RSS feed (which I didn’t know existed until about 2 months ago–I’m learning so much!) or an email subscription to the site. Either of which would just delight me to no end! Let me know if you have questions about anything (and I’ll ask Kory to figure out the answer so that I can give it to you!).

    What is this?

    For about a year now, my students have been asking me to start a website with a blog so that they can still have access to our course materials and (Bless them for asking!) my thoughts on advocacy, policy analysis, community organizing, and all of this ‘stuff’ that we social workers call macro practice. Unfortunately, there is a dearth of social workers engaged in this kind of practice, and many of us who are long for more colleagues and mentors to help us on these journeys. My course materials (most of them, at least) are uploaded on the topic pages here, with commentary that hopefully puts them in some context. And on this main page, I’ll try to post at least a few times a week with thoughts related to advocacy alerts, professional writings with social work advocacy relevance, commentary on current events, tips for nonprofit advocates, and, when I can get around to it, book reviews. I welcome comments from current and former students as well as other advocates committed to advocacy, based in social work values and ethics, towards a goal of sound public policy that reflects a concern with human well-being.