National Social Work Voter Mobilization Campaign

June 5, 2018

Dear NADD Colleagues,

The NADD Board has endorsed the National Social Work Voter Mobilization Campaign. We are asking each Dean and Director to pledge to participate in the non-partisan Campaign in any number of ways. I have included two flyers that can be circulated.

As you know, voter engagement is clearly central to social work values. Both the NASW Code of Ethics and CSWE (EPAS) endorse activism. Yet studies show that (1) many social workers still wrongly believe that voter mobilization is partisan, illegal or unimportant and (2) the profession has been slow to incorporate non-partisan voter engagement as an important part of its mission.

Therefore The Campaign seeks to:

  • Raise awareness of the importance of voting to social work practice and social policy,
  • Promote trainings that refute the prevailing myths,
  • Explain why voting matters to the social work community,
  • Integrate voter engagement activities into field education for all micro and macro students,
  • Offer voter mobilization skills and strategies for field instructors, staff, students and faculty,
  • Ensure that all the people we serve have access to the vote.

The support of Deans, Directors and Chairs is most important to the success of the Campaign. Our participation as leaders of social work education programs allows us to reach thousands of faculty, students, and field instructors who can make a huge difference in mobilizing our clients and constituencies and ourselves. Students and field instructors together with agency staff have access to millions of highly under-represented clients and communities, including those most likely to be targeted by voter suppression and gerrymandering laws.

The Campaign offers support, training, and materials to agencies, field supervisors, students and faculty to help them register clients and other wise engage voters across the nation. Please print and copy the attached flyers for use by schools and agencies/the field.

In addition to NADD, to date the Campaign is endorsed by the following social work organizations (list in formation): Council of Social Work Education, North American Network of Field Educators and Directors (NANFED); Council of Field Education (COFE) of CSWE; Association for Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA); Influencing Social Policy (ISP); #MacroSW; Network for Social Work Management (NSWM); the Special Commission to Advance Macro Practice in Social Work, and several NASW State Chapters. The list is growing!

We are updating our website www.votingsissocialwork.org and people can reach the Campaign through info@votingissocialwork.org. Please feel free contact us, Terry Mizrahi tmizrahi@nyc.rr.com or Mimi Abramowitz mimiabramovitz@gmail.com, Co-Chair

We ask you to pledge to participate in this important effort to enhance the visibility and voice of the social work profession. Once you sign on to our website, there will be ways to pledge as well as identify a liaison from your institution or program to the Campaign.

Please consider distribution of the attached flyers and helping get the word out to students. Please consider placement of the flyers on your websites to include information on the project. I will continue to send messages in support of the Voter Campaign.

Thanks so much for your time!

Martell

Martell Teasley
President of NADD

Flyer #1 (PDF)

Flyer #2 (PDF)

Programs participating in the Voter Mobilization Campaign:

Bryn Mawr College
Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research (PA)

– Launching orientation in the fall with a “Voting is Social Work” introduction
– Connecting with field instructors around how to integrate voter mobilization and strategies with students in the context of their agency based practice experiences

Barry University School of Social Work (FL)
Legislative Advocacy and Social Work Education: Models and New Strategies (PDF)
– Participate in the Voter Mobilization Campaign by intensifying current annual voter drive efforts
– Began more intense student related initiatives this fall
– Will post mobilization effort on the website
– Contact persons: Dr. Fabio Naranjo (fnaranjo@barry.edu) and Philip Giarraffa (pgiarraffa@barry.edu)

Rutgers University School of Social Work (NJ)
– Completed orientation video: This is Why We Vote, from New Era Colorado (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ghNR4JCENI)
– Alumna from the League of Women Voters registering students each year and celebrating her 50th year as a Rutgers Social Work graduate

West Chester University Department of Graduate Social Work (PA)
– Engaging in voter mobilization throughout this academic year with support from an MSW intern
– Fall Events:
Voter registration campaign
Get-out-the-vote campaign
Panel
– Spring Events:
UConn Campaign School
Bus trip to attend CRISP Student Advocacy Day
– Diane Frain, main point of contact: DF861531@wcupa.edu

University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work (TX)
– Launched a College-wide Voter Engagement and Political Justice Initiative that will involve multiple events leading up to election day
Below are three 2-pagers explaining the initiative and the various activities. The initiative is funded by CSWE and the New York Community Trust.
Training Flyer (PDF)
Voting Flyer (PDF)
Voter Engagement Flyer (PDF)
– Kick-off event involved training for students to become Volunteer Deputy Voter Registrars so they can register others to vote (Texas requires that individuals who register voters be trained and deputized by county officials)
– Deputized over 100 students in this training

University of Utah College of Social Work (UT)
– Partnered with NASW to get students registered to vote