Thinking like a social worker

…any questions? Yes. I have plenty.

Monday Morning Share: July was intense

Did I mention July was intense!?

Congress trying to cut SNAP, Wendy Davis standing up for women’s rights, Supreme Court taking away voting rights, Supreme court acknowledging rights of LBTQ families, everyone ignoring the sequester’s affect on food and housing, George Zimmerman being acquitted, and more that hasn’t crossed my radar.

Does your brain ever hurt trying to work through systemic issues that plague our country?

My brain is hurting today.

I am taking time to read many thoughtful articles discussing the implications of Trayvon’s tragic death, and the trail that followed.

  1. www.relandothompkins.com/2013/07/14/how-does-it-feel-to-be-a-problem/
  2. thesocietypages.org/socimages/2013/07/13/stand-your-ground-laws-increases-racial-bias-in-justifiable-homicide-trials/
  3. thepoliticalfreakshow.us/post/54972680080/race-reversal-a-hypothetical-scenario-of-what
  4. thegrio.com/2013/07/20/op-ed-coping-with-the-zimmerman-verdict-through-letters-from-my-incarcerated-father/
  5. blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/black-folks-its-time-to-stop-taking-care-of-white-people
  6. thefeministwire.com/2013/07/were-not-raising-trayvon-the-difference-whiteness-makes/
  7. And a list of articles I have not read yet: http://billmoyers.com/2013/07/15/recommended-reading-trayvon-martin-murder-trial-reactions

At the same time, I am reading about our government’s attempt to slash funds to housing and food for individuals and families in poverty.

  1. http://www.thenation.com/blog/175268/week-poverty-confronting-congressional-hunger-games#axzz2ZcHc55kq
  2. http://povertyandpolicy.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/what-will-happen-to-food-stamp-benefits-now/

While I read reflections on the George Zimmerman case, I reflect on my own prejudices and white privilege. As I read about our government taking away access to basic necessities, I can’t help but to think about who is deserving and undeserving of those necessities.

If I still have beliefs that are oppressive and judgmental and just plain wrong, what is the rest of America thinking?

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2013: The year of firsts

Like many social workers, I am a born goal setter.  I am not sure exactly where I want to be in my life, but damn if I am not setting myself up for something great. I like to stay involved, give back, and learn as much as I can.  During 2013, I have been focusing on my personal growth, which has led to many firsts:

January – 1st time sitting on a selection committee for award nominees

February – 1st time on Jury Duty

March – 1st time participating in LGBTQ youth discussion group

April – 1st time leading a grief support group

May – 1st time having coffee with a professor and 1st time participating in a book club

June – 1st time putting on a conference and the 1st time paying out-of-pocket for a training

So, I am branding 2013 “The Year of Firsts.”  I plan to fill the rest of 2013 with many more firsts, both big and small, by having a new “first” each month of the year.  Some I have already planned – running my first marathon, taking my first post-college art class, getting involved with my first VA governor’s race, and others will form by making the commitment to firsts.  Even if the goal is cheesy, it will lead to new experiences.  All experiences, good and bad, lead to personal growth. So, 2013 will be filled many firsts and much growth!

What cheesy goals have you set for yourself this year?  What new experiences have you committed to in 2013?

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