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Saturday, December 1

From the Pen of the Executive Director: December 2018

Joel L. Rubin, MSW, ACSW, CAE
NASW-Illinois Chapter Executive Director

After ten years in the Loop in Chicago, NASW-Illinois Chapter has a new home in Lincoln Park. As with many things in the chapter, our evolution reflects the changing nature of how we do our work. Our smaller space will enable chapter professional staff to be more flexible in how we can serve member needs. Thank you for your patience during the move as it may have taken a bit longer to respond to member questions and requests.

Our move coincided with a wide array of chapter events, as well as a sobering number of racist and anti-Semitic events that have struck at the core of our professional values.

In search of answers to counter the increasing amount of internecine hatred, it was helpful to wake up on November 7th to encouraging election news both here in our state and throughout the country. Many of our association’s federal (NASW PACE) and state endorsements (NASW-IL PAC) won their elections. Included in the 2018 winners in the state is Karina Villa, LCSW, an NASW-IL member who is now the state representative-elect for the 49th Illinois House District. Karina is now the sole social worker in the Illinois House General Assembly. I had the honor to canvas in her district on a couple of occasions during the campaign, together with Kyle Hillman, our director of legislative affairs, Kristen Rubbelkhe, the NASW-IL PAC Chair, and former NASW-IL intern and PAC organizer Billy Dwyer. A big shout out to all of them for their tireless work in getting out the vote.

Immediately preceding our move, the chapter presented our third biannual The Business of Social Work one-day conference which has been designed to serve the social work entrepreneur as well as the leadership needs and aspirations of our members. Thank you to all the many speakers who volunteered their time to share expertise with attendees and to our sponsor, NASW Assurance Services, Inc. At the chapter board of directors meeting the day before the conference, our outstanding 2018 statewide awards were presented. Once again, congratulations to all of this year’s awardees: Patricia Rivera, MSW, LCSW, ACSW, Lifetime Achievement; Michelle Adler-Morrison, MSW, LCSW, Social Worker of the Year; Carolyn Wahlskog, MSW, LCSW, Emerging Leader; and Jennifer Enriquez, Esq., Public Citizen of the Year. Their bios can be found here.

A couple of additional reminders and notes:

Just a reminder about the 2019 Natalie M. Ross Scholarship for Professional Development in Aging. This scholarship is intended to support an NASW-Illinois Chapter member and Illinois resident, who, while not working in the field of aging, is interested in exploring the field and the opportunities it presents for social workers. The award will be used to support the recipient’s attendance at the Annual American Society on Aging’s (ASA) Aging in America Conference. The award honors Natalie Ross, PhD, LCSW, who has always felt that the passion generated at ASA’s conferences is infectious, and that conference attendance is a highly effective way to encourage social workers to work with an aging population. For more information and to apply, click here.

Save the date! Our next Social Work Workforce Initiative meeting is scheduled for Friday, April 12, 2019, in the Chicago area. This gathering will build on the work of the past meetings in central Illinois and in Chicago earlier this year. More information will be forthcoming. If you are an employer or social work educator, please do not hesitate to contact me at jrubin [dot] naswil [at] socialworkers [dot] org.

It is hard to believe that 2019 is right around the corner and with it, the second year of the licensure renewal cycle. We are in the planning stages of a wide range of free CEU trainings around the state for members to complete their CEU requirements. Keep tuned to your bi-monthly e-mails from us for more details.

Enjoy the upcoming holiday season, whichever festival you may be celebrating!

Joel L. Rubin, MSW, ACSW, CAE, has served as executive director of the 7,000 member Illinois Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) since October 1999. He has over twenty-five years of nonprofit management and fundraising experience including extensive work with boards of directors, committees and volunteers, and advocacy around a wide variety of social work, human service, and international political issues. Joel is a graduate of the Wexner Heritage Fellowship Leadership Program and a current adjunct professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago Jane Addams College of Social Work as well as Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work.

Posted on 12/01/18 at 08:00 AM


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