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Saturday, September 1

From the Pen of the Executive Director: September 2018

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

Fifty years ago, almost to the day, the now infamous refrain, “The Whole World’s Watching,” became canonized in American culture and politics following the drama in the streets of Chicago during the 1968 Democratic Convention. That fall’s election will go down in history as one of country’s more memorable and began what seems to be our country’s nonstop culture wars that are now front and center in American discourse. That’s why our upcoming statewide elections on November 6, 2018, and US Congressional elections are so vital. As you can see from the content of our beginning of the month e-blast, getting social workers active during this coming fall campaign is so important. Included in the current update are NASW-IL PAC endorsements, as well as updates on Governor Rauner signing our signature bill, SB5122, into law. As highlighted on our website, “Voting is Social Work.”

It has been an eventful summer in the chapter, starting with the exciting news that chapter president Mary Gollings gave birth to a baby boy, Henry Ralph. Congratulations to Mary, Henry Ralph, and Mary’s husband, Jerry. I am not sure about other NASW Chapters, but this appears to be the first time an NASW-Illinois Chapter President has given birth while in office! Mary is keeping good company with US Senator Tammy Duckworth who gave birth to a baby girl this past April, thus becoming the first sitting US Senator to have a baby while in office!

The following are just some of the highlights of this summer’s activities:

The chapter is continuing its Social Work Workforce Development Initiative which brought together major social work and social service employers and leadership from the schools of social work throughout the state back in April 2018. Kenna Johnson, MBA, MSW, LCSW, NASW-Illinois Chapter East Central District Chair, and director of Behavioral Health at Gibson Area Hospital and Health Services in Gibson City, Illinois, will be chairing this initiative. Our next gathering will take place in Normal, IL on September 13, 2018. This initiative has been highlighted in the inaugural issue of Social Work Advocates, national NASW’s new membership publication.

The NASW-Illinois Chapter Awards Committee, chaired by Three Rivers District Chair Mary Abbott, and her committee, comprised of Northeastern District Chair Lynn Zakeri and outgoing Calumet District Chair Christine Escobar-Sawicki, selected this year’s 2018 Statewide Social Work Award winners. There were many outstanding nominations. This year’s winners include the following:

  • SOCIAL WORKER OF THE YEAR: Michelle Adler-Morrison, MSW, LCSW
  • EMERGING LEADER: Carolyn Wahlskog, MSW, LCSW
  • PUBLIC CITIZEN OF THE YEAR: Jennifer Enriquez, Esq.

Bios and achievements of this year’s winners can be found on the chapter homepage.

This past July, the national NASW launched its MyNASW Member Community, a new members online community. Many Illinois members are participating and exchanging ideas around topics of concern to social workers. If you haven’t joined yet, you can at https://mynasw.socialworkers.org/home.

The national NASW office is now accepting subscriptions to the new CE Tracker which is now live and accepting subscriptions. You can view the direct product on InReach.

Please join us at our third biannual The Business of Social Work: 2018 NASW-Illinois Chapter Conference. It will take place at The Hilton Lisle on Thursday, October 25, 2018. You can register at www.naswilmeets.org.

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 09/01/18 at 08:00 AM


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