LG: Karla, we held our first Board Meeting of the year on January 9, just three days after the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol. I wondered how it would feel to try to focus on Society business in the aftermath of this latest horrific and tragic event, especially since the assault on the Capitol felt so personal, right in our own backyard.
I was frankly so appreciative to see everyone on Zoom, and know many of us felt really glad to be together and support each other. I started the meeting with a question, asking our members:
What is your WOTY-- Word of the Year -- for 2021?
I explained that each year, I choose one single word to be my focus and guidance for the upcoming new year, to help me orient my efforts, time and energy. I try to find something meaningful that will point me in the direction I want to go, a kind of internal and intentional compass, as I make decisions.
What WOTY, I asked, can encourage and support you to be the best personal and professional version of yourself? This prompted a wonderful sharing of thoughts and feelings. Some words that our Board suggested included: hope, walk, connection, family, hugs, cultivate, lightness, gratitude, perseverance, positive, sankofa, enjoy, and center.
What stood out for you from this meeting?
KA: Our Treasurer reported that we are in better shape financially than we had predicted. Our active membership numbers are up. We have some continuing education programs ready to roll out for this year. And I like that we are reversing an earlier decision so that all MSW students who register for programs can become automatic members for free, to take advantage of our list serve and be immediately active in the Society.
LG: The good financial news means we can continue to support our lobbyists who help us with legislative and advocacy issues, and continue to employ our wonderful Executive Administrator, Donna Dietz, who does so much for us behind the scenes every week.
KA: We also began to discuss ideas for the next annual dinner. In the past, we combined the required annual business meeting with a catered or potluck dinner. We are now looking at options for the Fall of 2022, when we can hopefully be together safely in person. We want an event that will be separate from the business meeting and focus on fun and community, a time to meet and greet each other in a venue that is welcoming and open.
LG: Our Communications Committee told us about their plans for more social media presence, updating the website and having sections for people at all stages of career and development.
KA: One of my areas of interest is our efforts for students and we have a University Liaison Committee chaired by Frances Wu who is planning events to reach out to area universities this Spring. I look forward to all we can do to reach out to the social workers who are now entering the field and have them be a part of our membership.
LG: Judy Gallant, Director of our Legislation and Advocacy Branch and Committee Chairs Judy Ratcliff, Wayne Martin, and Margot Aronson spoke to us about the legislative challenges in our tri-state area. In Maryland there is a proposed change to reduce the number of required hours of supervision for people to get their clinical license from 144 to 100 hours. Both Virginia and DC already have the 100-hour requirement. But this is under discussion for GWSCSW; although we support the idea we want to know and think about what other requirements should be in place to make sure that clinicians are well trained and prepared.
KA: As always, we want to encourage our members to take an active role in the Society. We have lots of committees for members to join and we would love to have you help us move the Society forward into 2021. There is a need for presenters for Zoom CE workshops, or we could use leaders for study groups, and of course, its wonderful to have members attend events. We welcome everyone to join us in keeping our Society relevant, strong and inclusive.
Please watch for this “Afterword” each month to learn more. For those who want to join a committee to be more active, click here to let us know about your interests and someone will reach out to you.
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