The need for advocacy does not stop for a pandemic. Students in SW 840: Advanced Marco Practice with Dr. Laura Dresser and Dr. Dan Meyer adapted to the realities of Covid-19 and social distancing and completed advocacy projects on issues they, as soon-to-be social workers, care deeply about.
Assigned to identify an issue important to social workers and find allied organizations already working on the issue, students completed strategic advocacy efforts and compiled their resources on project websites. These projects represent a commitment to social justice outlined in the NASW’s Code of Ethics and the varied targets of social change – from policy makers and legislators, to funders both local and national.
The efforts and examples of 32 different advocacy projects are outlined on this website.
Some students, like Jazmine, met with Wisconsin State Senator Mark Miller before quarantine to discuss a gap that exists for low-income students at UW-Madison who do not qualify for BadgerCare – meaning many of these are unable to afford healthcare. Ally met with Senator Fred Risser and Representative Lisa Subeck to discuss the importance of maternal and child health programs and funding. Aracely created an art installation piece with Voces De La Frontera to address the detreating health conditions of individuals locked in ICE detention centers. Many students wrote letters. Carlee wrote her legislators and created a letter template for friends and family to contact their legislators to address policy related to the social isolation of older adults. Lizzy turned to Twitter – creating a social media campaign aimed at overturning the Transgender Military Ban.
The examples of these advanced macro practice students highlight the variety of forms advocacy takes, the importance of allyship, and the role social workers play in creating change beyond individuals.