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Using YouTube to share social work experiences

Donzell Lampkins, MSW, LSW

Donzell Lampkins, MSW, LSW

National Association of Social Workers member Donzell Lampkins is using Youtube videos to talk about issues ranging from life as a graduate student, to the realities of being a black male social worker to the latest racial flap involving H&M stores and the unfortunate words put on a hoodie worn by a black child.

Social Workers Speak talked with Lampkins, MSW, LSW, who is a high school counselor in Illinois, about why he wants to share his opinions via video and whether more social workers should do the same thing.

Q: What made you decide to use YouTube to talk about issues that interest you?

Lampkins: I’m a natural servant leader so I’m always trying to find ways to serve communities and as well as help others. It’s what keeps me going. I’m subscribed to a number of YouTube channels that I respect. As I watch their videos, a part of me would yearn to start a channel, but fear stopped me. One day I woke up and decided that I could not waste another day silencing myself, which prompted me to begin uploading videos to YouTube to discuss relevant issues and to share my lived experience. It’s also the top video-sharing website!

Q: Do you think such videos are a vehicle other social workers can use?

Lampkins: Definitely! I create my videos to be a resource to inform and inspire. I believe that more social workers should utilize this platform to discuss topics and to distribute their latest findings or current trends/hot topics. I love creating spaces to engage in important and meaningful dialogues and to provide an opportunity for persons to release repressed emotions through expressing their viewpoints on my platform where I welcome and celebrate it. Not to mention that nearly 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube everyday so there’s a clear opportunity for your video to go places. It’s up to you to properly promote it and advertise it.

One day I woke up and decided that I could not waste another day silencing myself, which prompted me to begin uploading videos to YouTube to discuss relevant issues and to share my lived experience

Q: How do you make a video? Is it a complicated process?

Lampkins: There are many sophisticated ways of filming, editing, and producing a video. There are also quite simple ways like what I use. I film on my iPad Air 2 and edit on iMovie, a free editing program that’s pre-downloaded on it. After filming and editing, I simply select ‘upload to YouTube’. Both are very user-friendly and a good starting point. If you have a smartphone, you most certainly can use your phone as well. It’s a relatively easy process and there are countless free, easy-to-access resources! If you want to be fancy (I just started), you can create thumbnails, which are cover images to your videos to draw people to click on your video by using a Canva, a free graphic-design tool website to create graphics. It’s very easy to use!

Q: Once your videos are done how do you distribute them?

Lampkins: I typically share my videos on Instagram by creating a thumbnail and posting it onto my page and tagging various prominent social work accounts or social work programs in hopes of it being shared (which is has by Social Workers Official). I also share it on my personal LinkedIn profile as well as posting it into various groups like the NASW Official Group on LinkedIn. I’ve received a lot of positive feedback and support from both platforms.

Social workers help people overcome life’s challenges. To learn more visit the National Association of Social Workers’ HelpStartsHere.org consumer website.

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