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News Items – July 1, 2020

news items logo oneZander Keig is a member:
Trans Latino Man Named 2020’s Social Worker of the Year
This year, trans advocate and military veteran Zander Keig made history when the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) awarded him the honor of Social Worker of the Year. “Zander Keig’s large body of work personifies the spirit and mission of the social work profession, the love of service to others, and the heart for social justice,” said NASW’s CEO, Angelo McClain, Ph.D., LICSW, when the announcement was made. “He is a compassionate man who is also a strong advocate, especially for groups of people our society ignores, misunderstands or stigmatizes.”

A transgender and Latino soldier in the war against discrimination
Al Día
Last year, President Trump began his crusade against transgender military members with an argument that proves his government’s intolerance of minorities of all kinds. Transgender soldiers, Trump claimed, impose huge medical costs on the Defense Department. That way, they could only continue to serve their country if they agreed not to make the transition. Zander Keig, who has served for years in the Coast Guard, found the move to be bad news. “I served before the DADT [Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell] during the ‘witch-hunt days’ as a lesbian — I understand the frustration of not being able to openly serve my country and have my ability questioned,” he told Advocate.

State leaders, organizations speak out after House, Senate pass bill to change state flag
From the National Association of Social Workers MS Chapter: “NASW-MS Chapter and its members are proud of the bipartisan support by our Mississippi Legislature and leadership for taking a bold step of progress. We join together with other organizations in ensuring advocacy, change, and inclusion for all Mississippians.”

Kathryn Wehrmann was president of NASW:
Social workers for police reform
The News-Gazette (Champaign, IL)
As the president of the National Association of Social Workers, I would like to share the stand we take with regard to the administration’s executive order on policing. It is wholly inadequate. The Justice in Policing Act (H.R. 7120), introduced on June 8 by social worker Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, comes close to getting it right.

Claire Green-Forde is executive director of NASW-NYC:
[Video] City Considering Letting Social Workers Take Lead When NYPD Responds To Calls Involving People With Mental Illness
It comes as city leaders consider transferring the responsibility of responding to people with mental illness from police to social workers as part of broader reform efforts. “My approach has to be one of understanding that I am not reasoning with a mind that is fully there,” said Dr. Claire Green-Forde, the executive director of New York City’s chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

Ryan Ivory is a member, and regional director of NASW-OH Region 7:
IDEAS: Why is racism a public health crisis? How does declaring it one help?
Dayton Daily News
As stated in our proposal, “By redefining racism as the embedded and entrenched belief system, we can create new ways of living, policing and governing, as well as ways of distributing resources more equitably because we see our collective common interests.” By naming racism a crisis, the momentum of this moment enables us to begin having honest anti-racism conversations through all sectors of society: social work, law, counseling, medicine, sociology, etc.

Donna Oriowo is a member:
What Is Fetishizing? Here’s Why This Racist Behavior Isn’t OK
Elite Daily
When you hear the word “fetish,” what comes to mind? Probably feet, or generally, the idea of getting sexual gratification from objects or body parts that aren’t typically seen as sexual. You can also have a fetish toward a particular kind of sex, like anal or group sex. Fetishes aren’t particularly unhealthy — the word is often used interchangeably with “kink” — but when it comes to fetishizing people of color for stereotypical or race-related attributes, you’re engaging in extremely harmful behavior that puts unwarranted emphasis on race by sexualizing it. According to Dr. Donna Oriowo, LICSW and founder of AnnodRight, a therapy clinic geared towards women of color with a focus on sex and relationships, fetishizing POC for their race is offensive, no matter which way you spin it.

Tonya Rhodes and Leslie Cloninger are members:
[Video] Mental Wellness with MindPath: Feeling Safe in Relationships
MindPath Care Centers hosts an online video discussion about how people can find safety and validation in their relationships. Whether those relationships are romantic, platonic, or familial, we offer advice and guidance on how to recognize what safety looks like, how to establish healthy communication skills with the other person, and how to listen to yourself and others with compassion and understanding. Join Wilson therapist Tonya Rhodes, MSW, LCSW, Raleigh counselor Jessica DaSilva, LCMHC, NADD, and Durham-based therapist Leslie Cloninger, LCSW, LCASA to learn more on how you can help yourself and others feel safer in relationships.

Gale Dean is a member:
Nearly 2,000 families affected by COVID-19 receive financial support from LA insurance agency
According to the release, 500 families along the I-20 corridor were given gift cards as well. New Horizons Independent Living is one of the organizations that has been distributing the cards to client families in need, according to Gale Dean, LCSW, Executive Director. “This unprecedented epidemic truly requires all of us working together to address the challenges faced by local families,” Dean noted. “We are fortunate to have partners like Louisiana Healthcare Connections that share our commitment to helping families affected by COVID-19 to get the resources and services they need when they need it most.”

Kat Geiger is a member:
[Video] Thrive Wellness continues to serve patients during pandemic
With the pandemic going on and Black Lives Matter protest happening around the world it puts a lot of stress on people. Kat Geiger, LCSW and founder of Thrive Wellness of Reno says, “Avoidance is never the way to go. So finding a way to learn and educate yourself about the protest, about the perspective of BIPOC people. So I think that’s incredibly important and talking about it and not staying silent.”

Jacqueline Tangires is a member:
Caregiver Well-Being is Key!
The Avenue News
The BCDA Caregivers Program would like to share some helpful tips that was presented during the first Caregiver Support Network on Wednesday evening. Jackie Tangires, LCSW of The Options Group, presented on the topic of caregiver stress and healthy strategies to care for oneself. Stress can cause negative changes to the body, and worsen other health condition symptoms. Exhaustion, panic attacks, resentment, headaches, feeling overwhelmed, among others are common symptoms of stress.

Necole Muhammad is a member:
‘What if I don’t get better?’ Some COVID-19 survivors struggle with symptoms for weeks, even months, mystifying doctors.
Chicago Tribune
Necole Muhammad of the Roseland neighborhood tested positive for COVID-19 in mid-May but said her symptoms began weeks prior to the diagnosis. The first thing she noticed was a strange metallic flavor in her mouth. Then she lost her sense of smell and taste. The cough and shortness of breath were moderate. Headaches felt “like a vise – someone squeezing a vise” around her head, she said. Muhammad said she never had a fever, but the exhaustion and chills were intense…. “Here’s the scary part,” said Muhammad, a 47-year-old licensed clinical social worker. “You are sick and you can’t, there’s nothing really you can do about it, except try to build up your immune system.”

Anisah Miley is a member:
Helpful Tips for Anyone Experiencing Mental Health Issues for the First Time Right Now
“Since the onset of the pandemic, I have seen an uptick in the number of people seeking therapy to address grief, anxiety, depression, and trauma symptoms,” Anisah Miley, a licensed clinical social worker based in New York City, tells Allure. “People are struggling to cope with grief associated with the loss of family and friends, the loss of livelihood, financial resources, role, and purpose, the loss of everyday social connections, and the loss of one’s sense that the world is a safe place.”

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