Contact: Brittney Dabney, Office of Communicationa, Public Relations and Marketing
The Tuskegee University Social Work Department Field Education has teamed up with the National Voter Mobilization Campaign: Voting is Social Work. The national campaign highlights that social justice is a core principle of social work – it involves practice and calls for ensuring meaningful participation in decision making for all people.
In this time of COVID-19 and the growing realization about the impact of race on politics and the right to vote “Voting is Social Work,” a nonprofit nonpartisan organization provides social work students and practitioners with the knowledge and tools to raise awareness about voting and to increase voting registration and participation.
“We do this work through our National Social Work Voter Mobilization Campaign which strives to integrate nonpartisan voter registration and engagement into social work education and practice,” explained Chair of the Social Work Department, Dr. April Jones. “As such, the field education courses will integrate voter engagement into the field agencies and the classrooms,” she continued.
“Social work practice is with the individual and society in an intersection, which makes the social work profession well aligned to have a vital role in voter registration,” said Jones. “It's a known fact that most social workers participate in political activities and vote at higher rates than the general population.” “Most of our work and funding of social services depends on 2020 election and the census outcomes – I am proud of the social work field education faculty and students for being a part of this national campaign,” Jones emphasized.
Andrea Imafidon, field director says it’s important to bring voter engagement to field practice because it reinforces the college’s competencies; in addition to embodying the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics and social work values. “Our field education interns, faculty, and campus organization, and social work alliance encourage others to get out and vote,” she noted.
“As social workers, part of our responsibilities includes being change agents, advocates, policymakers and champions of social injustice and progressive politics,” noted Imafidon. “We are elated to join “Voting is Social Work,” and help bring policy and political awareness to the communities we serve.
Senior social work major student, Julia Johnson, is interviewing a social worker and local and state politician for her internship. During her internship she plans to discuss how social work policies affect funding and resources for child welfare.
“I never realized that social work and politics intertwined to help propel our vulnerable communities and social service agencies forward,” noted Johnson.
The social work student learning experience doesn't stop with field education interns having a “Voting Registration Day,” in the office, it continues with the nonprofit formed by social work students in the 1980's, the Social Work Alliance, to reach out to the campus and other communities through a social media campaign #SOWKVote.
On October 28, a virtual film screening and panel discussion of Rigged- The Voter Suppression Playbook, will be held at 7 p.m. CST via Zoom. The free screening of RIGGED has been selected for seven film festivals and featured on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, Texas Monthly & Sirius XM. It was principally filmed during the 2016 election and exposes the nefarious playbook of voter suppression tactics being used to subvert the growing demographic tide of non-white and younger voters from fully participating in America’s democracy.
Following the screening, a panel discussion consisting of world recognized experts and faculty from Tuskegee will lead the conversation on the importance of voting and how students can make a difference. For more information about ballots, how to register vote contact Maya Martin firstname.lastname@example.org at Andrea Imafidon email@example.com. To register for the event by 4 pm CST today visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/virtual-screening-of-rigged-with-tuskegee-university-tickets-124728170315
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