WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Association of Social Workers is pleased to announce Indiana social worker Kimber Nicoletti-Martinez is the recipient of the National Social Worker of the Year Award for her tireless work in preventing sexual violence, particularly among often marginalized populations such as farm workers and people who are Latinx or LGBTQ.
“Sexual violence is a serious problem that can have long-term emotional effects on survivors, their family, friends, and communities,” said NASW CEO Angelo McClain, PhD, LICSW. “Prevention work in this sensitive area can also be daunting. However, Ms. Nicoletti-Martinez has brought a high level of commitment, creativity, and solid social work practice into addressing this issue.”
The NASW National Social Worker of the Year Award honors a member of the association who has demonstrated the best of the profession’s values and achievements through specific accomplishments. The award also highlights superb accomplishments in the practice of social work.
The accomplishments of Kimber Nicoletti-Martinez, MSW, LCSW, are impressive. She developed the Multicultural Efforts to End Sexual Assault (MESA) at Purdue University’s Department of Youth Development and Agricultural Education. MESA is a statewide program in Indiana committed to preventing sexual violence in multicultural communities and other underserved and underrepresented populations in Indiana, including people who are Latinx immigrant, Native American, or LGBTQ.
Nicoletti-Martinez created the first farm worker child sexual abuse prevention effort and is a member of the Just Beginnings Collaborative which is a platform created to advance the movement to end child sexual abuse. She also developed sexual violence prevention programs targeted specifically to farmworker communities; Indiana’s first campus-based violence prevention program aimed at people who are LGBTQ; and bilingual and bicultural mental health services in community health clinics.
Her work has already gained attention as she was recognized by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the first sexual violence prevention advocate focused on migrant farmworker communities. She was also named NASW Indiana Chapter Social Worker of the Year in 2017, Inspirational Leader at the Indiana Coalition Ending Sexual Assault and was recently profiled in Latina Magazine.
“NASW is proud to honor Ms. Nicoletti-Martinez with the Social Worker of the Year Award,” McClain said. “She is an exemplary social worker who has had the courage and integrity to be a champion, an advocate and a voice for people our society often marginalizes.”
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.