NASW-Michigan and Emerge Michigan Partner to Train Social Workers to Run for Office

NASW-Michigan Testimony for Public Hearing Re: House Bills 4188, 4189, 4190 (adoption/foster care)

The National Association of Social Workers – Michigan Chapter (NASW-Michigan) is thrilled to announce a new partnership with Emerge Michigan in order to train social workers to run for public office.

Over the course of the next year, NASW-Michigan and Emerge Michigan will collaborate to host several training events in order to increase the number of social workers in all elected positions. This will include two virtual education events in December 2017 and April 2018, and two in-person trainings in November 2017 and in late spring 2018.

NASW-Michigan encourages social workers to run for office because social workers are a profession of trained communicators, with concrete ideas about how to empower communities. Social workers understand social problems and human relations, are skilled in collaboration and are committed to improving the quality of life for all people.

Executive Director Maxine Thome affirmed that NASW-Michigan is strongly committed to inspiring and motivating social workers toward political leadership, and providing them with the resources and tools necessary for electoral success. As a profession of over 80% women, it was important for us to partner with an organization that focuses on female-identified candidates. To this end, Emerge Michigan is an asset to NASW-Michigan in supporting members and allies who are seeking elected office.

Despite making some gains over the last decade, women are still extremely underrepresented in our decision-making bodies at every level of government,” said Beth Kelly, Executive Director of Emerge Michigan. “At this rate, it’ll be almost a century before we achieve equal representation in our government. That’s just not fast enough. At Emerge Michigan, we’re tackling this problem head on by providing the aspiring female leaders of today with cutting-edge tools and training to run for elected office and elevate themselves in our political system. Our work is having a direct positive impact on the number of women who are choosing to jump into the political arena and are ready to win.

NASW also encourages social workers to offer their professional expertise to campaigns by working as campaign managers, volunteer coordinators, and political directors. These leadership roles can translate into legislative jobs in which social workers can shape policy, and help constituents by working with federal, state, and local agencies to get individuals appropriate resources and assistance.

More information and registration information will be available for social workers at www.nasw-michigan.org.

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