National Professional Social Work Month began in 1963 when the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) chose the month of March to highlight social service agencies throughout America. In 1984, with the support of Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii and Representative Edolphus Towns of New York, President Ronald Reagan signed a joint resolution legally recognizing March as Social Work Month. NASW has chosen various themes over the years and this year’s theme is All People Matter. The history of the profession itself goes back even further, to 1898, when the first social work class was offered at Columbia University. Today, more than 650,000 people have degrees in social work, and there are nine social workers serving in the U.S. Congress. As a MSW myself, I know firsthand the passion that drives these individuals as they work to better society.
Below are some of my favorite quotes from social workers:
True peace is not merely the absence of war, it is the presence of justice. -Jane Addams, Social Worker, founder of Hull House, and a Noble Peace Prize winner
We have to realize we are building a movement. –Dr. Dorothy I.Height, Social Worker and Civil Rights activist
You are the stars and the world is watching you. By your presence, you send a message to every village, every city, every nation. A message of hope. A message of victory. -Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Social Worker and Founder of the Special Olympics
On September 14, 2001, I placed the lone vote against the “Authorization for Use of Military Force.” An authorization that I knew would provide a blank check to wage war anywhere, at any time, and for any length. -Barbara Lee, Social Worker and U.S. Representative for California
Each one of us can make a difference. Together we make change. –Barbara Mikulski, Social Worker and U.S. Senator for Maryland
The door might not be opened to a woman again for a long, long time and I had a kind of duty to other women to walk in and sit down on the chair that was offered, and so establish the right of others long hence and far distant in geography to sit in the high seats. -Frances Perkins, Social Worker and first woman Cabinet Member
I would like to wish my colleagues a happy Social Work Month. Thank you for all you do for individuals, families, organizations, and communities.
Be a leader, like these compassionate social workers, and move to action TODAY.