Monday, March 24, 2014

CRISP Launches Virtual Gallery Honoring Contributions of Social Workers in Public Policy

The Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy (CRISP) launched its first virtual gallery featuring a collection of historical photographs that capture the contributions that social workers have made to public policy. In the future, CRISP plans to construct a policy-based gallery/museum.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Furman Center: The Dream Revisited: Integration in the 21st Century online debate

The Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at New York University is running an online debate series entitled, "The Dream Revisited: Integration in the 21st Century." As this is the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty movement and 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision, this debate is both interesting and relevant for the future of this country. This debate focuses on the role that segregation in neighborhoods and schools plays in hindering economic and racial equality:

Both residential and school segregation based on income have risen significantly over the past two decades, at the same time as the gap between rich and poor Americans has reached levels not seen since the early 1900s. There is growing evidence that, contrary to the cherished U.S. ideal of social mobility, disparities in wealth are ever more difficult to overcome and likely to be transmitted from one generation to the next.

I provide two outstanding guest posts from the discussions below:

Thursday, March 13, 2014

New Detroit Study: Economic segregation across racial lines is real in the metro region

A report released by New Detroit, a non-profit formed by business and political leaders in the aftermath of the 1967 riots to help bridge the racial divide in the Detroit metropolitan region, showed there are significant racial gaps in education and income, with Latinos and African-Americans lagging behind whites and Asian-Americans. The data is based on 2007 to 2011 U.S. Census figures. You can access the full report here.

In the city of Detroit, 56% of Latino adults don’t have a high school degree, the highest percentage among racial and ethnic groups in the tri-county region. In contrast, 76% of Asian-American adults in Oakland County have a college degree, the highest rate in the region.

There’s also an income gap across racial lines. In Oakland County, 25% of Asian-Americans make more than $150,000 a year, the highest among all groups in the region. An additional 22% of Asian-Americans in the county make between $100,00 to $150,000. Whites in Oakland County were the second wealthiest group in the region, with 16% of them making more than $150,000.

In contrast, 44% of African-Americans in the city of Detroit make less than $25,000, the highest percentage among racial groups in Wayne, Macomb, and Oakland counties. About 40% of Native Americans and 32% of Latinos in Wayne County make less than $25,000.

The report also showed that while Detroit’s population is 84% black, 56% of people who work in the city are white while 39% are African-American. The data shows that many African-Americans in the city of Detroit are commuting to the suburbs for their jobs.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

USNews: The War on Poverty Has Never Been Fully Funded

Carrie Wofford brings up an excellent point that many lawmakers, political strategists and researchers fail to mention about the War on Poverty: these antipoverty programs can work if they are adequately funded properly. Unfortunately, history reveals that poverty reduction (where income inequality has grown to levels not seen since 1964) is not a priority.
If all of the War on Poverty's programs had been fully funded in 1964, or were fully funded today, America could wipe out poverty. But, as it is, we face sharp cuts in food stamps and unemployment benefits at precisely the wrong time, when many American families are still attempting to pull out of the Great Recession. Nevertheless, the legacy of the War on Poverty – a more complex understanding of poverty and a framework for addressing it – remains strong, across party lines, today.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Social Work Month 2014 - "All People Matter"

The 2014 theme of Social Work Month is "All People Matter." According to the National Association for Social Workers (NASW) website: "We selected this year’s theme and logo to help raise awareness about the American social work profession’s 116-year commitment to improving social conditions and quality of life opportunities for everyone. Social workers across the globe believe that all people have dignity and deserve respect."

Social Work in the News:
  • Good News for Macro Social Work Practice? (CRISP)
  • CRISP Annual Donor Drive Seeks to Ensure Social Work Representation and Involvement in Public Policy (CRISP)
  • U.S. Reps say more public policy social workers needed (NASW News)
  • Reclaiming social welfare: Remembering Whitney Young (NASW News)

Don't forget to visit my last year's posts on the problems affecting the social work profession: