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Legislative Education & Advocacy Day
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2016 Legislative Education and Advocacy Day

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Lansing Center
333 E. Michigan Avenue
Lansing, MI 48933
Register Here


Join together with hundreds of social justice advocates from around Michigan for the largest annual gathering of social workers in the state! This all day event features an advocacy oriented keynote addresses, networking opportunities, social justice forums, and over twenty workshops on legislative issues, political action, and advocacy efforts. Lunch is included in the registration cost.


6 CEs will be awarded to licensed attendees.


NASW Student Members-$35, Student Non-Members-$55, NASW Members-$80, Non-Members-$100


Registration closes Sunday, October 23rd. NO walk in registrations will be allowed.

(as of 10/20 we can not accept any additional special meal/dietary requests)


Keynote Speakers:

Election Day is Every Day!

 Lonnie Scott, Executive Director of Progress Michigan

 Everywhere we go we encounter politics on one level or another. Lonnie has worked for the State legislature and now serves as the Executive Director of Progress Michigan and as the Executive Director of the ProgressNow network. This keynote will give attendees the understanding they need to survive in the “political world”. By showing proven methods for campaigns and communication, attendees will leave with a better understanding of what they can do to have an impact on issues of importance to them.


The Intersection of Social Work and Law Enforcement.

Derrick Jackson, MSW, Director of Community Engagement for the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office

This keynote session will demonstrate the value of infusing social work principles within the criminal justice system and give real life examples of how this work is impacting the daily interactions of police and the community they serve within Washtenaw County. It also calls into question the social workers role in the larger national dialogue around police/community relations.


Workshops Topics May Include:

Islamophobia: Politics, Priorities and Prejudice in 2016

Sarrah Buageila, Project Manager at the Institute of Social Policy and Understanding

80% of congressional seats and numerous local positions are up for election this November. American Muslims have been at the center of political rhetoric and discourse from both parties. This session will offer data driven recommendations on how each of us can be engaged in the political process and provide empirical evidence on the opinions and policy priorities that can be used to respond to stereotypes of American Muslims. We will also deconstruct the Islamophobia industry and understand how it’s used as a legislative tactic.


Black Lives Matter in Social Work

Angela Waters Austin, Black Lives Matter-Lansing and CEO of One Love Global, Inc & LaShawn Erby, BSW, Black Lives Matter-Lansing

Black Lives Matter (BLM) is an intersectional global movement that grew out of a hashtag and bus trip to support Ferguson residents after the police shooting of Michael Brown. The workshop will provide insights into the structure and priorities of the BLM Network and dispel common myths and misperceptions. The workshop will highlight how activists, students and practitioners are supporting BLM and how others can get involved in this transformational micro and macro social work.


The Social Workers’ Role in the Development of Public Policy (ETHICS CEs)

Robert Lathers, LMSW, CEO of The Right Door for Hope, Recovery and Wellness

What is the role and ethical responsibilities of all social workers in the development and advocacy of public policy? This workshop will explore effective strategies that can be employed by individual social workers towards achieving social justice for the people and communities that we serve. Contemporary topics being addressed by NASW-Michigan Policy and Legislative Committee will be identified and presented in case study fashion. A review of NASW Code of Ethics as it relates to advocacy and social justice responsibilities of line level social workers will be addressed through a case study.


No Jedi Mind Tricks Needed: Harnessing the Power of Narrative

Marissa Luna, Deputy Communications Director for Engage Michigan

Progressives too often lead campaign messages with facts, policy abstractions or the problem itself, losing the public’s attention and failing to move anyone to action. The solution is to ground our campaign communications in the heroic stories of real people taking action to defend our shared values. We must begin engaging our base through storytelling if we want to change hearts and minds and increase civic participation. Participants will learn how to integrate storytelling into campaign communications.


Destination Unknown: School Expulsion and Advocacy

Peri Stone-Palmquist, Danielle Flint, & DaQuann Harrison, Student Advocacy Center of Michigan

Children have a fundamental human right to a quality education and to be treated with dignity, as recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Yet, schools are pushing children out of school by placing harmful policies and practices before children’s education.  Learn true stories of how students and families are impacted by Michigan’s harsh school discipline policies, what the law says, how Student Advocacy Center is working to fight school pushout, and what we can do together.


I Hate You! Bias Crime – An Overview and Strategic Update

Mark Bishop, JD, Michigan Department of Civil Rights

Are we seeing an increase in hate crimes in Michigan? This workshop is designed to assist social workers, social justice advocates and community organizers in understanding how to define and respond to bias incidents and hate crimes, and to assist those working with victims and their targeted communities.  Participants will learn the definition of a hate crime and how to use available resources, including hate crime laws, to respond and advocate effectively.


Make a Change: Running for Office and Leading from Social Work Values

Rep. Stephanie Chang, MSW (D – Detroit, 6th District)

This workshop will provide an opportunity to learn about the process of running for political office as a social worker.  Although not often associated with the field of social work, policy and public service are intertwined with social work in many ways. We will explore ways that social workers in public office can lead from their values and build on social work competencies.


Unpacking White Privilege: Navigating Our Role as White Folks in Social Work

Anna Lemler, MSW Candidate  

How do we dismantle racism as white people and as social workers? This question is huge and this workshop will only cover the tip of the iceberg as we explore our own critical consciousness, discuss ways to intervene and disrupt racism from micro to macro levels, and our history as white people in the social work field.


Raising Your Criminal Justice Reform I.Q.

Ronald Simpson-Bey, Alumni Associate for JustLeadershipUSA and Nicholas Buckingham, Board Member for Nation Outside – Detroit Chapter

The United States accounts for only 5% of the world's population, but is responsible for nearly 22% of the world's prison population. More than 2 million people are incarcerated in U.S. prisons as well as local and county jails. This workshop will discuss the intersection of social work, criminal justice reform, and the movement to end mass incarceration in America. We will also share and highlight the current advocacy activities of two advocacy organizations; JustLeadershipUSA and Nation Outside: The Voice of the Formerly Incarcerated.

Work Yet Undone: LGBT Equality Post- Obergefell

Nathan Triplett, Director of Public Policy & Political Action for Equality Michigan

Marriage equality has been the law of the land across the United States for just over a year. The Supreme Court’s Obergefell ruling was rightly hailed as a historic milestone in the fight for LGBT equality. Unfortunately, far too many Americans now believe that fight is over. Nothing could be further from the truth. This workshop will outline the policy obstacles that remain for LGBT Michiganders and strategies to achieve full equality.

The Disabusing of Political Notions

Patrick Schuh is a top-secret operative for a collective of all the Good Guy organizations. Noah Smith is your lobbyist, but doesn't show up in pictures or mirrors

Patrick Schuh and Noah Smith, political hacks of the most nefarious degree, will discuss how even the Good Guys use "dark money" in politics, and how beautifully-pure organizations of which attendees are members are or can be "dark money" players. To then cast a further pall over your day, Patrick and Noah will also discuss the notion of political "third parties," why the US is a 2-party system, and the function of the much-discussed "protest vote." Attendees should leave the session appropriately jaded, but prepared to fight hard in an increasingly callous system for *real* transparency and reform.

  • Engaging and Understanding Opposing Viewpoints
  • Barriers to Voting - Reality and Advocacy Opportunities
  • Advocacy in the Recovery Movement
  • Voter Access & Gerrymandering
  • Human Trafficking

Tentative LEAD Schedule

  • 8:00-8:50am Registration
  • 9:00-9:30am Welcome Address/Call to Action
  • 9:30-10:50am Morning Keynote Address (1.5 CEs)
  • 11:00am-12:20pm Breakout Sessions #1(1.5 CEs)
  • 12:20-1:00pm Lunch
  • 1:10 - 2:30pm Breakout Sessions #2 (1.5 CEs)
  • 2:450-4:00pm Afternoon Keynote Panel (1.5 CEs)
  • 4:15pm Group Picture at Michigan Capitol Building

Register Here

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