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(6 CEs) Legislative Education & Advocacy Day (LEAD)
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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 address, networking opportunities, social justice forums, and over twenty workshops on legislative issues, political action, and advocacy efforts. 6 CEs will be awarded to licensed attendees.

When: Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Where: Lansing Center
333 E. Michigan Avenue
Lansing, Michigan  48933
United States
Contact: Tricia McCarthy
517-487-1548, ex 16

Online registration is closed.
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2017 Legislative Education and Advocacy Day

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Lansing Center
333 E. Michigan Avenue
Lansing, MI 48933
Registration Closes on Sunday, October 29th (Please note that there are no walk in registrations available for LEAD and no special meal requirements after 10/25)


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 two inspiring 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


Keynote Speakers

Morning Keynote

Spotlight on Hate: The Alt-Right, 21st Century Militia Movements, and Impacts on Today's Political Climate.

Dr. Randy Blazak, Director - Hate Crimes Network; Chair - Oregon Coalition Against Hate Crimes

Afternoon Keynote

From Survivor to Advocate: Understanding the Human Trafficking Crisis in Michigan (1.5 Ethics CEs)

Leslie King, President/Founder - Sacred Beginnings


Randy Blazak earned his PhD at Emory University in 1995 after completing an extensive field study of racist skinheads that included undercover observations and interviews across the world. He became a tenured sociology professor at Portland State University and a globally recognized expert on hate crimes and hate groups, appearing as a media commentator on local, national, and international television programs, documentaries and radio shows, including NPR, BBC, and the History Channel. His work has taken him from classrooms to criminal trials.


His research has been published in academic journals, books and in the mainstream press. In 2001, his co-authored book, Teenage Renegades, Suburban Outlaws was published by Wadsworth and in 2009, Praeger published his volume, Hate Offenders. Since 2002, he has been the chair of the Oregon Coalition Against Hate Crimes. He works with the National Institute of Justice and the Southern Poverty Law Center on hate crime research issues. His blog, Watching the Wheels, has reported on the element of extremism in the 2016 presidential campaign. His first novel, The Mission of the Sacred Heart, has been optioned by a screenwriter in Hollywood to be adapted to the screen. It’s sequel, The Dream Police, was published in the fall of 2016.





Leslie F. King is a survivor of human trafficking /sexual exploitation. She was coerced and forced into the lifestyle of prostitution at the tender age of 15 in Grand Rapids, MI, and she became trapped in the underworld of prostitution and drug addiction for over 20 years. On July 4, 2000 Leslie miraculously found the strength and the courage to get free. For the past eleven years she has been intense and intentional about working with women and teenage girls who find themselves trapped in the same horrors and loss of purpose that she experienced. In 2005, Leslie utilized her experience, expertise, and inspiring example of a renewed lifestyle to open Sacred Beginnings which is the first survivor lead peer run safe haven in Michigan that offers hope and healing to prostituted women. Leslie consults with law enforcement agencies, human service professionals, clergy, and others requesting direction and understanding in working with prostituted women, teenagers, and children.


Leslie has earned awards including the 2008 YWCA advocate of the year and 2011 Rising Hero award. She was also nominated for woman of the year in Grand Rapids, MI in 2005. Chosen as 1 of the "50 Most Influential Women In West Michigan" for 2014. Leslie received her Associate of Arts degree from Grand Rapids Community College in 2008, and she is completing her Bachelor in Social Work degree at Grand Valley State University.


Workshops Topics May Include:

MORNING KEYNOTE: Spotlight on Hate: The Alt-Right, Militia Movements, and Impact's on Today's Political Climate

This workshop places the rise of the “alt right” political movement in the context of activism within white supremacist and anti-government countercultures. Themes include how the appeal of mainstream issues, like immigration and gun rights, can be funneled into violent criminal behavior, including hate crimes and domestic terrorism, and how alt right groups are targeting white high school and college students for recruitment. Because of the resulting discord, counter measure will be discussed.

Dr. Randy Blazak, Director - Hate Crimes Network; Chair - Oregon Coalition Against Hate Crimes


AFTERNOON KEYNOTE: From Survivor to Advocate: Understanding the Human Trafficking Crisis in Michigan (1.5 Ethics CEs & Counts for the Human Trafficking Training Requirement)

If social workers are to assume a leadership role in ensuring and promoting human rights, they need to be knowledgeable about human trafficking and modern-day slavery and apply their tools and skills broadly and creatively, taking into account issues of culture, power, privilege, and oppression. This effort includes collaborating across professions; intervening in local, state, and national policy arenas as advocates and thought leaders; recognizing, assisting, and supporting victims and survivors; and galvanizing others to do so as well. This workshop will consist of an overview of human trafficking in Michigan, ethical implications for social work practice, and a powerful real-life story of trafficking survival by Leslie King.

Leslie King, President/Founder - Sacred Beginnings & Duane Breijak, LMSW, Director of Member Services & Development - NASW-Michigan


Understanding the Opioid Epidemic: Community Responses to Address a Crisis (1.5 Pain Management CEs)

The workshop will provide an overview of the opioid epidemic from a historic (causative) perspective and will compare national trends to those seen locally.  In addition to understanding local trends, the workshop will provide a call to action related to the need for community solutions from a cross-sector of partners, including non-traditional partners.

Linda Vail, MPA, Ingham County Health Officer


Getting Ready to Run: What Social Workers Need to Know About Running for Office

NASW 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 know human relations, and the commitment to improving the quality of life brings a vital perspective to public decision-making. This workshop will explore the ins and outs of running for office and get attendees ready to run for a variety of offices in local, state, and federal levels. After the 2016 election, America desperately needs the unique perspectives and skills you can bring to the table.
Beth Kelly, Executive Director, Emerge Michigan

Overcoming Religiophobia and Changing the World

There is a tendency among social change advocates to mistrust or belittle people of faith. Often unconscious, this attitude has cut change agents off from their most passionate and effective allies, and driven millions to support the Political and Religious Extreme Right. Together we will examine the roots of religiophobia, its consequences, and ways to rebuild links with religious progressives and work effectively towards a new bottom line of caring and social responsibility.

Rabbi Michael Zimmerman, Congregation Kehillat Israel in Lansing & Chair, Greater Lansing Chapter of the Network of Spiritual Progressives.


Role of Advocacy in Promoting Social Change: The Raise the Age MI Campaign (1.5 Ethics CEs)

Michigan is one of only 5 states that automatically sees 17 year olds as adults in the eyes of the court, regardless of the crime. This workshop will highlight the current effort to "raise the age" of juvenile jurisdiction in Michigan from 17 to 18. While learning about the RTA campaign, the workshop will detail the key components of an advocacy campaign and provide an overview of the ways in which advocacy serves as a powerful tool for social change.

Jason Smith, LMSW, Youth Justice Policy Associate - Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency


Reclaiming Democracy: One Reform at a Time!

Democracy at its very core is under continual attack on a local, state and federal level. Many citizens throughout communities across the state are feeling the results of a wounded democratic process and their level of engagement and trust in our government continues to wane. Join us as we explore several key democracy reforms that will help build a pathway towards a more “perfect union” that is government of the people by the people.

Lacy Dawson, State Director, Michigan Voice


Work Yet Undone: Achieving LGBT Equality Post-2016

The political landscape facing LGBTQ Americans is shifting rapidly in 2017. A hostile administration in the White House, numerous pending federal court cases, state and federal agency action, and municipal advocacy efforts are all impacting LGBTQ individuals in significant ways. It can be difficult to parse. This workshop will help attendees sort through the various pieces of this complex puzzle and provide social workers with tips for how to support pro-equality advocacy efforts.

Nathan Triplett, MA, JD. Political Director, Equality Michigan.


Social Justice lobbying 101

Even if you don't want to be a lobbyist, fighting for your cause is going to require some lobbying and knowledge of the process. This workshop will provide an overview for constituents on how to lobby their policy makers on issues they care about. We will discuss how to prepare for, hold, and follow up with meetings and why this is such an important part of the advocacy process.

Kimbelry Buddin, JD. Policy Counsel - ACLU of Michigan


Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation

A case study on Metro Lansing's approach to policy and systems transformation utilizing the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation framework. TRHT Metro Lansing is a multi-sector, multi-partner approach that leverages the assets of My Brother's Keeper (Obama), Black Lives Matter/Movement for Black Lives, and other partnerships in uprooting the false beliefs that created a government that historically and currently perpetuates inequity through structural racism.

Angela Waters Austin. CEO - One Love Global, Inc.


Bridging the Gap: A Social Worker’s Role in Reintegration Among Military Veterans

This workshop will provide an overview of challenges post-9/11 military combat veterans face when returning home from war with post traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries. We will explore the stigma associated with reaching out for mental health care and what the social work community can do to help.

Laura Chirio, LLMSW. Eisenhower Center’s After the Impact Program


Social Media and Fake News: An Introduction

With the discovery of how Russia and other players have used fake news and social media to influence the 2016 election, it is important to learn what tactics they used to muddy the electoral process. We will go over what tactics they used on Facebook and Twitter, how to spot fake news, and how to fight back against it.

Lonnie Scott. Executive Director - Progress Michigan


Advocating for Affordable Housing in Michigan (1.5 Ethics CEs)

Over 66,000 individuals - including youth, families, seniors and veterans - experienced homelessness in 2016 with countless others at-risk of losing their home. With the rising cost of housing and high number of families living below the poverty line, Michigan needs additional funding and resources to better serve this vulnerable population. Learn how advocates are taking this message all the way from the local level to Washington DC and how you can become involved.

Laurel Burchfield, Manager of Marketing, Growth, and Development - Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness; Amelia Allen, LMSW, Continuum of Care Coordinator - Homeless Action Network of Detroit; Amanda Carlisle, Executive Director - Washtenaw Housing Alliance; Jesica Vail, LMSW, Grand Rapids Area Coalition to End Homelessness


The Intersection of Social Work and Law Enforcement

This session demonstrates the value of infusing social work principles within the criminal justice system and gives 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.

Derrick Jackson, LMSW, Director of Community Engagement for the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office & Nicholas Buckingham, BSW Candidate


Building Welcoming Communities for Immigrants & Refugees

How are local communities working to create more supportive environments for immigrants and refugees, and in this current political moment? This session will provide an overview of organizations, projects, policies, and issues related to immigrant integration in Michigan. Participants will learn ways social workers can engage to make change and discuss ideas to bring back to your community.

Christine Sauvé, LLMSW, Welcoming Michigan


What To Do With A Neo-Nazi and a Banana - a case study

WARNING: Mature themes, course language, violence.  In the aftermath of the multiple incidents of hate and violence around the country, what can we learn about community trauma and resilience.

Mark Bishop. Strategic Partnership Coordinator, Michigan Department of Civil Rights, Community Relations Division

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

If you would like to register multiple attendees or groups please contact  Tricia McCarthy at 517-487-1548, ex 16





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