Debut Web-Based Book Chat Lets Members ‘Meet’ Authors

Rochelle Wilder, Stephanie Chambers, and Yvette MulkeyNASW staff coordinate the webinar production for the first-ever Meet the Authors Book Chat at the national office. From left: Rochelle Wilder, project coordinator, professional development; Stephanie Chambers, manager of credentialing and continuing education; and Yvette Mulkey, Specialty Practice Sections manager.

NASW Specialty Practice Sections (SPS) and NASW Press partnered to present the first Meet the Authors Book Chat in a webinar format.

“We wanted to partner with NASW Press’s great books that are practice-specific,” said Yvette Mulkey, SPS manager for professional development and marketing.

Lisa M. O’Hearn, managing editor of NASW Press, said, “It seemed it was our duty to partner with SPS on the Book Chat project. These events, ongoing, will allow NASW Press, and thus the association, to more widely disseminate the valuable information that we help the social work community produce every day.”

The Book Chat provided participants with an online slide presentation, a short video and a question-and-answer session with the authors of the NASW Press-produced book Narratives of Social and Economic Justice, which was recently nominated for the Professor Robert W. Hamilton Book Author Award. This award is presented annually to the best book-length publication by a staff or faculty member of the University of Texas at Austin.

“We want members to know there are valuable resources for social workers by social workers,” Mulkey said. “It’s a similar experience to a live ‘meet and greet’ with authors dedicated to a specific field in the profession.”

The authors of Narratives — Roberta R. Greene, professor and Louis and Ann Wolens Centennial Chair in Gerontology and Social Welfare at the School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin; Harriet L. Cohen, associate professor in the Department of Social Work at Texas Christian University; John M. Gonzalez, assistant professor in Department of Social Work at the University of Texas-Pan American; and Youjung Lee, visiting assistant professor in the Department of Social Work at Binghamton University, State University of New York — expressed excitement at being be able to take part in this interactive information sharing activity.

The authors pointed out that the book is based on narratives from older adults who participated in a research project that explored ways people overcame early discrimination to become resilient adults.

“Resilience is the ability to maintain continuity of one’s personal narrative and a coherent sense of self following traumatic events,” Cohen said. The authors explained that they sought to identify personal and environmental factors that helped people overcome diversity in their lives.

“We used practitioners who knew older adults who had social injustice in their lives and who demonstrated successful aging,” Cohen said.

The book also examines personal dimensions of resilience that older adults relied upon while growing up. Some examples include being able to trust others, hoping for a bright future and transcending adverse events through spirituality.

Another area of interest is the sociocultural dimension where narrators discussed such things as advocating for a community vision and creating coalitions.

The second Book Chat will be at 1 p.m. ET on Sept. 30 with editor Ann Abbott, who presents the second edition of her NASW Press title, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs: Challenging Myths, Assessing Theories, Individualizing Interventions.