Letters to the Editor (October 2012)

Write-in strategy is vote of protest against politics

I want to indicate my agreement with LCSW Adrienne Dianne Kraft’s position on “Not all social workers endorse Obama.”

I will, however, go one step further: I do not want any of my NASW dues money going toward any political candidate’s campaign, either local or national. I personally have serious objections to some of the platforms espoused by a number of elected officials here in New York and in the national “races.”

As such, I will write-in my own name as the Candidate-of-Choice in the upcoming Presidential election!

I am very aware that many will see this action as a “lost vote”, but I view it as a “protest vote”, with the hope that all those who are as dissatisfied as I am with the way politics directs the country these days (currently the Democrats are in power, but my feeling would also be true of Republicans, Libertarians, Independents, etc. who hold/obtain positions of power (authority), as I firmly believe that they would do the same) will consider doing likewise.

Leanore Anastasio, LCSW
New York, N.Y.

Fulbright Scholars program a best-kept secret

Kudos to the NASW News for its full page story on the social work Fulbright Scholars (July 2012). I have felt for a long time that this was the best-kept secret regarding ways our profession could have increased visibility and demonstrate its leadership as scholars and activists around the world.

I did a 7 month Fulbright Fellowship in Israel in 2006 with a focus on community practice which continues to reverberate in both countries and even beyond. I was a catalyst for bringing all social work programs (of which there are 11) together with government and the civil sector (NGOs) to identify and demonstrate best practices in community social work (as it is known there) in the U.S. and Israel.

As important, as the only social worker among 27 scholars, I was able to use the opportunity to promote the profession as one that actively engages in applied research and scholarship, and has the qualities and competencies to impact both policy and practice broadly defined; this has continued with the development of exchange programs between faculty, students and professionals.

These often counter the narratives promoted by both the extreme left and extreme right views of Israel and the U.S.

And finally, to NASW members, the Israel-U.S. Fulbright Office actively supports all-comers with a special interest in recruiting social workers of color for its 4-6 Fulbright Fellowship program.

Terry Mizrahi, Ph.D., MSW
(Former) President of NASW
New York, N.Y.