Shaping a Brighter Tomorrow Together

By Angelo McClain, PhD, LICSW

Angelo McClain, PhD, LICSW

In June, approximately 2,000 NASW members participated in the 2018 NASW National Conference held in Washington, D.C. This biannual national event and our chapter conferences are sources of great pride and inspiration for the entire social work profession. These gatherings elevate the best of social work and help prepare us for evolving challenges we face as committed human service professionals.

We will feature more highlights from the national conference in our next issue, however, many of the themes and takeaways provided by our outstanding conference speakers this summer are poignant reminders that what social workers do every day truly matters. Their insight helps affirm core values essential to our work—using respect and authentic communication to improve opportunities and outcomes for all.

After an extraordinary social justice panel during the June conference, I was moved to recap several key messages in a poem, including comments from U.S. Sen. Cory Booker.  Here’s an excerpt:

Be not discouraged
Be not distracted
Stay the course
Refuse hate
Refuse dehumanization
Refuse the false dichotomy of otherness
Hopelessness is the enemy of justice
Through hope we have power
There’s power in seeing
Power in listening
Power in loving
Choose love over hate
Be brave
Bear witness
Really see what’s happening around us
Understand the power of social work
Understand the power of our skill set
Continue to meet people where they are

In addition to a successful and energizing national conference, the NASW board of directors also met in June. At that meeting, our volunteer association leaders adopted the 2018-2021 NASW Strategic Plan with the theme, “Pursuing Social Work Excellence.” 

This multi-strategy action plan presents a roadmap for creating breakthrough progress on six big ideas in the profession.  I look forward to updating you in the coming months about these initiatives, and invite you to learn more about how our members continue to power our organization.  

Your ongoing support of NASW helps shape a brighter tomorrow for all social workers.

Thank you.

Contact Angelo McClain at

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Grand Challenges for Society: Evidence-Based Social Work Practice

To help us focus on what matters most, the American Academy for Social Work and Social Welfare set out 12 grand challenges for social work and society, in three broad categories of individual and family well-being, social fabric, and social justice. Social workers must strive toward social progress in these categories by relying on evidence-based methods.

Purchase at NASW Press