In Brief: December 2021 / January 2022

NASW Member Elected to Kansas House of Representatives

Heather Meyer

Heather Meyer, 
an NASW member, Kansas City area social worker and former candidate for the Kansas House of Representatives, has joined the Kansas Legislature. She is filling the House seat vacated by former Rep. Brett Parker, according to an article by the Kansas City Star.

The Johnson County Democratic Party elected Meyer to fill the vacant seat for the Overland Park House district. Meyer ran for the seat in 2014 and lost before returning to school and earning her social work degree. She is a medical case manager for an AIDS service organization in the Kansas City metro area.

NASW Joins Amicus Brief in Racial Taunting Case

NASW, along with 32 other civil rights and public interest organizations, participated in the K.R. v. Duluth Edison Charter Schools amicus brief led by National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) in support of four elementary and middle school students of color who allege they were subject to racial taunting and physical assaults regularly while at school and a hostile education environment based on their race.

The lawsuit, filed in the federal district court of Minnesota, asserts race discrimination claims under the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Minnesota’s Human Rights Act.

The brief supports the plaintiffs’ challenge, specifically arguing as a policy matter that disproportionate rates of school discipline for Black students denies them equal educational opportunities and benefits. NASW provided policy arguments on how school appearance and grooming policies and practices lead to discrimination against Black students. The brief also highlights that when schools force Black students to cut or otherwise change their hair, it can cause serious emotional harm.

This and other NASW amicus briefs can be found in NASW’s Legal Defense Fund database (NASW members only).

Armstrong Becomes North Carolina’s First Chief Health Equity Officer

Victor Armstrong

NASW member Victor Armstrong is the first chief health equity officer at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

According to an article at The Charlotte Post, the department announced Armstrong was appointed the position after creating an Office of Health Equity to advance health equity and reduce disparities for marginalized populations.

Armstrong, who will oversee the Office of Health Equity, Office of Rural Health, and Office of Diversity and Inclusion, will also serve on NCDHHS’s executive leadership team, and lead the department’s goal of promoting health equity, diversity, and inclusion across the state. He will be responsible for developing, implementing, and facilitating health equity strategies throughout the department.

cover of December 2021 / January 2022 magazine

Social Work Advocates Flipbook

NASW members, sign in to read the December 2021 / January 2022 issue as a flipbook