In Brief: April / May 2022

Biden Names Social Worker Ives-Rublee to Advisory Commission

Mia Ives-Rublee

President Biden announced his intent to appoint social worker Mia Ives-Rublee, MSW, to his Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. Ives-Rublee is the director of the Disability Justice Initiative at the Center for American Progress. She earned her master’s degree in social work at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. She is a well-known advocate for disability justice and inclusion at nonprofit organizations and businesses in the United States. Ives-Rublee will join other social worker appointees in the Biden administration, including Jared Bernstein, who serves on the Council of Economic Advisors; and Meg Kabat, who is senior adviser for families, caregivers and survivors at the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of the Secretary.

Social Worker Eddie Bocanegra Appointed to Department of Justice Post

Eddie Bocanegra

Social worker Eddie Bocanegra, MSW, a longtime violence-prevention advocate in Chicago, has been named senior adviser for community violence intervention in the Office of Justice Programs at the U.S. Department of Justice. Heartland Alliance, where Bocanegra is a senior director, announced the appointment. Bocanegra served time in prison and earned his master’s degree in social work from the University of Chicago. According to a Chicago Tribune article, he first started working to end street violence at an organization called CeaseFire. His appointment comes as the nation is facing higher levels of gun violence.

Jones Harden Part of National Academies Study

Brenda Jones-Harden

Brenda Jones Harden, PhD, MSW, the Alison Richman Professor for Children and Families at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, is one of the members of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine consensus study on the causes and consequences of the opportunity gap for young children from birth to age 8. The opportunity gap generally refers to the unequal or inequitable distribution of resources and opportunities on the basis of factors such as race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, English proficiency, community wealth, geography, or familial situations. These gaps can contribute to or perpetuate inequities in well-being across groups of young children.

NASW Joins Amicus Brief on Negative Effects of Conversion Therapy

NASW, along with 14 other organizations, participated in the Tingley v. Ferguson amicus brief filed in the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, led by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The case involves the negative effects of conversion therapy on minors and Washington state’s contention that a ban on conversion therapy does not prohibit First Amendment rights of health care professionals.

In the brief, NASW highlighted the overwhelming medical consensus that treatments attempting to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity provide no therapeutic benefit and are harmful, especially to minors. While acknowledging that the First Amendment’s free speech protections allow the free exchange of ideas, the brief points out that the Washington state law does not attempt to stop the exchange of ideas among health professionals. Instead, the goal of the law is to stop conduct that violates the professional standard of care that is most likely to cause harm, which, in this case, is performing conversion therapy on minors.

Washington law recognizes that the First Amendment does not prevent restrictions directed at professional conduct from imposing minor burdens on speech and the brief is asking the court to reject the radical departure from this established doctrine. 

This and other NASW amicus briefs are available in the NASW LDF amicus brief database.

Social Work Advocates April/May 2022 issue with The Great Resignation on cover

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