Association for Community Organization & Social Administration

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#MacroSW Chats

Who We Are:

We are a collaboration of social workers, organizations, social work schools, and individuals working to promote macro social work practice. Macro social work practice focuses on changing larger systems, such as communities and organizations. It encompasses a broad spectrum of actions and ideas, ranging from community organizing and education to legislative advocacy and policy analysis.

Current Chat Partners:

Association for Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA), @acosaorg

Jeff Fromknecht, MSW, Attorney & Counselor at Law at Side Project Inc., @SideProjectInc

Karen Zgoda, MSW, LCSW, Instructor of Social Work at Bridgewater State University, @karenzgoda

Kristin Battista-Frazee, MSW, Author and Marketing Consultant, @porndaughter

Laurel Hitchcock, PhD, Assistant Professor of Social Work, University of Alabama at Birmingham, @laurelhitchcock

Pat Shelly, MSW, Director of Community Engagement and Expansion, University at Buffalo School of Social Work, @ubssw and @PatShellySSW

Rachel L. West, LMSW, The Political Social Worker, @poliSW

Relando Thompkins-Jones, MSW, LLMSW, writer of Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian (N.A.H.) @Relando_T and @N_A_H_Blog

Sunya Folayan, MSW, ACSW, founder/executive director, The Empowerment Project, Inc., @SunyaFolayan

Vilissa Thompson, LMSW,  Founder of @RampYourVoice, Disability Rights Consultant and Advocate,  Macro Social Worker @VilissaThompson Blog:


Current Media Partners:

Linda Grobman and The New Social Worker Magazine – We welcome The New Social Worker Magazine (@newsocialworker) as our new media partner! The New Social Worker is the award-winning social work careers magazine founded by Linda Grobman in 1994. Website . This online magazine features practical articles on social work, ethics, field placement, practice issues  and specialties, technology in social work and more.

Founding Chat Partners:

Association for Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA)@acosaorg

Karen Zgoda, MSW, LCSW, Instructor of Social Work at Bridgewater State University@karenzgoda

Kristin Battista-Frazee, MSW, Author and Marketing Consultant, @porndaughter

Laurel Hitchcock, PhD, Assistant Professor of Social Work, University of Alabama at Birmingham, @laurelhitchcock

Pat Shelly, MSW, Director of Community Engagement and Expansion, University at Buffalo School of Social Work@ubssw and@PatShellySSW

Rachel L. West, LMSW, The Political Social Worker@poliSW

Deona Hooper, Editor in Chief and Founder of Social Work Helper (@swhelpercom), @deonahooper

University of Southern California School of Social Work, @mswatusc

Network for Social Work Management (NSWM), @TheNSWM


Our very own Rachel West has created a form for macro social workers to list their Twitter handle, email, and area of specialization. You can access the spreadsheet by clicking on this link

2016 - 2017 #MacroSW Chat Schedule

The 2016-2017 #MacroSW Chat Schedule is up and we are just about booked up for the entire season! December 15th will be ACOSA night.

Rachel West will be appearing with chat partners Karen Zgoda & Pat Shelley on an episode of InSocialWork Podcast to talk about the chats. We will record the episode on September 19th. We will post a link to the Podcast once it is posted online.

To access the complete schedule, click here!


Previous Chat sessions:

Technology Standards in Social Work Practice: Give NASW feedback — #MacroSW Chat 07-14-16

Participate in the #MacroSW Twitter Chat on July 14th at 8:00 PM CST/ 9 PM EST when we will discuss the draft standards from a macro social work perspective. We will share the transcript with NASW.

Access the draft standards here.


Open Mic Night! #MacroSW Chat TODAY - 1/7 at 9pm EST
Welcome back from the busy holiday season! Join host @karenzgoda and the #MacroSWcrew for an hour of YOUR issues, comments and ideas on Thursday, January 7, 2015 at 9pm EST.

Spring Schedule Highlights: We are excited to announce our new weekly chats!
  • Grand Challenges for Social Work Theme Nights. In these chats, we will explore the Grand Challenges initiative by the American Academy of Social Work & Social Welfare. Our first Grand Challenge chat will be on 1/14 discussing Building Financial Capability for All.
  • #PoliticsNOW. We will be taking a deeper look at policy, politics, and the upcoming Presidential election. Our first #PoliticsNOW chat will be on 1/21.
  • Documentary movie nights. Our first movie night will be on 1/28  discussing the film Growing Up Trans.
  • Twitter Combination Hashtag event during Social Work Month. March is Social Work Month and we are working with folks behind other social work Twitter hashtags to develop an awesome event(s). Date(s) TBD!


The Topic will be Social Capital: The Key to Macro Change. Jeff Fromknecht (@Sideprojectinc) will be our special guest host. He will be joined by Dr. Al Condeluci, (@acondeluci) and I’m Jamie Curran (@JamieVCurran). They are the lead organizes of the Interdependence Network. The Interdependence Network (IN) is a collective impact effort made up of human service organizations from around the United States, Canada and Australia. Member agencies have committed to shifting their emphasis from the traditional medical model approach to rehabilitation, to an interdependence model, which builds and fosters social capital and social inclusion within communities as the primary strategy for enabling people with disabilities to become full members of society.

The chat will explore interdependence and social capital, and the role these concepts play in macro change.


Organizational Self-Assessment – What Type of Community is Your Organization Building

Al Condeluci’s Tedx Pittsburgh Talk on Social Capital and the Power of Relationships

Resources about social capital can be found on the Interdependence Network website


Macro Matters: 20% by 2020

By Rachel L. West (ACOSA Board Member)


The Special Commission to Advance Macro Practice in Social Work is calling on the CSWE and other social work organizations to make a commitment to macro practice. Current data shows only 9-10% of social work students plan to pursue macro practice. The commission wants to raise that number to 20% by 2020.

As Michael Reisch pointed out in his eloquent essay, macro is an important component of social work practice.


It pushes the boundaries of the profession by fostering a “big picture” perspective that enables social workers and society as a whole to analyze people’s issues “outside the box” and focus on the prevention of problems, not merely their amelioration. Macro practice explicitly embodies social work’s commitment to social justice and social change by promoting structural solutions to systemic inequalities and various forms of oppression that go beyond individual adaptation and resilience.

The Rothman report brought to light serious concerns that if not dealt with endanger the future of macro practice.

On Thursday November 5th #MacroSW Twitter Chats will discuss the work of The Special Commission to Advance Macro Practice in Social Work and the 20% by 2020 initiative. The chat starts at 9:00 PM EST. I will host the chat from @acosaorg account.

Before the chat please read the following:

The Special Commission to Advance Macro Social Work Practice

Why Macro Practice Matters

By Michael Reisch, University of Maryland

NOW! MAKE MACRO MATTER: Taking Further Action to Address the Macro Imbalance in Social Work Education


October 22 at 9 pm EDT (6 pm Pacific)
Building Micro and Macro Common Ground: A Continued Conversation

It was evident on the April 23 #MacroSW Twitter chat with guest expert, The American Clinical Social Work Association (ACSWA), there is an interconnectedness between micro and macro practice. Many people in the profession expressed the necessity for bridging the gap between these two practices and, as we all know, there are endless possibilities for joint work under the umbrella of our core social work values.

Given the energized conversation around this topic, ACSWA will again be featured on the #MacroSW Twitter chat, Building Micro and Macro Common Ground: A Continued Conversation, held on Thursday, October 22 at 9 pm EDT (6 pm Pacific). Join us on Twitter for a robust discussion with Michael Brooks, MSW, BCD (Emeritus), the Director, Policy and Business Development for the Center for Clinical Social Work.

For this chat, we'll further brainstorm about how to facilitate the collaboration between these practices while social workers still focus on the type of work they love. We'll also dig into the obstacles that prevent joint macro and clinical practice work and share examples of how social workers and other healthcare disciplines have partnered successfully across specialties.

Here are questions to be explored:
  1. Does policy or clinical practice drive change?
  2. Share examples about how clinicians have engaged in macro practice. What were the tipping points?
  3. Share examples of macro focused practitioners who have engaged clinicians in developing policies.
  4. What obstacles have you encountered integrating micro and/or macro practice into your work life?
  5. How can micro and macro practitioners engage associations, SW schools and workplaces to take an integrated view?


Inequality for All: Student-Focused #MacroSW Twitter Chat on 10/8/15

Social work students from across the country are welcome to participate in a student-focused Twitter Chat about income equality.  Join us for a live, interactive event in which social work professors Jimmy Young, of the California State University San Marcos, and Laurel Hitchcock, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, will facilitate a live discussion about the documentary film Inequality for All on Thursday, October 8th at 9 p.m. EST (6 p.m. PST).
Don't miss this unique opportunity to connect with social work students, educators and practitioners from around the world. To participate:
  1. Watch the documentary Inequality for All. Your instructor may ask you to write a brief statement about your reaction to the movie.
  2. Participate in the live Twitter chat using the hashtag #MacroSW. Tweet any questions or responses directed to the moderators and social work professors Jimmy Young (@JimmySW) and Laurel Hitchcock (@laurelhitchcock). Include #MacroSW in all of your tweets.
  3. Following the live chat, your instructor may also ask you to write a brief self-reflection essay about your experience of participating in this event.
The written parts of the assignment are optional and are not required to participate. However, we do encourage you to take some time to reflect upon what you learn from the film and the topics that are discussed in the chat. How might they inform your future social work practice?

About the Film:  Inequality for All
Directed by Jacob Kornbluth, Inequality for All is a 2013 documentary film that examines the widening income gap in the United States. Using the stories of real people and real lives, the narrative explores the effects this increasing gap has not only on the U.S. economy but also on democracy itself. Presented by American economist, author and professor Robert Reich, the film premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and won a U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Achievement in Filmmaking. Inequality for All runs 1 hour and 29 minutes and the full film can be found on
Questions to Consider
When writing your reaction to the film, consider the following questions:
  1. What is happening today in terms of distribution of wealth? Why is it happening? What do you see happening and what are the causes?
  2. When do you think inequality becomes a problem?
  3. If the government sets the rules for how the market functions, who do these rules benefit or hurt?
  4. Who is looking out for the American worker? Who do you think should be and what could be done?
  5. After watching the film, do you agree/disagree with the idea of equal opportunity and the American Dream?
  6. What do you think most Americans don't realize about income Inequality?
  7. What single word best describes how the film made you feel?
  8. What's next? How do we as social workers address inequality or move forward?

Assessment and Evaluation of SW Macro Practice Skills: Practice Wisdom From the Field #MacroSW Twitter Chat 9-24-2015 at 9pm EST



Trauma-Informed Care: #MacroSW Twitter Chat 9-10-15

During this September 10th MacroSW Twitter Chat (9pm ET, 6pm PT), we will be focusing on Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) and Social Work.

Knowledge of trauma and its impact, assessment and treatment are essential to the future of social work practice, and social work education.

September 10 is the eve of the 14th anniversary of 9-11, which resulted in trauma to a nation, a city, communities, families and individuals; 9-11  (see #NeverForget_911) joined #OklahomaCityBombing as synonyms for "acts of mass murder by terrorists."

This is also #SuicidePrevention Week. Trauma is obviously part of what both suicide attempt-survivors and suicide loss-survivors experience.

It's been 10 years since #HurricaneKatrina devastated New Orleans.

Current traumas in the news include the #refugee crisis in Europe, and the ongoing issues of racist violence in the U.S. as seen in #BlackLivesMatter #SayHerName #Ferguson #Charleston


Please join us, with our guest experts from the Institute on Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care, @UBSSW professors Sue Green @UBittic and Tom Nochajski @ubthn.


We'll want to hear about your experiences with trauma-informed care and thoughts on how this enriches our profession.

Check back on September 11th, when a summary and resource list will be posted.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is trauma informed care?
  2. How does trauma-informed care (TIC) fit into macro level SW?
  3. Have you had experiences with TIC?
  4. What is already happening at the macro level?
  5. Is there special training needed to become trauma-informed?
7/23/15 at 9:00 PM EST/6:00 PM CT

By Rachel L. West

Advocacy & Community Outreach Consultant

This Thursday will be our final #MacroSW Twitter Chat for the summer. We want to know what matter to you. Join us at July 23rd at 9:00 PM EST/6:00 PM CT and share your interest, ideas, and comments about future chats. We would also love to hear what is going on with your macro career. @karenzgoda will host.

#MacroSW Twitter Chats will return September 10th. Pat Shelly from the University at Buffalo -School of Social Work will host (@ubssw). The scheduled topic is trauma informed care.

7/9/15 at 9 pm EDT

Political Activity at 501(c)3 Nonprofit Organizations


By Rachel L. West
Advocacy & Community Outreach Consultant


Jeff Fromknecht from Side Project, Inc. will be the special guest expert for the July 9th #MacroSW Twitter chat. The chat topic will be Political Activity at 501(c)3 Nonprofit Organizations.


Jeff is a lawyer and social worker. He serves as Chief Executive Officer and Attorney at Law for Side Project Inc. The Organization supports and advocates for charities and philanthropic work.


"Side Project Inc. supports charitable and philanthropic efforts-large and small.  Our legal and development services focus on growing your ideas and projects into sustainable activities that have a positive impact on the community. We help people and organizations who want to change the world. No matter what your legal or development needs are, we promise to deliver objective, informed advice and actionable plans focused on helping you to make a difference in the community.


We work with tax-exempt nonprofit organizations, social enterprises, individual & grassroots projects, private foundations, small businesses, and law firms."


The chat will cover laws and regulations governing political activity at 501(c)3 nonprofits. Topics will include how nonprofits can influence public policy, how IRS regulations affect the work of 501(c)3s, and issue advocacy.


Resources for the chat:


The Restriction of Political Campaign Intervention by Section 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations


Advocacy & Public Policy


The chat starts at 9:00 PM EST. To participate use the hashtag #MacroSW. I will be moderating from @poliSW account. Jeff will be Tweeting from Side Project, Inc. account (@Sideprojectinc).

Implicit Bias in Social Work: #MacroSW chat will be held June 25, 2015 at 9pm ET, 6pm PT.

In this twitter chat, we will discuss implicit bias in the social work profession.

Financial Social Work: An Emergent Macro Practice Discipline #MacroSW 6/11 at 9 pm EST

Join #MacroSW Twitter chat partner Sunya Folayan,MSW, ACSW @SunyaFolayan as she interviews her mentor and friend Reeta Wolfsohn, MSW, CMSW @FinancialMSW, the visionary founder of Financial Social Work and the Financial Therapy Network.

Financial Social Work is an emergent Macro practice discipline that is gaining traction within the profession. Financial Social Work is now in the new Oxford Encyclopedia of Social Work.The mission of Financial Social Work (FSW) is to empower social workers and their clients to establish healthy money habits that lead to long-term financial security. FSW’s interactive, introspective behavioral model is strengths based and heavily psychosocial. The certification and client programs incorporate an on-going process of education, motivation and support which contribute to personal growth and improved financial well-being.

The Financial Therapy Network is where Financial Wellness Begins for consumers. The network includes:

  • An online self-help program “My Money Myself” based on the philosophy of Financial Social Work.
  • Online Financial Support Groups that offer unique and life changing occasions for women to spend time in a safe and supportive environment with others in similar circumstances.

Discussion questions-

1. What is Financial Social Work?
2. How is Financial Social Work an emergent macro practice discipline?
3. How do advocacy, social justice and research fit into the discipline of Financial Social Work?
4. What skills are needed to be an effective financial social worker?
5. How is Financial social work being integrated into professional schools of
social work?
6. What are the goals of the Center for Financial Social Work?
7. What will be the impact of FSW on the profession of social work?

#MacroSW Chat 5/14 9 PM EDT: Career Building Skills for Social Workers

Are you a newly graduated social worker looking for a job? Thinking about going back to graduate school for that MSW? Then join us for a chat with guest experts Melissa Whatley & Joy Jones from the University of Alabama at Birmingham's (UAB) Career & Professional Development. They will be answering your most pressing questions about searching and interviewing for that first social work job, how to tell your professional story through a resume, and best practices for networking, off-line & online.


We also invite social workers to share their own experiences about finding a social work job, especially a macro position, how they made the decision to go back to graduate school, or their best tip for networking, interviewing or building a resume.

Here is how the chat will work:
Melissa (tweeting from @uabcareerserve) and Joy (tweeting from @UABJoy ) will be answering your most pressing career development questions so come prepared.  You can also submit your questions in advance to @laurelhitchcock (host for the chat).  Melissa and Joy will be selecting questions from your submissions/posts.  (Disclaimer: We may not be able to get to everyone's question due to the time limit of the chat). Possible topics include:

  • What needs to be included on my resume?
  • How can I use social media to get a job?
  • What can I expect during a job interview?
  • What do I need to know to be successful in a social work career?

We also invite anyone joining our chat to share their thoughts and best career advice along side Melissa & Joy.


#MacroSW Twitter Chat 4/23 9pm EST
Our Advocates, Ourselves: Building Micro Macro Common Ground

Join us for a chat with guest expert Michael Brooks as we discuss building common ground between micro and macro social work practice. Our chat partner will be Michael Brooks, MSW, BCD, the Director, Policy and Business Development for the Center for Clinical Social Work. The Center is the parent organization for the American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work, which issues the Board Certified Diplomate Credential in Clinical Social Work (ABE), and the American Clinical Social Work Association (ACSWA), the first online, social media-based association for clinical social work. He also maintains a small private psychotherapy, EAP and consulting practice in the city of Sonoma, CA. He served on the Board of Directors for the Employee Assistance Society of North America (EASNA), from 2005-2011, is currently on the Board of Directors for ACMHA: The College for Behavioral Health Leadership, is a member of the California Social Work Education Council (CalSWEC) Mental Health Committee, is one of the authors/collaborators of the SBIRT Training manual for EAPs, and is the clinical consultant for the Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance (pro-bono). He is currently also on the Steering Committee of the NORC Training Program for Adolescent Substance Abuse Screening, Brief Intervention and Treatment (SBIRT) in Schools of Social Work and Nursing.

1 True or false - splitting social work practice into micro and macro practice is a good idea.
2 How can macro practice social workers inform clinical social workers about the importance of being involved with policy and how it can directly affect their practice?
3 How can macro practice social workers help clinicians become more involved in advocacy? Why this is important?
4 How can clinical social workers best participate in policy actions (i.e. ACA, Medicare rates, Medicaid funding, rate reimbursement) to enable better clinical work to happen in communities?
5 How can CSWs inform macro practice SWs about the effects of policy on day-to-day practice
6 How can clinicians and macro focused social workers help primary care and mental health treatment integration happen more effectively?
7 How can macro and micro social work practice be integrated more effectively, both in practice and academia?

* Clinical vs. Macro Practice,
* 'Case' and 'Cause' in Social Work Education - A Balancing Act,
* How To Decide: Micro- or Macro-level Practice (Or Something In Between)?

#MacroSW is a collaboration of social workers, organizations, social work schools, and individuals working to promote macro social work practice. Macro social work practice focuses on changing larger systems, such as communities and organizations. It encompasses a broad spectrum of actions and ideas, ranging from community organizing and education to legislative advocacy and policy analysis. The chats are held bimonthly on Twitter on the second and fourth Thursday of each month at 9 p.m. EST (6 p.m. PST). For more information, chat schedule, and chat archives check out:

Our collaborators include:

* Association for Community Organizing and Social Administration (ACOSA), @acosaorg
* Karen Zgoda, MSW, LCSW, Instructor of Social Work at Bridgewater State University, @karenzgoda
* The Macro Social Work Student Network, @MSWSN
* Network for Social Work Management (NSWM), @TheNSWM
* Rachel West, The Political Social Worker, @poliSW
* University at Buffalo School of Social Work, @ubssw
* University of Southern California School of Social Work, @mswatusc
* Sunya Folayan, MSW, ACSW, founder/executive director, The Empowerment Project, Inc., @SunyaFolayan
* Laurel Hitchcock, PhD, Assistant Professor of Social Work, University of Alabama at Birmingham, @laurelhitchcock

On April 9th from 9-10PM EST, social work students from Norfolk State University and the University of Oklahoma will be engaging in a Twitter dialogue about privilege, difference, and justice in the context of community organizing and activism. The Twitter chat will be facilitated by the Association for Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA) @acosaorg, along with guest facilitators, Dr. Shane Brady, MSW, PhD, long time community organizer and current professor of social work at the University of Oklahoma and Dr. Jason M. Sawyer, MSW, PhD, community organizer and professor at Norfolk State University School of Social Work.ThisTwitter dialogue welcomes the participation and contributions from social workers, students, academics, activists, and allies from around the world.


#MacroSW Shout Outs

#MacroSW chats takes place on Twitter on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month. The chat is a collaboration between the Association for Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA) @acosaorg, The Network for Social Work Management (NSWM) @TheNSWM, USC School of Social Work @MSWatUSC, the University at Buffalo School of Social Work @UBSSW, Karen Zgoda @karenzgoda, and Sunya Folayan @SunyaFolayan.Background The frame for this discussion will be set through the watching of two best practice case studies in community organizing; Holding Ground and Gaining Ground, the story of the Dudley Street Initiative. While these films will provide some context for how grass roots community organizing and activism can lead to social change, dialogue in this chat will focus on recent events from Ferguson to #SAEHatesMe to anti LGBTQ bills, all of which have led to local and student led activism and community organizing.


How to Participate

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to connect with social work students, educators and practitioners from around the world. To participate: Watch the documentaries Holding Ground and Gaining Ground: The Story of the Dudley Street Initiative, if possible. Many university libraries have these films available or trailers can be found for them on YouTube and other related sites. As you watch the film, take a few moments to consider current issues impacting your community and communities around the U.S. and world. Think about how difference between groups of people leads to and/or perpetuates injustice as well as slows community organizing and social change. Also think about the lessons learned from Dudley Street or from other successful grass roots organizing and activist efforts that you may be familiar with. What made them so successful? How did they address difference? and What lessons learned can we take away from these efforts? Finally, what is the role of social work in grassroots organizing and social action? Participate in the live Twitter chat using the hashtag #MacroSW. Tweet any questions or responses directed to the moderator @Dr_Pracademic and/or @Dr_PraxisAlly and include #MacroSW in all of your tweets.

Values and Principles for Anti-Oppressive Dialogue Adapted from Fithian


The purpose of this Twitter chat is to challenge our own thinking and to learn from one another within the context of a virtual space. In order to promote safety, respect, and mutual learning in this space, we ask that participants read over these suggested values and principles for Anti-Oppressive Intergroup Dialogue, which are grounded in the literature of positive peace, anti-oppressive community organizing, and intergroup dialogue.


1. Power and privilege can be destructive to group processes. Privilege, like power can be used for positive purposes but should be used with awareness and care.

2. Approach dialogues with cultural humility, since none of us can truly be experts about the experiences of another race, gender, religion, culture, social class, sexual orientation, or other positionally nor do we understand their experiences.

3. We can only identify how power and privilege play out when we are conscious and committed to understanding how racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism, classism, ableism, adultism, and other forms of oppression are perpetuated by both people and systems, beginning with ourselves.

4. Dialogue and discussion are necessary and we need to learn how to listen non-defensively and communicate respectfully if we are going to have effective anti-oppression practice.
5. Given that some dialogues may take place in virtual spaces, be extra mindful and considerate of how your responses and statements may be received by others who have never met you, cannot see your body language, and cannot hear your tone.
6. Dialogue is preferred over debate in the context of intergroup learning. The goal of a debate is often to one up someone, which can harm relationships and divide groups. On the contrary, the goal of a dialogue is to gain understanding about alternative perspectives and ideas.
7. Conflict is often unavoidable and on its own is not unhealthy, it’s how you facilitate and handle conflict that will determine if it is beneficial or detrimental to the dialogue.
8. Being called out can often be a gift to be embraced, be open to it; however, before calling people in can also be an effective strategy for identifying a challenging behavior or idea shared by another person in a group setting, and addressing it in a less threatening way for the purpose of helping the individual learn, and also acknowledging that ALL OF US make mistakes from time to time.
9. Keep an open mind. While it may seem simple, if you are unwilling to challenge your own thinking, beliefs, views, and values, I am not certain that a dialogue will benefit you much.
10. Hate Speech of any kind has no place in a dialogue space.

The following questions will be used to facilitate this dialogue:
  1. What are the most pressing issues impacting your community (Similar or Different from the issues impacting Dudley Street)?
  2. How do you see and/or experience difference in your community?
  3. Given recent events in Ferguson, NYC, Berkley, Oklahoma, and around the country, how do we effectively address difference in communities and in practice?
  4. What lessons, if any, do you take away from successful social action, practice, organizing efforts such as Dudley Street, #BlackLivesMatter, #OU_Unheard, Arab Spring, and others?
  5. Given the close knit ties of social work to federal, state, and local government agencies and funding streams, can we as a profession effectively and adequately promote grassroots organizing, social work practice across difference, and activism for social change, why or why not?
  6. Does social media and technology help or hinder dialogue and addressing difference in community organizing?
Additional Resources Dudley Street Initiative Website: University of Michigan Program on Intergroup Relations: http://igr.umich.eduTeaching Tolerance website run by Southern Poverty Law Center: Community Toolbox by University of Kansas, resources on holding dialogues in communities: Anti-Oppressive community organizing resources by Lisa Fithian:



Many Thanks Everyone - shane and Jason


resources-exercises/ We look forward to hearing your voice and insights on April 9th!! - shane and Jason

March 26, 2015: Advocacy in Social Work Practice

by University at Buffalo School of Social Work #UBSSW


Advocacy is the heart of social work.


The NASW Code of Ethics addresses this in the Preamble:


"Social workers promote social justice and social change with and on behalf of clients. Fundamental to social work is attention to the environmental forces that create, contribute to, and address problems in living... strive to end discrimination, oppression, poverty, and other forms of social injustice. These activities may be in the form of direct practice, community organizing, supervision, consultation administration, advocacy, social and political action, policy development and implementation, education, and research and evaluation. Social workers seek to enhance the capacity of people to address their own needs. Social workers also seek to promote the responsiveness of organizations, communities, and other social institutions to individuals' needs and social problems."


All six ethical principles - service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity and competence - can be applied to advocacy in macro, mezzo and micro areas of social work practice.


Here are some questions for our discussion:

  1. How do you define advocacy?
  2. What have been your own experiences of advocacy?
  3. What skills are needed to be an effective advocate?
  4. If you are a SW educator or student: what is taught about advocacy in your school?
  5. How can we measure outcomes of advocacy?
  6. What are current issues for bettering the SW profession?

We hope you will join us this Thursday at 9pm ET / 8 PM CT / 6 PM PT !




NASW Advocacy page


The ABCs of Lobbying


Dalrymple, J. and Boylan, J. (2013). Effective Advocacy in Social Work. London: Sage.


Social Worker & Professor Kristie Holmes' Run for Congress:


Vice-President Inonge Wina of Zambia: Social Work Prepared Her for Politics


How Social Workers Can Engage Congress in the Pursuit of Social Justice / Network for Social Work Management  - #MacroSW Chat


Student Reflections on the 2015 Legislative Action Day


Dorothy I. Height and Whitney M. Young, Jr. Social Work Reinvestment Act


Freddolino, PP, Moxley, DP, Hyduk, CA (2004). A Differential Model of Advocacy in Social Work

Practice, in Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services 85:1, pp 119-128.

Payne, M. (Ed.) (2014) Modern Social Work Theory 4th Ed.  New York: St. Martin's Press. See Chapter 11 Empowerment and Advocacy


How to Participate

To participate in the #MacroSW Twitter chat, go to the search box and enter the hashtag #MacroSW and then click on "all." To join in the discussion include #MacroSW in all your tweets, including replies.


#MacroSW chats takes place on Twitter on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month. The chat is a collaboration between the Association for Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA) @acosaorg, The Network for Social Work Management (NSWM) @TheNSWM, USC School of Social Work @MSWatUSC, the University at Buffalo School of Social Work @UBSSW, Karen Zgoda @karenzgoda, and Sunya Folayan @SunyaFolayan.

3/12/15- Inequality for All @laurelhitchcock & @JimmySW moderating

Laurel Hitchcock and I are once again partnering with the #MacroSW Chat to host a live one hour chat on the topic of Inequality. We encourage you to participate and if you get the chance, please view the film Inequality for All prior to the chat. The film is very well done and it sets the context for the chat. We had a great experience last semester with this assignment and hope to replicate it again. The following is a re-blog from Laurel's website:

Spring 2015 Live Twitter Chat Assignment for Social Work Students

To help social work students and educators learn about Twitter and develop the skills to participate in a live chat, Jimmy Young of the University of Nebraska-Kearney and I (Laurel Hitchcock of University of Alabama at Birmingham) have designed an assignment for social work students that involves joining a live Twitter chat with other social work students, educators and practitioners from around the country to talk about important social and economic justice issues. The assignment is designed for a policy or macro-practice course, but it can be incorporated into almost any social work course. Here are the some of the details of the assignment:

  1. Students watch the documentary Inequality for All, and then write a brief reaction paper to movie.
  2. Then, students participate in the live Twitter chat scheduled for March 12, 2015 at 8:00 PM CST. This chat will be sponsored by #MacroSW, a bi-weekly Twitter chat focusing on macro social work practice issues, and hosted by Jimmy and I. During the chat, we will ask questions about the film and income inequality that will guide the flow of the conversation.
  3. After the live chat, students write a brief self-reflection essay about the experience of participating in the chat.

While the written parts of the assignment are optional to participate in the chat, we highly recommend some type of reflection so students are engaged with the content from the documentary prior to the chat, and have an opportunity to critically assess how the experience can inform their future social work practice. We have written in more detail about the assignment in previous blog posts which include detailed instructions for the assignment, grading rubrics and tips on how to introduce your students to Twitter. Our first chat was held on October 28, 2014, and you can read details about it here, including a transcript of tweets from the conversation. There is no cost to educators or students to participate in the chat, and we welcome anyone, especially social work practitioners, to join the chat.


Because we are working to improve the chat and the assignment as an educational experience for social work students, we are very interested in any feedback from social work educators. Please contact us (by clicking on our names below) if you plan to have your class or maybe a student group participate in the chat. We also welcome questions.

#MacroSW Chat February 26 at 9 P.M. EST: How Social Workers Can Engage Congress in the Pursuit of Social Justice

On Thursday, February 26 at 9:00 P.M. EST, the Network for Social Work Management will host the #MacroSW chat and feature Charles E. Lewis, Jr. (@CRISPontheHill), President, Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy (CRISP) and former deputy chief of staff and communications director for former Congressman Edolphus "Ed" Towns, to discuss what the social work profession's response should be for engaging Congress in pursuit of social justice.

We will explore the following questions:

  1. What motivated you to become a social worker?
  1. Do you know there is a Congressional Social Work Caucus and why it was created?
  1. Do you know how the Social Work Reinvestment Act will help the profession?
  1. What can social workers do to influence federal policy?
  1. Have you considered a career in policy?
  1. Can social workers make a difference if we were more politically active?
  1. What social worker inspires you the most?

#MacroSW Chat 2/12 9PM EST - Everything You Wanted to Know About Macro Social Work But Were Afraid to Ask


Well, everything about Macro Social Work that can fit into an hour of respectful dialogue and synchronous Twitter conversation.

We will cover:

  • What is macro social work?
  • How can I learn about macro social work practice?
  • How can I connect with others doing macro social work?
  • What inspires you about macro social work?
  • What do you wish others knew about macro social work practice?


1/22/15 - Roe V. Wade @acosaorg moderating
This chat will cover the anniversary of the Roe V. Wade decision. ACOSA (@acosaorg) will be moderating.

Participate in the Social Work and Business #MacroSW Twitter Chat the Network is hosting on Thursday November 13th!



It has been said the MSW is the new MBA, but to make this a true reality and for social workers to no longer lose ground in obtaining leadership positions, we need to be better equipped with essential business skills to function and thrive. Join us Thursday at 6 PM PDT/ 9 PM EDT for the Social Work and Business  #MacroSW chat with Andrew J. Germak, Network for Social Work Management board member, author and professor and founding executive director of the Center for Leadership and Management, at the School of Social Work at Rutgers, we'll explore:

  • The evolving role of the social work manager
  • The business skills social work managers must have
  • Learning the basics of financial and talent management, board development and relations and marketing

While our time in graduate school teaches us how to think, when you move into the real world your education never stops. Here are some questions we will explore in the #MacroSW chat:

1. Do all social workers need business skills?
2. What is the best way to go about learning these MBA type skills? i.e. accounting, finance, marketing
3. Should I earn an MBA in addition to an MSW degree?
4. How have you seen your role in the social work profession evolve since graduation?


For instructions on how to participate in a Twitter Chat please read:


#MacroSW Live Twitter Chat on 10/28/14 9:00 PM EST (6:00 PM PDT)


Posted By Laurel Hitchcock on Oct 3, 2014


Jimmy Young (@Jimmysw) and I (@laurelhitchcock) have designed a social media assignment for social work students that involve students watching a documentary and then participating in a live Twitter chat. The assignment is meant for a policy or macro class and involves students watching the documentary Inequality for All, and then participating in a live Twitter chat on October 28th at 9pm Eastern Standard Time. We have partnered with the wonderful folks that conduct the #MacroSW chat for this special event and will be using their hashtag #MacroSW to facilitate the live chat.


We are interested in piloting this assignment in classrooms across the country and hope that other social work or human service educators might participate by including the assignment in class and providing feedback. Of course if you would rather just join the Live Chat only, that would be wonderful as we hope to have many individuals participate.


The assignment includes some critical thinking and reflection components that include brief writing pieces and peer- and self-assessment forms. The purpose of this assignment is to: 1) help students learn about policies and societal contexts that influence income inequality, and 2) give students the opportunity to collaborate and communicate with other students and professionals using technology.  The assignment consists of three parts:


1. Students will watch the documentary Inequality for All on their own or in class, and then write a brief reaction to the movie including if they agreed with the film maker's position (why or why not?) and how the movie informed their understanding of poverty in the U.S. (500 -700 words).


2. Students then participate in a one-hour Live Twitter Chat on October 28th at 8 PM Central Standard Time. Questions will be based around the film as well as the overarching topic of Inequality. Students will need a free Twitter account, and will demonstrate participation during the chat by: a) posting responses to at least three of the discussion questions; b) responding to at least three other chat participants; and c) include a hyperlink in at least two posts. If you or your students are new to Twitter, you can use the following guide to help get you started (Getting Started with Twitter) or watch this video on how to participate in a live Twitter chat (Link).


3. After the live chat, students will write a self-reflection about the experience of participating in the live twitter chat that includes a brief summary of the chat, lessons learned from the chat and how the experience could inform future social work practice (300-500 words).


Naturally you can assign point values or simply include this as part of the class participation. Should you choose to use it as a traditional assignment the following Rubric will help with grading and providing directions for students. The rubric is based upon the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards from Council on Social Work Education.


Lastly, to help us with improving this assignment we ask that you assess the quality of the rubric for this assignment by using the following meta-rubric and share it with us by clicking on our names below.  Please feel free to contact either of us with questions.

Jimmy Young

Laurel Iverson Hitchcock

Igniting the Fire: Creating and Sustaining Innovation in Macro Social Work Practice #MacroSW 10/23, 9pm EST

Folks, join us for a special chat hosted by Karen Zgoda (@karenzgoda) on creating and sustaining innovation with guest expert Mozart Guerrier (@mgspeaks). Mozart is community practitioner focusing on supporting grassroots community leaders to address health disparities. He speaks on storytelling and social innovation conferences at MIT, Brown, TEDxSyracuse, and TEDxUtica and contributes his ideas on social innovation and impact to Social Enterprise Alliance and Stanford Social Innovation Review. He has experience starting and being a member of multiple social impact startups.

Join Making Social Entrepreneurship Happen newsletter!


Discussion Questions:
  1. How do we build macro social work innovation?
  2. How do we build macro social work in a sustainable way?
    1. Lots of individual shops, but not working together
    2. Even when working together, where is quality?
  3. How can macro social workers become more influential? How can we lead the conversations?
  4. How can social workers make an impact NOW?


Oct 9 #MacroSW Twitter Chat: Ferguson Discussion

The Association for Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA) recently issued a statement on the event in Ferguson, Missouri. The statement includes clear steps that social work professional organizations, schools of social work, and individual practitioners can take to advance social justice.  You can read the statement here. On Thursday October 9th at 9:00 PM EST (6:00 PM PDT) we will be discussing this further during the #MacroSW Twitter chat.

@acosaorg will be moderating.

#MacroSW Tweet Chat: A World Connected for Suicide Prevention

In honor of World Suicide Prevention week we invite you to join us on Thursday, September 11 at 6PM PDT/9PM EDT, for a #MacroSW tweet chat moderated by USC School of Social Work (@MSWatUSC). The International Association of Suicide Prevention External link (IASP) announced that this year’s theme for World Suicide Prevention Day is “A World Connected,” which will serve as the foundation for our discussion this week. We will use the #MacroSW chat as a venue to share campaigns, resources, and articles on the subject of suicide prevention. Additionally, the chat will provide a space to share ideas and best practices for increasing connectedness between community members and vital mental health services, and ways to better collaborate between individual advocates and organizations around the world.

July 24, 2014

Join us for the #MacroSW Tweet Chat July 24:

Turning Networking into Your Competitive Advantage


Join us on Thursday, July 24 at 6PM PDT/9PM EDT, for #MacroSW tweet chat moderated by The Network for Social Work Management (@TheNSWM) on how to turn networking into your competitive advantage and to discuss strategies for professional networking.


Complete our networking survey about your networking experiences. Results will be shared and  discussed on the July 24 #MacroSW Twitter chat.


Your network is your net worth and  a powerful tool you can use to advance your career or education. In this chat we'll share networking strategies and best practices in addition to releasing our survey results. With the increased reliance online networking, we will also touch upon how important it is to maintain in-person connections.

Discussion questions:

1. Do you network? If so, what's your approach?


2. What do you feel is your biggest obstacle to networking?(i.e. time, nerves, finding the right events)


3. Do you use social media to network professionally? If yes, which mediums and how has it been beneficial to you?


4.  If you do not use social media, why not?


5.  Do you prefer in person or online networking?


6.  What's your networking etiquette? What has worked best for you?


7.  What advice would you give to others who are ready to network?

July 10, 2014

Evaluating Practice: #MacroSW Twitter Chat 7/10 at 9pm EST (Karen Zgoda)

What are best practices in evaluating practice? What have you found to be helpful in integrating evaluation into your practice? What do you need to be better at evaluating practice? Join us as we discuss evaluating practice and share best practices!

Chat discussion questions:

  1. What are the current goals of the program? What does the literature say about this phenomenon in terms of program intervention?
  2. What kinds of data will evaluators need? What is readily available? Are government statistics relevant, for example? Does the agency keep data that might be useful? With whom might evaluators want to gather information? Agency directors? Middle-level staff? Clients?
  3. What type of design makes the most sense and why?
  4. What type of data collection tools would be most appropriate?
  5. How will the evaluation address culture and social contexts?
  6. What limitations will this evaluation present? What obstacles might evaluators encounter and how would one counter these obstacles?
  7. Having already identified the primary stakeholders, how would one disseminate the results of the program evaluation?
June 12, 2014


In recent years, social media has been identified as a powerful aid to macro social work practice. Platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and blogging websites allow macro practitioners access to large audiences and encourage unprecedented information sharing and collaboration.


However, despite social media's popularity and potential to promote social change, many social workers have reservations about using Internet platforms in their social work practice. Concerns about social media's usage include ethical issues and questions regarding the ability of social media to promote real life action.


Join us this Thursday, June 12th, for a #macroSW twitter chat discussing the role of social media in macro social work practice. This chat will be hosted and moderated by the Macro Social Work Student Network (@MSWSN), a student led organization founded at CUNY Hunter's Silberman School of Social Work dedicated to enhancing and promoting macro  social work education.


Questions for Discussion:
  1. Do you use social media in your social work practice? What forms of social media have you found most helpful as a macro practitioner?
  2. Do you believe it is essential for today's social workers to develop an Internet presence? Why or why not?
  3. What does social media offer social work practitioners that is different than traditional forms of communication? When is it best to use face-to-face communication rather than social media?
  4. Should schools of social work incorporate social media into the BSW/MSW curriculum? If so, how can schools incorporate social media training?
  5. What ethical issues might arise in the use of social media as a tool for social work practice?

May 22, 2014
#MacroSW Twitter Chats is this Thursday (5/22/14) at 9 pm EDT. This week we will be discussing the importance of international social work. Pat Shelly (UB-School of Social Work) @ubssw will be moderating.

May 8, 2014
#MacroSW Twitter Chats is this Thursday (5/8/14) at 9 pm EDT. This week we will be discussing military families. Gabby Acosta (USC) @mswatusc will be moderating.


April 24, 2014
#MacroSW Twitter Chats is this Thursday (4/24/14) at 9 pm EDT. This week we will be discussing how to find a mentor. Kristin Battista-Frazee/NSWM @TheNSWM will be moderating.

April 10, 2014
#MacroSW Twitter Chats is this Thursday (4/10/14) at 9 pm EDT. This week we will be discussing interagency collaboration and community work. Karen Zgoda @karenzgoda will be moderating. Here is what Karen Zgoda is putting forth as a focus/headline question: How do modern social workers engage in community practice?