Post-CSWE-APM 2016 Summary
November 22, 2016
Dear ACOSA Members and Friends,
As we prepare to wrap-up what is ending as a rather tumultuous year, we do want to recognize that our meetings and events at the Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting (APM) in Atlanta earlier in November were exciting and energizing ... despite the election results that followed. At a time when we need to rededicate ourselves to the challenges facing community and social change, we are "United for Macro Practice." This was evident in the APM Exhibit Hall, where Michel Coconis and Terry Cluse-Tolar kept up with a constant flurry of visitors at the ACOSA booth this year, which was located adjacent to our macro colleagues from Influencing Social Policy and the Network for Social Work Management, as well as our common publisher, Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group. From a packed bus for the exciting ACOSA In the Field event with Atlanta's Housing Justice Coalition organized by Fred Brooks, to Steve Burghardt's poetic and touching Career Achievement Acceptance Speech at the ACOSA Annual Membership Meeting, it was a strong showing of ACOSA's continued relevance and vitality. The Special Commission to Advance Macro Practice meetings and partnership sessions were jam-packed, and even the early Sunday morning ACOSA Partnership/COSA Track collaborative session had a nice crowd and provided a great forum for the next generation of macro practice social workers. Ann Alvarez with support from family and Michel Coconis with instruments, re-established the ACOSA Group Sing as a very popular event with a few hundred people coming in an out to lend their voice in song for a while.
To say that so many of us suffered a staggering letdown with the election following our gathering in Atlanta is an understatement, and many of us are still struggling to wrap our minds around the changes and challenges we are confronting in the wake of this election. While many of us have had the experience of having to take steps back in order to move forward again at other points in our work, we need to be supportive of our students and younger colleagues who are especially distraught and angered by the election events. We have found pathways forward with other set-backs, and we recognize that we are in this work for the long haul. We should be emboldened in our belief that the arc of social justice bends toward the future.
Stay strong, be supportive, and continue on this long journey to justice where we are humbled to march in such good company.
Tracy Soska, ACOSA Chair