Dear Midwest Region Colleagues:
Your board members representing the Midwest Region (States of Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, south Dakota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin) Sarah Ferguson and Julie Birkenmaier, enthusiastically welcome you to our new ACOSA website with the promise of exciting things to come from our organization. As members of ACOSA, we are diverse in our professional roles and foci, but we each recognize the essential importance of community together as a collective body to recognize and enhance community practice and social administration.
The Midwest has always been an innovator and leader in macro practice, with Jane Addams and others at Hull House serving as an early model of fostering social justice through community practice and policy across multiple levels, from local to national. Many disciplines in the health and social sciences are discovering community organization as a means to achieve more just and sustainable change and are moving a community focused agenda forward. An increasing number of policy and funding organizations call for community organization and community context to be addressed in local initiatives to improve well-being.
Macro practice is at a cross roads at this historic time. We have new opportunities to put forth our competencies with federal initiatives such as the Affordable Care Act’s National Prevention Strategy, which has community organization and community building as essential for the well-being of populations. At the same time, we have unprecedented (in recent times) human suffering due to national and global economic instability and increasing poverty in the U.S.; and all the while critical safety net programs are undermined and threatened.
We invite you to be active participants in our organization: through publishing in our journal, contributing to our newsletter, sharing on our website, attending our annual meeting at CSWE’s APM, and getting active with our committees.
Please let us know how we can serve you, and bring your ideas to us through this website. Take some time to explore it and consider joining a committee. Bookmark the website so that you can visit often and contribute to the ongoing discourse.
Sarah Ferguson, Ph.D and Julie Birkenmaier, Ph.D