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Robin Acconi

on 28 March 2017

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Transcript of SOCIAL WORK:

Social Work, Advocacy and Empowerment
Social Workers use:
What is Empowerment?
They use their voice to help others. They raise their voices in the face of injustice.

Social Workers use their voice:
Robin A DeLuca-Acconi, PhD, LCSW
They teach others to use their
voice to advocate for themselves.
Once upon a time there was a small village on the edge of a river. The people there were good and life in the village was good. One day a villager noticed a baby floating down the river. The villager quickly swam out to save the baby from drowning. The next day this same villager noticed two babies in the river. He called for help, and both babies were rescued from the swift waters. And the following day four babies were seen caught in the turbulent current. And then eight, then more, and still more!

The villagers set up watchtowers and teams of swimmers who could rescue the babies. But each day the number of helpless babies floating down the river increased. The rescue squads were now snatching many children each day. The villagers felt they were doing well to save as many as they could each day.
One day, however, someone raised the question, "But where are all these babies coming from?"
She decided to walk upstream to find out who was throwing all of these babies into the river in the first place and advocate to put a stop to this policy.
Why would advocacy be more effective than continuing to save the babies one by one?

Lets change the story to
people instead of babies.

How would empowerment be even more powerful than one person advocating to change the policy of throwing people in the river?
Advocacy: Speaking to my administrator to an behalf of my students who have experienced bias and racism.

Empowerment: Organizing the students to speak up against injustice that they see against others or themselves. Helping them make change within the school.
“Oppressive language does more than represent violence;.....
it is violence
; does more than represent the limits of knowledge; it limits knowledge.” -Toni Morrison (Nobel lecture, 1993)
Instead of rescuing people... It is saying to them...
What does that quote mean to you?
We discussed this quote...
It is about raising your voice when faced with injustice... not being silent...
What do you think is meant by "silence is the residue of fear" ?

Have you ever felt silenced in the face of injustice?
If so when?
What do you wish you have said or done?
One line that sticks out for you?

What about it really impacted you?
Helping people who have dealt with bias or oppression to learn organizing and advocacy skills so that they can advocate for themselves.

Adapted from:http://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/youth/call/workshop1/171686.shtml
and Shultz, (2007) http://www.educationaction.org/
Full transcript