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Alcorn celebrates its inaugural Social Work Day

Alcorn State, Miss. (March 28, 2013) - Alcorn State University students, faculty and staff recently gathered in the Medgar Evers Auditorium to celebrate the University’s first Social Work Day. This event was a part of the annual National Social Work Month celebration that aims at spreading public awareness and knowledge of the profession, and serves as a voice for the social workers. This year’s theme was “Weaving Threads of Resilience and Advocacy: The Power of Social Work.”

At the beginning of the program, Alcorn students majoring in social work and the Social Work Club members welcomed the audience and shared about the history of social work in the U.S.A. “Since the first social work class was offered in 1898 at Columbia University, social workers have led the way developing private and charitable organizations to serve people in need. Social workers continue to address the needs of society and bring out nation’s social problems to the public attention,” said senior Gilda Myers. “Today, Americans enjoy many privileges because early workers saw miseries and injustices and took action, inspiring others along the way.”

Dr. Dorothy A. Idleburg, director of the social work program, introduced the keynote speaker Dr. Angela Gaddis, chair/associate professor of social work at Belhaven University and president of the National Association of Social Workers – Mississippi Chapter.

In her speech, Dr. Gaddis stated, “Social Work Month reminds just how important the profession is, and empowers social workers to advocate for themselves, the community and their clients.” Addressing the students, she said, “I hope that you will be encouraged by today’s celebration and empowered about your profession of choice. Remember, that social workers’ service truly makes a difference in the lives of others. To serve as a voice for individuals who cannot speak for themselves – what a privilege, what an honor to do that!” Dr. Gaddis added, “Educate the society and the legislature on what you do because it matters.”

In her closing remarks, Dr. Alpha Morris, chair of the Department of Social Sciences, spoke about importance of licensure in the profession. “License gives social workers a standard of practice that everyone is held accountable to.” She encouraged students to go to graduate school and to achieve excellence and be able to advocate to the very best for their clients, for themselves and for the profession.