Academy for African-Centered Social Work Task Force*
Iris Carlton-LaNey, Ph.D., Chair
Tricia Bent-Goodley, Ph.D., Gladys Dunston, Leonard Dunston,
Aminifu Harvey, DSW, Thaddeus Mathis, Ph.D., Rhonda Wells-Wilbon, DSW
Graduates of the Academy of African-Centered Social Work are overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic about their experiences and their learning, as they have matriculated through the Academy. They have become stanch advocates encouraging others to consider the Academy as an “instrument for social change” as touted in the NABSW Code of Ethics. It is without question that there is continued interest in and support for the Academy of African-Centered Social Work. We are concerned about the sustainability of the Academy and to that end submit the following.
Task Force Proposals:
o Membership dues are one logical vehicle for securing funds to help to revive and institutionalize the Academy for African-Centered Social Work.
o We also encourage the NABSW leadership to urge officers and committee chairpersons to enroll in the Academy when practicable.
o We propose that an additional assessment earmarked specifically for the Academy for African-Centered Social Work (hereafter referred to as the Academy) is assessed per year per capita.
o We propose that “Graduates and Friends of the Academy” be asked to make annual contributions, which will be paid the NABSW earmarked for the Academy. There are nearly 120 Academy alumni. We anticipate that at least half will agree to contribute to the Academy as supporters who valued their learning and want to see others have similar opportunities. This will provide additional funds toward Academy expenses. Additional funds to support the Academy will come from student fees. In order to make this feasible, it will be necessary to have a class of no fewer than 10 students.
Academy Alumni Benefits
We propose that Academy alumni be provided the same course materials that each current class participant receives (via the web—to avoid mailing costs) from each successive class. This includes course outlines, bibliographies, and handouts for each class, etc.
We propose that a special “Lecture/Learning” Session be provided at each national conference specifically for Academy alumni [although not closed to this group]. The sessions will become part of the annual Conference program and provide speakers and trainers, many of whom may be alumni. With the help of facilitators and trainers, these sessions might provide, for example, opportunities for alumni to revise their Academy papers for submission for publication, further training on ways to integrate African-centered practice in contemporary practice, etc. Academy alumni and the Council of Sages will be encouraged to provide suggestions about the types of services and learning that is desired and to facilitate the development of the sessions.
We propose that a bi-annual newsletter be produced (disseminated via the web) with Academy news. A more feasible option would be to designate a section in the NABSW Newsletter specifically for “Academy News.” This section would, for example, introduce a new Academy class with photographs and biographical information along with the individual’s goals and expectations from the Academy. [Or some version of this type of information].
The “Academy News” section might also provide opportunities for Academy students or alumni to share information about how they are using the information gleaned from the Academy or how that information has influenced their practice and ways that consumers have responded, etc. This Section can also be a recruitment mechanism for both NABSW membership and future Academy classes.
Academy General Benefits
The African American community will benefit from the continued work of the Academy. The community will have a larger pool of social work practitioners whose practice is African-centered, who acknowledge the significance of culture in program and policy development and who will ultimately become stronger, more sensitive advocates for African American children, elders, families, etc.
Academy graduates will seek (and find) opportunities to present their models for infusing African-centered practice in their agencies or other organizations. This will be educational for a much broader audience.
Iris Carlton-LaNey © 2007
This document represents a proposal prepared by the Academy of African-Centered Social Work Revitalization Task Force. It has not been presented to the Executive Committee for official review and consideration. Until such time that it has been reviewed and action taken by the Executive Committee, it should only be considered as a proposal for future consideration.