Office of Student Affairs 2010-2011 Annual Report
Melanie R. Bryant, MSW, OSA President
Traci Lewis, LMSW, Student Advisor
The Office of Student Affairs (OSA) is committed to motivating, educating and communicating with student chapters of the National Association of Black Social Workers, Inc. (NABSW) and their advisors. OSA guides students in creating and maintaining successful student chapters that are socially responsible and reflective of the mission of the NABSW. Our office provides leadership, support and direction relevant to student needs, challenges, programs, retention of student chapters and members, and fundraising. The mission of OSA is to provide a forum for NABSW student members to learn, identify with other African Americans servings as advocates, and protect and affect positive change in the Black Community.
The Office of Student Affairs has made great strides this year as we continue to uphold the mission and values of NABSW as well as mirror our 43rd Annual Conference Theme: “Beyond the Rhetoric: A Call for Social Action”. Our goal this year has been to encourage student members to nurture their spirit of activism, which leads to social action. OSA has partnered with the national Alliance of Black Student Professionals in order to advocate for Black students in all areas of study, as well as to come together to be unified with over 60,000 students to initiate social change. Also, with national student participation, the Office of Student Affairs participated in a national letter-writing campaign to advocate for the inclusion of “Righteous Self-Determination: The Black Social Work Movement in America” by Dr. Patricia Reid-Merritt a required text book in social work curriculum. Despite some obstacles, eight schools of social work have agreed to utilize and reference this text in various social work courses. Our social advocacy agenda will culminate during the 43rd Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA.
Students registered for the 2011 National Conference in New Orleans will have the opportunity to participate in OSA scheduled activities to instill and reinforce the skills necessary to become an advocate for social justice. OSA’s theme, “Beyond the Rhetoric, Putting the ACT back in Activism” which mirrors the National Conference theme, serves as the common thread throughout all OSA activities. Students will participate in the OSA Student Symposium, which will allow the students to interact and connect with NABSW’s founders. Students will also participate in the OSA Meet the Candidates, OSA Student Meeting/Elections, and OSA Hospitality, which will initiate networking opportunities and knowledge sharing. Attendees to the 2011 National Conference will also be able to join with OSA as we give back to the New Orleans Community by participating in an Urban Garden Party in an area of the 9th ward that’s considered a “food desert”. This collaborative project will engage the community and advocate for environmental awareness as well as educate the community on the effects of environmental exposure on health, social and economic sustainability.
Furthermore, OSA will recognize the 2010 recipients of the Cenie "Jomo" Williams Tuition Scholarship, Dr. Joyce Beckett Tuition Scholarship, Emma and Meloid Algood Tuition Scholarship, Selena Danette Brown Book Scholarship, and the Stella M. Browne Scholarship at the Cenie "Jomo" Williams Luncheon during the national conference.
OSA has done an outstanding job in order to increase financial stewardship among this office and student chapters. OSA continues to utilize the NABSW online store at www.cafepress.com/osanabsw, and has initiated several creative fundraisers to engage the students and motivate student chapters to become financially independent. Most successful was the creation of a 2011 Historical calendar, which created a pictorial history of the NABSW. Other fundraisers included a Scratch-Off fundraiser, continued sale of the Sankofa T-Shirt and the Kente cloth graduation stoles, and student chapter pledge sheets.
OSA has continued to utilize various means of communication including the OSA Communications Room at www.nabswstudentaffairs.blogspot.com, Facebook, and the Harambee Vision Student Newsletter. OSA continues to make efforts to connect student members with professional members utilizing the OSA Transition Process and National Sankofa Mentorship Project. It is the goal of OSA, in collaboration with the National Membership and Sankofa Co-Chairs, that every student be transitioned to a local chapter upon graduation. Additionally, in the spirit of Sankofa, the 2010-2011 OSA administration has worked diligently with the National administration to form mentoring relationships with our respective national counterparts to ensure that shared knowledge and continued leadership development occurs. OSA was also included in the work completed with the transition teams established by our National President, Joe Benton to assist in the facilitation of a smooth transition process. This opportunity proved to be an exciting learning experience. OSA Officers have personally connected with their student chapter counterparts, as well as with each student chapter, in order to aid in communication sharing and offer support and mentorship to each student chapter.
The National Student Advisor has had consistent contact with potential and returning student chapter advisors offering assistance, support and information as they journeyed to joining or returning to the NABSW family. The Student Chapter Advisor Manual continues to serve as a valuable source of information and training for current and potential student chapter advisors.
The Office of Student Affairs will continue to uphold the mission and values outlined by the National Association of Black Social Workers, Inc. and will continue to advocate “by any means necessary” that our mission and values be central to building and maintaining student chapters.