LGBTQ advocates support those in need during this crisis | Coronavirus challenges traditional Ramadan practices | Climate change could highlight disparities
April 23, 2020
Social Work SmartBrief
Top Story
Social worker Landon Woolston is among those helping LBGTQ people in need of food, money for rent or other support during the pandemic. Woolston, along with other advocates, started the COVID-19 South Florida Mutual Aid group on Facebook and says donations to the group recently led to $1,000 worth of groceries to be distributed to members.
Full Story: Miami Herald (tiered subscription model) (4/22) 
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Breaking News
Coronavirus challenges traditional Ramadan practices
Muslim devotees mark social distancing signs on the floor at a mosque ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan (Rizwan Tabassum/Getty Images)
Ramadan traditions have been upended this year, with public gatherings discouraged and mosques -- a center of life and community -- closed. Older members of the community look to local coffee shops, stores or restaurants for social interaction, but social worker Farhiya Iman worries how they'll connect with those places not open.
Full Story: Minnesota Public Radio (4/22) 
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Climate change needs to be addressed now to limit social injustice, says associate social work professor Lisa Reyes Mason. Some people will be harmed more than others, such as older or low-income people, with effects extending to job loss or inability to pay bills, but mitigation or adaptation efforts can slow climate change, she says.
Full Story: The Daily Beacon (University of Tennessee, Knoxville) (4/22) 
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Hospice social worker Rick Fairbanks continues to provide guidance and support to clients and their families even with volunteer services on hold and meals delivered frozen. Families' face-to-face visits are often replaced with video that he facilitates, although he has advocated for in-person visits when a loved one is near the end of life.
Full Story: The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.) (subscription required) (4/22) 
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Government & Policy
New York City planned to move 6,000 homeless people to hotel rooms from shelters by Monday, but it is 1,450 people short of that goal. When the plan was announced, the city included 3,500 homeless people who already were in hotels before the pandemic, and just 1,050 have been moved since.
Full Story: Politico (4/21) 
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Maine has launched a help line to support workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic manage stress and anxiety. The FrontLine Warmline is staffed by volunteers, including psychologists, therapists and social workers.
Full Story: Bangor Daily News (Maine) (tiered subscription model) (4/23) 
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Career Insights
Predicting the future is immensely difficult, and this remains true when it comes to outlining how business and society will be changed by the coronavirus pandemic, writes Rob Walker. "Every prediction is just a point on a spectrum of possibilities to consider, and that will be influenced by developments no one has thought of yet," he writes.
Full Story: Medium (tiered subscription model)/Marker (4/20) 
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Leaders who "hold" their teams coalesce them around a shared vision by providing sound policies and tools that help people feel safe and valued, writes INSEAD associate professor Gianpiero Petriglieri. "Your impulse may be to focus on the future but that will be little more than escapism if you cannot witness and understand people's immediate experience and concerns," he writes.
Full Story: Harvard Business Review online (tiered subscription model) (4/22) 
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NASW Updates
Voting in the 2020 NASW National Election begins April 6. Learn about the candidates and their platforms. Voting is your membership responsibility. In order to be eligible to vote, you must be a current NASW member with no pending sanctions and must have joined NASW by March 15, 2020.
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There is a new practice alert on the NASW Behavioral Health website. The practice alert highlights the findings and recommendations of the Congressional Black Caucus' Task Force on the increasing rates of suicide among black youth in the 5-11 age group. You may access the alert here.
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Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too.
writer, public activist, philosopher
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