2017/03/08

York College Social Work Students 'Stand Up' in Albany

March is Social Work month and the National Association of Social Workers is commemorating the month with a "Social Work Stand Up" campaign. On March 7, 2017, 35 members of the York College Social Work Club, Social Work Empowering & Encouraging Together (S.W.E.E.T.), along with Faculty Advisor, Dr. Selena T. Rodgers, traveled to Albany, New York for Social Work Legislative Day.

The social work delegation attended scheduled meetings with several elected officials—Honorable NYS Assemblywoman Vivian E. Cook (32nd Assembly District), NYS Assemblymember Jaime R. Williams (59th AD), York College Alumna of the Class of 2010 and former vice president of the club; Assemblymember Clyde Vanel (33rd AD) Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman (29th AD), and with chiefs of staff for Senator Kenneth LaValle (Senate District 1) and Assemblymember Deborah Glick (66th AD). Additionally, the social work delegation met with and posed for pictures with Senator Leroy Comrie (14th Senate District), Senator James Sanders, Jr. (10th Senate District), Assemblywoman Michele Titus (AD 31) and Assemblyman Charles Baron (AD 60). York's President, Dr. Marcia V. Keizs and Dr. Earl Simons, Director of Government and Community Relations joined the student scholars for several legislative meetings and in the Assembly Chamber.

Social Work student scholars diligently advocated for funding and support on policies grounded in economic, educational and environmental sustainability, including reinforcement of policies—Choices of Education Act of 2017, Redlining in School Districts, intended to uphold equitable funding and practices for public school education. Monies to extend childcare services to evening hours throughout CUNY and advocacy for funding to fix York’s infrastructure, were among the top advocacy agenda items for student scholars this year. CUNY budget priorities including increasing the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), the Proposed Excelsior Scholarship Program, critical maintenance funding. York College Social Work students have a tradition of attending "Lobby Day" in Albany, this being their 11th year. As a student, Assemblymember Williams used to be among the York College students lobbying in Albany. She now has the distinction of being the first York College graduate to hold a New York Assembly seat.

Social Work student scholars extend their deepest gratitude to Hon. Assemblywoman Cook for her continued support of York College and NYS Assembymember Williams for her leadership and unwavering commitment to social justice issues. While in Albany, NYS Assembly member Williams presented a Proclamation to the York College Social Work Program, which was also introduced on the floor by Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle. The proceedings were supported by Assemblymembers Vanel and  Hyndman and can be viewed at:

http://nystateassembly.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip;_id=4138

-Dr. Selena T. Rodgers

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