BPD Update Online, Spring 2002
President's Report
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Building the Power of Social Work

by Spencer Zeiger

In my opening address in Denver, I spoke of the Power of BPD. In this report, I will touch briefly on Building the Power of the Social Work Profession.

While in Nashville, I attended a meeting of national social work organization leaders. Present were:

Frank Baskind, CSWE (Council on Social Work Education)
Paula Allen-Meares, SSWR (Society for Social Work Research)
Rowena Wilson, GADE (Group for the advancement of Doctoral Educators)
Jean Quamm, NADD (National Association of Deans and Directors)
Ann Nichols-Casebolt, IASWR (Institute for the Advancement of Social Work Research)
Terri Mizrahi, NASW (National Association of Social Workers)

We talked of uniting our organizations in common causes. We all agreed to the urgency of this task. As we spoke, we realized that splintering of resources and talents was a major and common concern. We recognized that by working together, our profession gains identity and recognition in a way that individual organizations cannot achieve independent of each other.

We began talking about holding a joint conference in Washington D.C. five years down the road. There was genuine shared enthusiasm. We agreed to work toward this effort.

In attempts to establish common ground and pool resources, presenters at this joint conference would be encouraged to team TOGETHER with others from different organizations.

We could stress common themes such as Marketing the Profession and Enhancing the Image of Social Work (BPD has already taken a leadership role in reaching out to High School and Community College students); Defining the Continuum of social work education; and Bridging Practice, Education, and Research.

I suggested a theme, perhaps it's an affirmation: "We Take Care of Each Other." By combining our efforts we all have so much to gain. I also invited the same leaders to a pre-(BPD) conference meeting of the Presidents this fall in Pittsburgh - more than just an hour or two. The idea was well received. In the interim, I will continue to maintain close contact with national social work organization leaders. The time is now! We have a challenge before us; the future of social work is at stake. We will rise to the occasion. Together, we will build the power of social work.

In a related matter, I, along with other national social work leaders, will be serving on a panel entitled "Licensure of Educators: Exploring the Issues" at the Association of Social Work Boards Meeting in Milwaukee on April 13th. If you have any ideas or concerns about the licensure of social work educators at the baccalaureate level, please forward your comments to me tout de suite.

Switching gears, the Board of Directors will be meeting in Pittsburgh this coming June. The primary agenda item will be the creation of a new Strategic Plan (i.e., goals and objectives for BPD). I encourage all BPD members to review our current goals and objectives (go to BPDONLINE.ORG for details and contact information) and let your voices be heard if you desire changes, modifications, or continuation of our current plan.

BPD membership continues to grow. Thanks to the efforts of our Membership Committee, led by Joel Ambelang, and my graduate Assistant Wanda Katinszky, membership numbers are substantially ahead of where they were this time last year. As of March 19, 2002, we have the following numbers:

Full Members (may vote; may run for office, if a current director = 243 (49.9%)
Associate Members (may not vote or run for office*) = 242 (49.7%)
Life Time Members = 1 (~.2%)
Emeritus Members = 1 (~.2%)

Total Membership = 487 (100%)

*One (and only one) Associate member may serve on the Board of Directors. Full and Associate members may vote for this one position.

What is happening with the idea of BPDE (Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors and Educators)? What about changes in membership criteria member and privileges? These notions are still worthy of discussion and will emerge when the time is right. Meanwhile, some food for thought: 25% of Full Members (61 out of 243) cannot run since they are not current directors. This means that under the current by-laws, only 37% of the total membership (182 out of 487) are eligible to run for an elected position. Is it time for a change?

This report is a modified version of the Presidential Report given at the BPD business Meeting in Nashville, February 2002.

Next Page: Spotlight on Terrorism and Reconciliation:

Terrorism and Social Work Practice: Memories of Terrorism in Israel, Patricia Levy

A Global Context for Hospitality, William Whitaker

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