First, take a moment to think about what is going on in your own community. Is there a new housing ordinance that the city government will be voting on soon? Is there a proposal going before the school board that would impact families? Have you seen any notices about protests, marches, or meetings in your area? Identify a current issue or movement (e.g., Women’s March, Black Lives Matter, immigration rights) about which you would like to learn more. This topic should be something in which you are not currently involved and therefore can observe without becoming personally invested.
Second, you will need to attend and observe a local coalition meeting, a community meeting, a city council meeting, school board meeting, information session for that movement, etc. Be sure to take thorough notes, so that you can answer the following questions.
Who appears to be in charge? How are leaders selected? If there are no leaders, describe the structure of the movement or organization.
Which stakeholders are represented? Whose interests are most prominently represented? Who appears to be left out?
Think about the six core values in the Social Work Code of Ethics. To what extent does this movement encompass these values?
Does the movement/coalition address an issue identified within the Grand Challenges for Social Work? If so, which one(s)?
In what ways do you believe the movement could be made more equitable?
If you had been hired as a consultant to help restructure, what goals would you consider to help create change? Are these goals based on best practices?
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