Advocates' Forum 2019 Letter from the Editors

By Shay Gonzales, Kaitlin Pelech, and Elizabeth Weiss

News Type
Advocates' Forum

The publishing of this journal is a collective and somewhat unseen effort. Before becoming the tangible product that you now hold, the Advocates’ Forum was the labor of authors and editors who spent many hours researching, writing, editing, and collaborating to produce a dynamic journal that reflects the diverse voices and concerns of the field of social work. This journal requires vast amounts of collective time and energy to come together. The labor of Advocates’ Forum, like much of social work, is a labor of love, and the compensation is not necessarily quantifiable, particularly since most of it is unpaid. Our compensation, instead, derives from the satisfaction of collaboratively creating a journal that represents and serves the social work community. We have thought a great deal about the ways in which the production of this journal is reflective of the untold labor – physical, emotional, and mental – that exists in the field of social work without being compensated except through the satisfaction of having done a good thing.

This journal is a collective effort of many hours of financially uncompensated labor in all forms, making this final product something of which we are immensely proud. We find it necessary, this year in particular, to name and acknowledge the ways in which social workers’ invisible labors of love go unnoticed and unpaid. The 2019 Editorial Team, all 15 individuals listed in this journal, spent countless hours reading, evaluating, and collaborating on the final product of this journal. Through each meeting and every conversation, they have been gracious, empathic, and intensely goal-driven, making our unpaid work of coordinating and planning easier and more enjoyable. Beyond our incredible team, though, our fellow social work students at SSA have spent an unbelievable amount of time writing, editing, and honing pieces for submission; this includes the eight authors published in the 2019 Advocates’ Forum as well as many more who submitted.

Our selection of articles this year is representative of the varied voices and forms through which social work happens. We have chosen to include both empirical and creative pieces, in hopes that we are able to represent well the work of social workers from many traditions. Portia Bajwa, Kelsey Foreman, and Charlotte Sall’s article explores the role of social norm theory and domestic violence reporting in Bihar, India, using a nuanced and comprehensive analytical approach. Em Creahan’s piece uses both original, visual art, and poetry to weave a reflective narrative of queerness, self-discovery, and rediscovery. Chloe Glispie’s article reflects on the role of self-identity and personal history to inform an individual social worker’s praxis. John Moulder’s article examines the relationship between music and nostalgia and makes recommendations for therapeutic practice with older adults. Jason Straussman’s article embarks on a qualitative, ethnographic analysis of a Hyde Park church that intertwines faith and social justice values. Elizabeth Weiss’s article delves into a vulnerable examination of the role of state apparatuses, hegemonic masculinity, and systems of control in her own relational and educational experiences. We are excited to share these pieces with you. The 2019 Advocates’ Forum would not exist without the hard work and incredible insight into the field of social work that these authors have provided.

We would like to extend our gratitude to everyone who helped make this year’s journal a success. We are grateful to all the authors who submitted their work and for their contributions to current conversations at SSA and beyond. We want to thank Daniel Listoe, PhD, for working with our authors to edit their pieces into beautiful final products. Thank you also to Associate Professor Susan Lambert for her support and wisdom this year as our Faculty Advisor; to the Dean of Students Office for their service to Advocates’ Forum and the students of SSA; to Director of Marketing and Communications, Julie Jung, for her patience and advice; and to the SSA SGA, for their volunteer service to Advocates’ Forum and the broader SSA community. And, of course, to our dedicated and brilliant Editorial Board and to you all, the students of SSA and our readers.