The School Organizing Program: A specific brand of organizing, the School Organizing Program, empowers social work students do the work on their very campuses. As a part of the MSWSN coalition, your chapter has substantial autonomy. We are uniquely positioned because many of us are quickly in-and-out of our programs, so we have to organize within a focused scope of assets and, sometimes, a limited time frame. With that said, we at MSWSN recognize that developing a chapter with the strength and tenacity to organize and take action requires time, effective communication, and the skills that macro practice teaches.
The Program's mission is to engage social work students to use and improve their organizing skills to enhance awareness about the necessity of macro social work, effect change in school curricula, and leave their macro social work programs in a better place than when they entered them. Within MSWSN, the School Organizing Program is in place so that individual MSWSN chapters may reach out to MSWSN leadership for support and and guidance:
- For when your chapter is challenged by structural difficulties or creative action blocks, we provide advice from advanced macro students (second-year MSW and PhD students)
- For when communication styles within your chapter face challenges, we provide mediation services as an uninformed third party
- For when your chapter faces hierarchical challenges, limiting the progress of your chapter as students within your social work program, we provide advice via past experiences (or connecting you to a chapter who may have had a similar experience), as well as professional development
Chapters can be a part of MSWSN and not take part in the School Organizing Program, although we encourage you to do so. It is important to remember that we cannot all organize on our own. MSWSN leadership recognizes this as well, and will certainly reach out to Student Leaders within the School Organizing Program for support when needed.
To become a part of the School Organizing Program, your chapter must decide on one or more Student Leaders, who will act as liaison between your chapter and MSWSN leadership. Whether a BSW, MSW, or PhD student, you can organize toward enhanced macro education within your curriculum and your school’s culture. This is why MSWSN is developing leaders at social work schools across the country. The potential for change exists among many talented, impassioned students in every region, and that is noteworthy.
Student Leaders might be involved in starting a chapter of MSWSN at their school, organizing and developing a structure for sustainability, acting as a contact and/or spokesperson for the chapter, taking part in bi-monthly coalition conference calls, among other leadership responsibilities. To notify MSWSN leadership of your chapter's Student Leader(s), email MSWSNetwork@gmail.com.
The more chapters we create (regardless of size) at schools across the country, the more change we can bring to macro education and to the communities and populations we work to empower.