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60 Attend First Event of the Asian American Social Work Task Force
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60 Attend First Event of the Asian American Social Work Task Force

The Asian American Social Work Task Force held its first event on the evening of February 11, 2011, with the theme — Making Connections: The Role of Asian American Social Workers as Positive Agents of Change. The first panelist, Yuko Tanaka Inzana, LMSW, Director of Clinical Services at LifeTies, Inc., challenged our self-perceptions as Asians including what it means to us as individuals and professionals.

“If I wanted to effect change, it seemed to me that I could not do so without making impact on the family and on the community, so I went to social work school,” said Larry Lee, LMSW, Executive Director of the New York Asian Women’s Center, as he reflected on the meaning of a social work education and impact of activism a professional social worker can make. Virginia Tong, LMSW, Vice President for Cultural Competence at Lutheran HealthCare, talked candidly about the challenges, both positive and negative, social work practitioners may face, particularly in a healthcare setting.

For our social work students, new graduates and young professionals in the audience, our distinguished panelists reminded them of the versatility in social work knowledge and skills, and advised them not to limit themselves in learning and career opportunities.

Attendees also exchanged Asian social work experiences, needs and expectations during the Open Forum portion of the event. As reflected in a post-event evaluation of the participants, 42% “strongly agree” and 58% “agree” that they “will try to implement some of the ideas presented and discussed tonight in [their] professional practice.” A significant number (62%) “strongly agree” for the Making Connections event becoming an annual professional networking opportunity for the social workers of Asian descent.

Approximately 60 people attended the event, which was supported by the NYU Silver School of Social Work for the meeting place, Asian American Federation for the refreshments, and NASW-NYC Chapter Executive Director, Bob Schachter, for his championship.

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