It's Native American Heritage Month!

This edition of the Social Work Policy Network includes events that observe Native American Heritage Month, as well as local and national current events.

Thank you for your continued support of the Social Work Policy Network!

Professional Opportunities

City of Long Beach, CA Management Assistant Fellowship

Governor's Hispanic Fellows Program - NJ Center for Hispanic Policy, Research and Development


National Grants Manager - America Votes (Washington, DC)

Policy Manager - National Partnership for New Americans (Washington, DC)

Project Coordinator II - Rutgers School of Social Work (Center for Prevention Science) (New Brunswick, NJ)

Manager, People Development - Ironbound Community Corporation of (Newark, NJ)

Executive Director - Wafa House, Inc. (Fair Lawn, NJ)

Policy and Planning (temp)/Program Specialist Trainee - NJ Division of Aging Services (Mercerville, NJ)

Chapter Organizer - Lift Every Voice Philly (LEV) (Philadelphia, PA)

Prevention Specialist - NJ Coalition Against Sexual Assault (Mercer County, NJ)

Policy Analyst - Inclusiv (West New York, NJ)

Upcoming Events
National Museum of the American Indian: Native Cinema Showcase 2023
Friday, November 17th -  Friday, November 24th, 2023
The National Museum of the American Indian’s Native Cinema Showcase is an annual celebration of the best in Native film.

This year’s theme highlights films of Indigenous perseverance that inspire, uplift, and triumph against adversity—stories that prevail against the judicial system, generational trauma, and cultural appropriation through love and complex relationships, self-worth, and humor. The showcase provides a unique forum for engagement with Native filmmakers from Indigenous communities throughout the Western Hemisphere and Arctic.   

Stream the films for FREE here!

Native American Heritage Month Featured Speaker: Dr. Melissa Lewis
Presented by the Administration for Native Americans, an Office of the Administration for Children & Families
Monday, November 20th, 2023
Dr. Melissa Lewis is the program director for the Little Cherokee Seeds program; a language immersion program for Cherokee infants and children.

She is an Associate Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Missouri School of Medicine and a citizen of Cherokee Nation. Her research includes co-creating and evaluating Cherokee cultural programs. Programs include Cherokee community building through reconnection with culture, history, land, and language, infant-mother language immersion, and a traditional Cherokee ecological knowledge youth camp.

Her research has contributed to the body of work that demonstrates that Indigenous culture including language, foodways, and historical and cultural knowledge relate to improved health and well-being. 

Register for the Zoom here.

National Updates
Cash bail policies are under fresh scrutiny - New Jersey Monitor
“The system — in which an arrested suspect pays cash to avoid sitting in jail until their court date and gets the money back when they appear — is deeply entrenched in the nation’s history as a way to ensure defendants return to face justice. But cash bail is undergoing a reckoning as policymakers debate its disproportionate effects on underserved communities and people with low incomes who sometimes can’t afford bail — as well as just how much the system truly keeps the public safe.”

‘I Wish I Had Known That No One Was Going to Help Me’ - The New York Times
“Adult children discuss the trials of caring for their aging parents: unreliable agencies, a lack of help and dwindling financial resources.”

How Racism Affects the Mental Health of Black Youth - TIME (essay)
“On Sept. 25, 2023, the Biden-Harris administration announced that it will be investing some $200 million in the youth mental health crisis. Since youth mental health was declared a national emergency in 2021, multiple experts...have cited social media and the COVID-19 pandemic, among other things, as major contributing factors. But what has not been talked about to the same extent, is how anti-Black racism is fueling the youth mental health crisis. Racism has a crucial impact on the mental health of Black youth, and the current mental health system is not equipped to address it. 

New York sues PepsiCo over plastic pollution along river - Axios
“New York's attorney general sued PepsiCo Wednesday, accusing the food and beverage giant of "endangering" people's health and the ecosystem with pollution from its single-use plastic products and making "misleading statements" about combating the problem.”

Local & Regional Updates
Helpful words from the bot in your pocket - NJ Spotlight News
“...[A]rtificial intelligence is increasingly being used as a mental-health therapy tool in New Jersey and elsewhere…Woebot Health, a chat tool powered by artificial intelligence… essentially converses with the patients as an app on a smartphone.”

New Jersey casinos, track forfeit $77K in money won by prohibited gamblers, many of them underage - The Associated Press
“Five Atlantic City casinos and a horse racing track are forfeiting over $77,000 worth of money won by underage gamblers or those who had placed themselves on a list to be excluded from gambling activities…The forfeited money will go to the state to be used for programs to treat compulsive gambling, as well as on programs benefiting senior citizens and those with disabilities.”

Many coastal New Jersey homeowners lack flood insurance despite rising seas, report says - NPR
“Despite the rising seas and bigger storms brought on by climate change, millions of vulnerable homeowners in New Jersey and the rest of the Northeast are uncovered by federal flood insurance because they can’t afford it or don’t think flooding will impact them. So says the federal government’s latest National Climate Assessment, the nation’s report card on climate change.”

ICYMI: NJ Health Department Funding Expansion of Healthy Corner Store Initiative - NJ Office of the Governor
“The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) is expanding the Healthy Corner Store Initiative, which is aimed at increasing the availability and awareness of nutritious food and beverage options in neighborhood corner stores in underserved communities, particularly benefiting patrons eligible for SNAP and WIC benefits. The Department is making $1.75 million available across stores statewide and is investing $250,000 towards stores in Atlantic City, which is currently a leading food desert.”

Highlight of the Week: Payment 4 Placements

Did you know that Rutgers has a Payment 4 Placements (P4P) Chapter?

Now you do!

Payment 4 Placements is a nationwide movement calling for all social work students to be paid for their field work. The RU Chapter meets on Sundays at 3:00pm on Zoom, (schedule subject to change with holidays, midterms, and finals). All MSW's are encouraged to join!

If you would like to join the RU Chapter of Payment 4 Placements or learn more about the movement, please click the button below to fill out the RU P4P Chapter form.

Sign up here!

Thanksgiving Ideas
If you are spending time with family this Thanksgiving, it can be difficult to navigate conversations about social and political issues. Here are some tips for handling those situations:

Four Tips for Surviving Thanksgiving with Your Family - Social Work Today

Handling Political Disagreements in the Family - Psychology Today

Five Principles for Talking Politics with Friends and Family - Crisis and Trauma Research Institute

Conversely, you may want to discuss policy with your family! Here are some Thanksgiving-specific insights to consider:

10 More Ways to Make Your Thanksgiving About Social and Environmental Justice (2020 Update) by Eve Bratman

How to Support Indigenous People on Thanksgiving - Vice

Thanksgiving Through A Wider Lens - RTI International

Whether you want to talk policy or want to avoid it for the holiday, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!