Greetings global group workers! As many of you are aware, there are tremendous changes going on in our global political systems and the values for which they stand. The recent election in the United States is just the latest of a series of monumental changes going on in our global community and these trends are stirring up anxieties for many individuals and groups, particularly those who are more marginalized and vulnerable. The statement below was recently released by our global partner, the International Association for Social Work with Groups (IASWG). This brave and powerful statement captures the essence of what group work stands for and what capacity it has to provide strength and inclusion in times such as the present. We hope that you will find it meaningful and inspiring as we all experience a call to action at this time.
The Time for Group Work
The climate is changing. In many parts of the world, respect for people who are different from ourselves has diminished and communities feel fractured. Dialogue is too often replaced by bombings and vitriol; hate-filled populism blasts reasoned, respectful understanding.
It is not difficult to see why many people feel alienated; they themselves are disrespected and disempowered by increasing inequality, job insecurity and a sense that the important decisions are no longer within their influence.
We need to find ways to become inclusive, to celebrate our differences and to generate a powerful sense of togetherness. There has never been a more urgent time to bring communities together towards a mutual understanding and a respect, not just for humanity, but for the planet as a whole.
Social groupwork can create security where there is uncertainty, a feeling of belonging where there is alienation, and a vehicle for positive communal action where there is a sense of helplessness. It has been used to unite and give voice to people in the aftermath of conditions that seemed beyond repair. Through social groupwork, nations, communities and individuals can repair. This is the hopeful message that IASWG and its members offer to the world.
IASWG stands against oppression and disenfranchisement. As social groupworkers, we stand for and advocate for creating spaces for respectful dialogue to expand our worldviews and perspectives in community with each other.
Contact us. Let us know how you are using group work to repair the world. Ask us how we can help you in this process.
It’s time for group work.