Yes all lives matter. My sons life matters, my life matters, and my people lives matter. Unless it’s your experience you will never understand the pain, and fear that resonates through my heart and mind when my boys have to leave the home without me.
The conversation that I have with them is real and it speaks the truth. I tell them they have to come back home safe, unharmed and alive because I need them and they deserve to live. I have to explain to them exactly what does that mean. Here’s what I say.
Because you are a black (male), you do not have the same freedom and the same liberty as a non person of color. Yo do not have the liberty to walk, run, jog, wear a baseball cap or hooded sweater, go into a candy store unsupervised, drive a nice car or any car for that matter and be spotted on the wrong side of the tracks.
Because you are black male, you must keep your hands and face visible at all times, never express yourself because this means you are talking back and being belligerent. Under no circumstances should you make any movement because now you are resisting. Do not ask about your rights, or call for help because no one is listening. You must comply even when you are right and admit to being wrong in hopes that you can make it home.
I love you son. Your life matters. Oh and one more thing, I bought you a huge License Tag to place around your neck that says, “Stop please. I AM AUTISTIC AND I DON’T UNDERSTAND. Please don’t kill me!”. Sad to say, they might not listen.
A mothers Love
Over the past few months, we have been hearing of a new strand of virus that has swept the nation. In the most recent weeks the virus has spread, reaching unprecedented numbers and claiming the lives of many. In these uncertain times that we are living in, people are afraid and not sure of what tomorrow may bring. While I understand the fear and doubt, please note that you do have a secret weapon, of which you can obtain peace.
I also know all too well how traumatizing this has been for most of the world, and because of that I will not bore you the details of my drama. However, what I will say is because of the traumatic impact it has had on many, I have not slept since the States shut down on Thursday. Nevertheless, I am doing my part to first exercise good hygiene and safety, managing my home and teaching my children about the spread of, and dangers associated with COVID 19 while still working in the front line as a mental health psychotherapist.
All in all, I want to encourage you in these troubling times. Although it appears confusing and it feels like we have no control over what’s to come, what we do have is control over our faith. My heartfelt and respectful advice to you all, please take things one day at a time, use good common sense to get through each day, and thank God for the health of ourselves and our family.
If I have not told you, I’m telling you now, I love you and go forward in peace.
So many people has such a limited view of social workers and what we do as a profession. Why wouldn't you want to be credential and certified as a specialty. We are not just Case Managers and CPS workers, although very prominent and essential work, we delve deeper and we understand the individual as a whole and not in parts. We study who they are, why they behave the way they do and we study how family, culture, biology, spirituality, environmental, social, and economic factors, just to name a few, impacts that individual.
We are Therapist and Counselors, Lawyers, Medical Workers, Policy Makers in Government, Community Advocates and Grassroot Organizers, Organizational Leader, School Social Workers, and Educators. We are employable and we can be found everywhere.
If you can, name one profession that does not have to be credentialed or certified as a professional. Why should we be any less? Being credentialed means that you understand the seriousness of the work you do. It also means that you agree to stay on top of the changes in the profession, including research and science. It means that you will continue to grow and stay educated and abreast on new developments that comes into our profession. It means that you will become knowledgeable, and proficient in a particular area of study, and become known as an expert in that area.
Without your license, where's the accountability? Who's going to hold you accountable for errors, mistakes, and failure to uphold the guiding principles? Who's going to trainings and earning continuing education credits? Who's paying attention to the literature and becoming an expert in a particular area, such as: ACT, TFCBT, EMDR, DBT, and Play therapy, just to name a few?
These types of training and certifications are offered to License Professionals. Why, because they know that you will protect what you've earned, you will stay current in the field, and honor the NASW Code of Ethics along the way. Stop thinking this profession is about getting your money, and start acknowledging it wants to certify us as a reputable and knowledgeable profession.
Did you not know that in every area of mental health and behavioral health, THERE MUST BE A SOCIAL WORKER IN THE BUILDING
Did you know there are SOCIAL WORKERS IN LAW AND POLITICS, which is our GOVERNMENT, AND THEY ARE FIGHTING TO CHANGE LAWS?
Did you know that the hospitals EMPLOYS SOCIAL WORKERS to do the jobs that the doctors and nurses can't do!
Did you know that SCHOOL SOCIAL WORKERS ARE MORE IN DEMAND than PSYCHOLOGIST? When children have social, emotional, and behavioral problems in the schools, they don't send them to the guidance counselor or psychologist, they send them to YOU, the SOCIAL WORKER.
Did you not know that besides license psychologist, that only LICENSE CLINICAL SOCIAL WORKERS CAN BILL MEDICAID AND MEDICARE.....that's a big deal!
You are necessary! You are needed! You are valued, and Your License matters!
Change your mindset, change your perspective, you change your outcome!
For over a year I have been supporting, sharing and assisting my fellow Social Workers with getting through this grueling process, of "Social Work State Licensure." I know all too well how challenging this exam can be, and the toll it can take on one mentally and emotionally. The drive, passion, hard-work, dedication and fear that I watched my peers go through and what I personally experienced is unremarkable.
Because of this experience, I wanted to do something about it, and pay it forward. So I decided to assist with the exam prep studying process by hanging around in the Social Workers Study Groups, by sharing ways to process and read through exam questions, discussing clinical skills and techniques, and highlighting ones "Purpose." I used the following platforms to help me reach individuals which included my daily Facebook posts, 1:1 inbox discussions, posting Youtube videos, and creating Facebook live.
For more specific support, I work individually with Social /workers and tutor them 1:1, as well as host educational Webinars. As I continued to "Pay it Forward", I've learned that many other's would want the information but maybe could not afford the time time for 1:1 service so put my words to action, and so came the book. In this short text, I share what has helped me and countless other social workers get through this exam with confidence, increased knowledge and technical skills, and on the path to success.
I hope this book will do the same for you! Get your copy today! (Available in Print as well:
So many professionals lack the knowledge and understanding of how to manage and care for our most valued citizens, our children. Teachers are leaders. They are the front line influencers, outside of the child's parents, that help to shape the minds of who our young people will become.
We have a responsibility to love our children, nurture them, and help them to manifest their unique talents and gifts. Our words have power and they carry roots. They could build up strong and confident people or tearsnus down causing one tonfeelnweek and feeble minded. When words are planted in our mimds and souls we begin to live by them because we believe them. Hearing such disparaging words from a teach can only make one live in the shadow of those word.
I know because I am one of them. Over 25 years later and I still hear the echo and the voice of my teacher reminding me I will amount to nothing. Taking those words I battle with fear, and constant doubt. Inspite of all of my accomplishments I'm still doubting my self, not feeling like I'm good enough or measure up, feeling intimidated when I'm on the presence of greatness, scholars, and those who appear to be at the top of their game. Either way those words scarred me and still haunts me today.
...and the list goes on!
All because the fear of not knowing enough, being enough, or measuring up has haunted me along my journery. Shame on the teacher who thought it was wise to give a child with autism a gold award at the end of the school year that read: "Most Annoying", and shame on her for adding yet another fight to the neurological and cognitive battles that he inherently has to face on a daily basis. Folks just remember if you are in any type of position of being an influencer, know that your words matter, and they have the power and ability to build us up, or tear us down. Choose your words wisely!
Stop being so hard on yourself. Even if you did not make it this time, get that job, bought that house, had a baby, got accepted into the program or pass that exam, it is ok. Remember this, there is no failure in trying. Each time you try, there is a lesson being learned. Take note of what’s new, be open to receiving what you may have missed the first time, accept that maybe this was not the right timing for you, and know that something grandeur is waiting up ahead.
Stay positive and be in control of your thoughts. It works a little bit like this, if you think. Festive, you’ll feel negative and negative things will come out of you. But if you think positive, you will feel positive and produce positive results. We can always gain something new from every action, interaction and yes failed attempt. We can use the new information we gained from those experiences to become stronger for the journey that lies up ahead.
So I say to you, stay strong, keep pushing and go easy on yourself. You are bright, gifted and talented. The journey isn’t over, the journey has just begun. Restart, reset, reboot, reprise and lets go get it!