A controversial issue within the category of social justice
· Write an essay in which you take a position on a controversial issue within the category of social justice. Elaborate on it giving reasons to support your stand. You must anticipate as well as counter objections – use counterargument. You must argue your position clearly and logically if you are to convince others.
· You need to have at least 8 acceptable scholarly sources; you may have more, not less. You need to include quotations, paraphrases, and summaries from your sources to support your stand. These must be cited correctly. A reference list is required.
Exercising the right to vote is one of the social justice issues prioritized by the National Association of Social Workers. NASW’s goal is twofold: encourage those who can vote to exercise their right and work to eliminate barriers to participation. As the 2020 presidential election approaches, NASW is hosting webinars on engaging millennials to vote and on understanding the barriers that can hold back low-income individuals, college students, senior citizens, minorities and many others.1 These obstacles can include difficult voter registration, shortened early voting windows and stricter identification requirements.2
On the list of social work’s Great Challenges, it might be surprising to see “strengthen social responses to environmental changes.” The effects of climate change can be seen all over the news from wildfires in Australia to record-breaking temps in the Arctic (one recent paper found that polar bears could be nearly extinct by the end of this century)3. This might seem like a problem for scientists, not social workers, but climate change can put a strain on resources and impact the wellbeing of entire communities. In reality, addressing climate justice can positively affect many of the other issues on this list, and social workers have the network and skills to mobilize and educate others on its impact4.
Social work and healthcare are intrinsically tied together. There are a number of challenges when it comes to receiving quality healthcare, particularly in the U.S. Despite the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, gaps in coverage remain, particularly with mental health resources. The U.S. spends more on healthcare for individuals than any other country, but that increase in expenditure has not translated to higher life expectancies for Americans.5
Social workers offer support to individuals, groups and entire communities, so it matters whether one person is struggling or whether an entire community is struggling to find the care they need.6 This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown just how vital access to healthcare really is as many communities struggle to access tests, treatment and mental health professionals.
It dominated headlines in 2019, and it still remains a critical issue for those directly impacted. According to the United Nations, more people than ever before live in a different country than the one where they were born. Roughly 70.8 million people have been forced from their homes. Nearly 30 million of them are refugees, and more than half of the globe’s refugees are under 18 years old.
This displaced population faces the challenges of accessing education, healthcare, job opportunities and other resources. Whether it’s escaping conflict in their home country or a natural disaster, refugees need additional support dealing with the logistical, mental and emotional burdens of their situation—support that social workers are uniquely adept at providing.7
Racism has a long history in the United States, and its impact can be found in every facet of education, business, media and day-to-day life. After the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota and several other high-profile police shootings, Black Lives Matter protests took place across the country and have continued as activists demand substantial change.
Many social workers are all too aware of the devastating and long-term consequences of racial injustice on the mental and physical health of individuals, and more recently, the NASW has vocalized its support for federal legislation that would enact police reform and address systemic racism within the criminal justice system.8