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WHEREAS, the mental and physical health and well-being of all Virginians are of the utmost importance to the happiness and prosperity of our Commonwealth’s families and communities; and
WHEREAS, professional social workers provide services to Virginia’s schools, hospitals, community organizations, public and private agencies, and higher educational institutions, as well as the military and veterans centers; and
WHEREAS, social workers offer guidance and assistance to thousands of Virginians every day, which enables them to build brighter futures for themselves and their families; and
WHEREAS, social workers elevate and empower people, giving them the ability to solve problems, cope with personal roadblocks and get the resources they need to succeed; and
WHEREAS, this year’s Professional Social Work Month theme, “Elevate Social Work,” embodies the need to recognize the extraordinary contributions of the profession to our society; and
WHEREAS, the social work profession is expected to grow faster than the average over the next seven years, with more than 682,000 people currently in the profession now; and
WHEREAS, social workers travel across the nation and world to help people in crisis, helping them overcome issues such as death and grief, epidemics, environmental pollution and natural disasters such as wildfires, hurricanes, and floods; and
WHEREAS, for decades, social workers have been in the forefront of social justice issues, pushing for equal rights for women, African Americans, Latinos, individuals with disabilities, individuals who are LGBTQ, and various ethnic, cultural, and religious groups; and
WHEREAS, for more than a century, the social work profession has been on the cutting edge of helping create changes to make our society a better place to live, including voting rights, improved workplace safety, a minimum wage and social safety net programs that ameliorate poverty and hunger; and
WHEREAS, social workers believe in the strength, courage, and resilience of the human spirit, and strive to help people lead healthier and more productive lives;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 2019 as PROFESSIONAL SOCIAL WORK MONTH in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.