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WHEREAS, social workers’ primary goal is to help people in need and to address social problems by drawing on their knowledge, values, and skills; and
WHEREAS, social workers advocate for the dignity and worth of all people, no matter their identity; and
WHEREAS, social workers serve in all parts of our communities to challenge social injustice, particularly with and on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed populations; and
WHEREAS, social workers recognize the importance of human relationships and promote these relationships as important vehicles for change; and
WHEREAS, social workers have always been and will continue to be present in times of crisis; and
WHEREAS, this year’s Social Work Month theme, “Social Workers Are Essential,” embodies the selfless contributions of the social work profession to our nation, including efforts to heal our nation during times of racial unrest, economic uncertainty, political divisiveness, and the COVID-19 pandemic; and
WHEREAS, social workers have played a crucial role at all levels of our nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, helping individuals, families, and communities recover physically, mentally, and financially; and
WHEREAS, social workers have also worked tirelessly during the pandemic to ensure our most valuable resource, our nation’s children, have the means they need to reach their full academic and personal potential; and
WHEREAS, social workers are one of the largest groups of mental health care providers in the United States, working daily to help people living with mental illness; and
WHEREAS, social workers serve in many different environments including nonprofit organizations and government agencies to promote macro level social change at the community, state, and national levels through policy and organizational intervention; and
WHEREAS, social workers have helped create, advocate, and implement critical policy initiatives such as eliminating disparity in the criminal justice system, ending homelessness, expanding access to health care, and promoting environmental justice; and
WHEREAS, social workers will continue to empower our vulnerable neighbors by working to achieve racial equity, promote inclusiveness, increase access to resources, provide meaningful opportunities for intervention, and work to pass legislation to benefit these individuals;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 2021 as SOCIAL WORK MONTH in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.