Engaging MSW students in policy advocacy practice: A sample assignment inspired by the Grand Challenges Initiative

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University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work

Current workforce data reveals minimal social work engagement in policy practice. Similarly, a recent examination of social work education shows a continued emphasis toward micro/clinical practice despite ongoing mandates from professional social work organizations to promote social and economic justice. Existing literature suggests that assignments which raise students’ awareness of intersectionality and structural inequalities and include experiential learning activities can inspire social action. This article describes a creative graduate social work assignment designed to generate student enthusiasm for policy advocacy practice. The assignment, which requires students to interact with policy experts and develop a digital infographic and position statement informed by this interaction, is anchored by the Grand Challenges for Social Work Initiative.

Rachael A. Richter, Perspectives on Social Work, Grand Challenges for Social Work, Policy Advocacy, Social Work Education, Infographics, Social and Economic Justice, Social work, Perspectives on Social Work, Grand Challenges for Social Work, Policy advocacy practice, Social work education, Infographics, Social and Economic Justice