Social Work students attend Legislative Lobby Days

A total of 27 undergraduate and graduate students in the Department of Social Work Education (DWSE) received the opportunity to attend the annual Legislative Lobby Days in Sacramento on April 19th and 20th, with some activities taking place at the State Capitol building.

The main goal of Lobby Days, sponsored by the California Chapter of the  National Association of Social Workers (NASW), is for students to understand the legislative process with a focus on social welfare policy.

“Students are able to learn lobbying and advocacy skills and apply those same skills during legislative appointments with California legislative members and their staff,” said Dr. Salvador Montana, associate professor in the DWSE and coordinator of the Fresno State Lobby Days effort.

P1010148The two-day program began on Sunday, April 19th with a conference, in which students were able to learn about the legislative process and the proposed legislative bills. On Monday, April 20th, students were divided into groups of 4-6 members. Each group was comprised of students from social work programs from all over California, including UCLA, San Jose State University, and USC just to name a few.

According to Montana, Lobby Days had over 1,100 participants with well over 90% of them being social work students from around the state.

Some Fresno State participants of Lobby Days gave the following reviews:

  • “Thank you to you and Fresno State for the opportunity! I never thought I would end up really enjoying policy as much as I have! I had a great weekend, learned a ton and stepped out of my comfort zone which is good.”
  • “Thank you for the opportunity and for giving students such a unique experience! I will definitely treasure this part of my MSW education and appreciate your investment in macro and policy practice.”  

The DSWE has been participating in Lobby Days since 1999.


Consejo Cohort participates in Latino Health Equity Conference

Master of Social Work students, involved in the first cohort of Consejo: A Latino Behavioral Health Practice, got the opportunity to participate in the Latino Health Equity Conference in Long Beach on April 17th. At the conference, students learned about the latest findings on data and interventions from various researchers throughout the country, whom specifically specialize in serving the Latino population, said Dr. Irán Barrera, coordinator of Consejo and associate professor in the DWSE.

11046571_884951428213064_6844094871358931220_nStudent Yvette Mendez was able to present her research on “Latinos’ experiences with Mental Illness” (at left). The conference aims to raise awareness and engage the academic and larger community in health equity research focused on Latinos – which is the nation’s largest and fastest-growing minority population.

Through Consejo, MSW students are trained to provide effective cultural and linguistic prevention, intervention and treatment in mental health and substance abuse for Latino children, adolescent and transitional youth and their families in areas where Latinos are a majority of the population.

Learn more about Consejo HERE.