The Political Social Worker


PARC Charter

The Policy, Action and Research Collaborative (PARC) is comprised of organizations and institutions using collaborative synergies to advance common goals, which focus on:

  • collaborating in research and knowledge exchange and mobilization
  • addressing the health, social,…
"The institution of heterosexism is based on a mutually exclusive heterosexual/homosexual framework. This heterosexist paradigm posits two sexual orientations on either side of a "fence" that draws the line where privilege begins and ends. Heterosexuals are on the "normal/good" side and homosexuals are on the "abnormal/evil" side. The line separates and protects "us" from "them," while it assures members of each side of what they are not. This line also effectively marginalizes lesbians and gay men as "other" and is the core of homophobia.

Furthermore, lesbian, gay, and heterosexual people are invested, and find a sense of security in being the "other" to each other, and unite in the fact that they are only attracted to either the "same" or the "opposite" gender/sex.

This sets up another "us" vs. "them" dynamic which effectively marginalizes bisexual people as "other." Integral to this dynamic is the automatic assumption people can be defined by the gender/sex of their current or potential romantic interest. For example: two women are assumed to be lesbians in a "lesbian" relationship; two men are assumed to be gay in a "gay" relationship; and a man and woman are assumed to be heterosexual in a "heterosexual" relationship.

However, any, or all of these people could be bisexual. And depending upon monogamy and non-monogamy agreements and choices, any, or all of these folks could have sexual behavior with more than one gender/sex whether they identify as bisexual or not."

What is Heterosexism? from What Does Biphobia Look Like? pub 2014 by LGBT Resource Center UC San Diego (via bialogue-group)


Launching Your Social Work Career

Launching Your Social Work Career

By Rachel L. West
Advocacy & Community Outreach Specialist

“Make a plan—or someone else will make one for you.” 

This Fall I will be offering a coaching program for new social work & nonprofit professionals. Launching Your Social Work Careeris a 6 week structured program that provides participants with coaching related to career planning and the job search process. The focus of the program is not…

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Advice for the Introverted Workshop Facilitator



In a few weeks, I will be in Washington, DC, to facilitate my workshop “ ’Good Girls Don’t Have Sex’: How Do Religion and the Media Influence Young Women’s Sexuality?” during the annual Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit. I’ve facilitated this workshop several times in the past, and as I started to prep for Summit this week (completely out of character for someone who loves to procrastinate), I began thinking of the usual: workshop flow and how to improve my workshop based on past feedback. But I also started to think about me as a workshop facilitator, how I relate to my workshop participants, and my personality in general.

I’m an introvert, and workshop facilitation (and other forms of public speaking) seems like an odd choice for someone who is more inclined to draw energy from within. Though I’m not really one to be in the spotlight when it comes to my personal life, when it’s time to raise my voice for women and girls of color in a professional or activist setting, I’m “on”. 

“On” for me doesn’t mean I get this sudden burst of extroverted flair. It means that I’m well prepared and I know what I’m talking about. I utilize my ability to engage my participants while also knowing when to stop talking and get out of the way.

If you’re just starting out in workshop facilitation, or if you’ve facilitated before but feel your introversion hinders your ability to engage your participants, let me tell you this: With over 10 years of workshop facilitation experience behind me, I’ve discovered along the way that you can be an engaging facilitator, have fun while doing it, and keep your introversion in tact. Here is my advice on being an engaging, fun, and introverted workshop facilitator:

Introversion isn’t something you need to “overcome”: Introversion and extroversion are simple ways in which we choose to draw energy from the world. Some people feel invigorated in the middle of a crowd, while others prefer the company of one other person. In a world that prides people on being social and outgoing, it sure feels like we introverts are always getting the short end of the stick. With amazing introverts like Susan Cain, people are starting to see the power of the introvert and what great leaders we really are. Let go of the belief that your introversion prevents you from getting your message across. Workshop participants focus more on the content of the material you present, how drawn they are to your presence, and the manner in which you make them feel heard. 

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I am more than a little worried by this.


Tips for budding #grantwriters and program developers from Stephanie Watson, plus more… 

Bits and Pieces is a weekly newsletter put out by The Political Social Worker and Rachel L. West Consulting.


Strangest things about working in nonprofits.


The nonprofit world can be a weird, weird place. While the culture differs depending on the size, focus, location, and slant of the nonprofit, and nonprofits can be run much like corporations (the Better Business Bureau, for example, is much like a normal business, while Porchlight Counseling Services is a lot like a traditional nonprofit) the nonprofit world differs greatly from the for-profit world or academia and can be quite a shock for those used to more traditional ventures. 

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Tags: social work

When will social workers stop trying to run after the ever shrinking public dollar and start fighting the system that created the artificial barriers in the first place.


We will not win through lobbying.

We will not win through insurance reimbursement.