About the Work
EDUCATION CREATES CHANGE.
I began the Facebook page The Radical Social Worker in the summer of 2018. At that time, I had just moved to El Paso, TX from Dallas. The child prison in Tornillo, TX had been operating for a month, yet it had already fallen out of the media, and meanwhile it was expanding rapidly from a few hundred children to over 1,000. I began to use the Facebook page as a platform to discuss pressing social issues, and also to bring awareness to the continued practice of family separation and child detention, and to the Tornillo facility itself. I began to collaborate with community members, and advocates across the Nation. Through sustained actions like the Witnessing outside the Tornillo facility led by Joshua Rubin, community education, and collaboration including with elected officials, we were able to achieve the goal of shutting down the child prison inside the Tornillo facility.
Through all of the actions surrounding Tornillo, I saw the power of education and awareness, of collaboration, and of strategic community organizing. I also, however, saw apathy in unexpected places and a lack of awareness surrounding social justice among members of the social work profession and other helping professions, and within the general public. Knowing the power that can be built through awareness, I have set out to provide access to that awareness in hopes that it will lead to greater community engagement.
The social problems we are experiencing today, most of which are not new, are all branches of the same tree. Ignorance. Ignorance breeds fear, fear breeds hate, and hate breeds all sorts of horrible outcomes, from the deliberate use of misinformation, to harmful rhetoric building harmful narratives, to discriminatory legislation, to acts of violence. Ignorance is dangerous, and it keeps us from exercising our power and potential. I believe the best way to combat our social problems and attack them at the root is through education and community engagement.