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                                            NASW, MS Chapter Responds To Recent Violence 

The Mississippi Chapter of National Association of Social Workers is appalled by the police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and again urges reforms that would help end racial profiling and excessive use of police force and improve relations between police and the communities they serve.

It is also important that we express how deeply Mississippi Chapter members are upset about the tragic shooting deaths of five Dallas police — Brent Thompson, Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol, Lorne Ahrens and Michael Smith — and the wounding of seven other police. Those deaths are made more tragic by the fact that the Dallas police and the protestors had formed a collaboration to ensure that the march was peaceful. 

 Mississippi NASW decries the use of violence against those who are exercising their constitutional rights to assemble and protest peacefully and against law enforcement present, who were there to protect the participants during the event.This senseless tragedy yet again highlights the need for meaningful action to work towards improving relationships between law enforcement and all citizens as well as passing legislation on gun control.

The questions that remain are;1) when will our elected representatives, pass meaningful gun control legislation; 2) when will law enforcement take positive action on improving relationships with people of color; and 3) how many more people will die as a result of these issues not being addressed.

The Members of the Mississippi Chapter of NASW offers their deepest condolences to the families of the victims who were killed by snipers at the Rally in Dallas, Texas.  The members of the Chapter also extends their wishes for a speedy recovery to those who were injured in this horrible attack.

                                                      Looking for 4 Ethics and 3 Cultural Diversity CE Credits this summer?

Searching for Ethics and Cultural education sessions that are relevant to Social Workers in Mississippi??

    Join us Friday, August 5, 2016, at the UMMC Conference Center, Jackson Medical Mall, Jackson, MS, 

                                           "Today's Ethical and Cultural Issues for Mississippi Social Workers"
                   Click  resources/Aug%202016%20Reg%20Brochure.docx for the registration brochure.

                                                                    Preregistration due July 29, 2016.

It's July!  Mississippi Chapter Update...


On July 1, our MS Chapter staff, Janice Sandefur and Shay Love, became staff of the national office.  There are no changes at the moment in hours of operation or services at the office.  We are now participating in the national office financial systems with payroll, and anticipate increased activity in the next year.  We are also anticipating a new website link and email system sometime later in the fiscal year.  We will keep you up to date on any and all changes that come down. Our focus is Member First!, and we are always open to hearing how we can serve you better.  Our largest concern is the adoption of a deficit budget for FY 16-17. Our Board only adopted this under protest as the amount was $32,039, and will require 27% of our chapter reserves to manage.  We will be monitoring our expenses very closely over the coming year and keep you posted.


We have been delayed in getting our 2016 Elections going, but now must complete them by mid- August.  All members should have gotten an email on 6.30.16 with information about positions on the Board of Directors that are open, with a Candidate Form attached for you to fill in and send to the Chapter office.  Elected positions are limited to active NASW members!  If you are not a member and want to participate, please join and send in your candidate form!  Click the link below for the Candidate Form:  resources/2016%20Candidate%20Form%20for%20Elections.pdf

The positions that are open this year are:

President-Elect:  Serve until 6.30.17 then change to President until 6.30.19

Vice President:  Serve until 6.30.18

Secretary:  Serve until 6.30.18

Region II Rep (Central MS):  Serve until 6.30.17

Graduate Student (University of Mississippi):  Serve until 6.30.17

Undergraduate Student (Belhaven University):  Serve until 6.30.17

Committee on Nominations and Leadership Identification (CNLI):  Servce until 6.30.18

Deadline Dates:

Submit your Candidate Forms now!  Contact our office at 601.936.0557 or  to request one

July 7-28:  Post Candidates on Website with petition/self-nomination information

July 28:  CNLI reviews/approves candidates and ballot

August 1:  Secretary of the Board certifies the Ballot

August 2:  Ballots emailed/mailed

August 23: All Ballots due at noon at NASW MS Chapter office


The Chapter Charters went into effect on July 1, 2016. This Charter allows us to function as a sub-unit of the national office, but less independently than we have with Bylaws. We are still using our Bylaws for the Election process as indicated above.  We anticipate changes occurring throughout the year as the national office continues to implement portions of the Members First! plan, and  our Board of Directors focuses more on programmatic issues and monitors the funding in the new national system.  The first meeting of our new Board of Directors will be October 1, 2016.  Goals for the year will be discussed along with the budget and planned events such as our Advocacy Day at the Capitol, scheduled for March 1, and the annual conference in March.

Hank Rainer, President                                 Janice Sandefur, Executive Director


The REDLINE CHANGES for the National Bylaws can be accessed by clicking link 


 The DRAFT Charter can be accessed resources/Draft%20Charter%20MS%20(1).docx

 NASW MS Chapter was present at the rally at the Governor Mansion to advocate for repeal of HB 1523.  Social Workers want "NO HATE IN MY STATE"!

Pictured are Hank Rainer, Chapter President, Karen Selestak, Dave Sandefur, Janice Sandefur, Chapter ED, and Mary Ann Everett.


NASW says anti-LGBT laws must be vetoed, repealed

People in Chapel Hill, N.C. protest against the state's Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act. Photo courtesy of TV Guide.

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is both dismayed and disappointed by the legislative actions taken by Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee to deny equal treatment of LGBT individuals and families.  The following is a brief summary of each law:

Mississippi Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act (HB 1523)

The stated purpose of the law is to protect from discrimination claims anyone who believes that marriage is between one man and one woman, that sexual relations are reserved solely for marriage, and that the terms male and female pertain only to a person’s genetics and anatomy at birth. The law allows individuals (including those working in publicly funded courts and services), businesses, and religious organizations to use religion to discriminate against LGBT persons and their families.  Examples range from the right to refuse marriage certificates refusing to employ a person and/or rent or sell a person property.  Also, medical professionals can refuse to provide health care if a patient seeks treatment, counseling and surgery related to “sex reassignment or gender identity transitioning[1].

Tennessee LGBT Anti-Counseling Legislation (SB-1556)

The Tennessee anti-LGBT law declares that no person providing counseling or therapy services (in private practice) shall be required to counsel or serve a client as to goals, outcomes, or behaviors that conflict with a sincerely held religious belief of the counselor or therapist. Furthermore, the bill provides immunity from liability for counselors and therapists who refuse to counsel a client when doing so is in conflict with a sincerely held religious belief of the counselor or therapist.

North Carolina Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act ( HB DRH40005-TC-1B)

The North Carolina Facilities Privacy and Security Act, which was passed by the North Carolina legislature, requires schools and public agencies to have gender-segregated bathrooms and to prevent people from using a bathroom that doesn’t correspond to their biological sex.  Further, the law states individuals cannot bring any civil action based upon the state’s employment or public accommodation nondiscrimination protections.  It states that cities and counties are prohibited from writing non-discrimination ordinances that protect LGBT people or veterans.  This trend in legal discrimination is growing, with  13 other states  considering similar legislation.

NASW Position

NASW believes that these laws, passed under the guise of “religious freedom” or to “protect children,” must be vetoed or repealed.  Taken separately or collectively, all three laws are objectionable and are an affront to the progress we have made toward protecting the civil and human rights of all Americans.

While NASW respects diversity of many types, various freedoms and rights are subject to reasonable limitations and religious expression does not automatically trump other legitimate interests.[2]   NASW has joined allied mental health provider groups to voice concern that such laws violate their professions’ policies and the NASW Code of Ethics. NASW believes that discrimination and prejudice dir­ected against any group is damaging to the so­cial, emotional, and economic well-being of the affected group and of society as a whole.

[1] CNN News  April 16, 2016.  Retrieved from:

[2] NASW  Legal Issue of the Month.  Provider Refusal and Conscious Clause Controversies.

For more information on this issue contact NASW Senior Policy Associate Evelyn Tomaszewski at

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P. O. Box 5599, Pearl, MS, 39288 | 601.936.0557

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