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ASGW Statement on this Divided Nation

The Association for Specialists in Group Work (ASGW) joins with ACA and other Divisions to acknowledge the latest events tearing at the fragile tapestry of our national community.  In the events of the last year and the explosion of this new year of 2021, we have seen the constructive power of groups to build alliances, promote healing, and bring about change. We have also seen the destructive capacities of groups. Groupthink is real, as is the facility of people to band together to tear down and engage in violence. As groupworkers, we must respect the power of groups and treat it with the care, responsibility, and accountability it requires to serve people to do better, be better, and nurture compassion with each other. Anything else that links people in furious destruction or dismissal is annihilating to the human spirit and a profound refusal to acknowledge our common shared humanity. Let us work together to intentionally use groups to transform hate, facilitate courageous conversations, and enhance community building.

Devika Dibya Choudhuri, President, ASGW Jan 10, 2021

President’s
Welcome Note

Welcome to the ASGW website and to our organization.  Whether you are a returning member, new member, or just visiting, we hope you will take a moment to browse.

We are in the process of reconceiving ourselves to be available as a resource and support in the social crises in which we find ourselves.  As an organization, The Association for Specialists in Group Work exists so that members and other helping professionals are empowered with the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to practice effective, socially just, and ethical group work in a diverse and global society.

In 2016, the ASGW Board reaffirmed our commitment to the guiding values that members experience a vibrant, caring, and diverse community and that the principles of multiculturalism, social justice, and global perspectives permeate all group work.

In solidarity with our sibling Divisions in ACA, including AMCD, CSJ, and SAIGE, we want to assert our belief that any discrimination, oppression, and inequity towards marginalized communities, is a tear in the fabric that binds us all. Group workers have an ethic to repair such tears and to actively labor against their damaging effects. We call on all group workers to abide by these tenets, and advocate for full inclusion of all peoples in any communities in which they reside and work.

In this year, we are positioning ourselves to assist society and groups with resources to help us make the transition to remote and online connections as we need physical distance to stay safe. We hope that being required to do this will also bring benefits of greater global connectivity. We are also working with group work scholars and practitioners on a task force to revise and update the ethical standards for group workers to serve us effectively now.  We hope to offer webinars on many topics of professional development, including conducting group research, effective practices in group telecounseling, teaching group online, as well as partnering with our sibling Divisions to co-sponsor town halls and calls to action on Black Lives matter, Migrant rights, Disenfranchisement, and inequities in health and safety. We look towards a time when we can reconnect in person at the 2022 ASGW conference currently planned to be held in Jacksonville, Florida.

If there are ideas and actions you would like to see or participate in, please let us know. I look forward to a productive and exciting year where we stay as safe as we can while helping to reimagine the world such that it is safe, livable, and nourishing to all.

Devika Dibya Choudhuri, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, ACS
Ypsilanti, MI

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