March is National Social Work Month and the Department of Social Work Education at Fresno State is hosting a Legacy Dinner on Friday, March 15 at Sunnyside Country Club to bring together alumni, faculty past and present, friends and student ambassadors to celebrate the contributions the Department and its graduates have made in the Central Valley for over 60 years.

“Social workers represent the ‘front line’ of assistance for hundreds of individuals and families, in the Valley,” says Dr. Virginia Rondero Hernandez, the chair of the Department of Social Work Education at Fresno State. “They are educated to address complex psychological and social problems, advocate for the most vulnerable and promote the resilience of the clients and communities they serve.”

Recognized as a top growth profession, social work directly addresses the increased demand for health care, mental health services, family caregiving, child development, and veterans’ assistance. There are currently more than 650,000 professionally trained social workers in the United States, and the “Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts job growth to 800,000 by the year 2020.

This year’s theme, “Weaving Threads of Resilience and Advocacy,” emphasizes the value of using personal strengths and self-advocacy to manage serious life challenges and embodies the spirit of social work as exemplified by its founder Jane Addams, one of the first women to be honored with a Nobel Peace Prize in 1931. Addams established settlement houses in Chicago for immigrants in the early 1900s and was a dedicated community organizer and peace activist. A statue in her honor was placed in Fresno State’s Peace Garden in 2005.

For ticket information and reservations for the “Celebrating our Legacy” dinner, contact Chris Cole, MSW at 559.278.6698.

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