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Field Education Office Professional Development Workshop

BSW Cording & MSW Hooding

by Deborah Duvall

Several faculty and staff from the CoSW attended the Rally to Stop the Violence on Saturday, June 18, 2016, on the south lawn of the Statehouse. Afterwards, Dr. Maryah Fram and Lynda Tilley joined Dr. Miriam Johnson and me. We gathered briefly after the rally to talk about the impact of the various speakers and the demonstration. We thought Carla Damron, Executive Director for the National Association of Social Workers, South Carolina Chapter, and Steve Benjamin, Columbia’s mayor, were particularly effective. Other scheduled speakers included SC Democratic Women’s Chair Susan Smith, Columbia Urban League President J.T. McLawhorn, President of the Brady Campaign’s Charleston Chapter Merrill Chapman, and Tameika Hunter Ross, whose nephew Rodney Sumter was seriously injured Orlando. We also discussed our concerns for friends and family members who are feeling unsafe as a result of the Orlando shootings.

stop violence before name calledThose attending the rally gathered to promote:

  • Universal background checks, by closing the “Charleston loophole” and gun show loopholes
  • Banning assault weapons in South Carolina
  • Passing a hate crime law in South Carolina

The demonstration at the end was a powerful visual reminder of the 49 people killed in Orlando and our own nine fellow South Carolinians killed in Charleston at Mother Emmanuel Church last year. The “before” photo shows the 49 representatives mirroring the colors of the rainbow flag with a space separating them from the nine Charleston representatives. As their names were read, the representative stood up and then lay down on the steps—as shown in the “after” photo, forcefully illustrating the loss of 58 precious lives to gun violence. John Lennon’s “Imagine” was sung, accompanied by an acoustic guitar, and the crowd was invited to join in. As I sang the words softly I found myself wondering what it will take for our state and national law makers to finally take a stand to stop the violence.

stop violence after name calledAs a social worker, I’m going to focus on encouraging people to get registered and to vote in every election, communicate with legislators, and to take advantage of all opportunities to stand in solidarity at the State House. Please consider joining me.

Link for additional rally information and list of sponsors: http://uptownrising.com/stoptheviolence/  


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