June 21, 2023
(Wiesbaden, Germany) – GCSW Alum, Laura Reid MSW ‘22, has been named the Family Advocacy Program Specialist for the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden in Wiesbaden, Germany.
In this role, Reid will provide prevention, education and training services on family violence for the rapidly growing community of “18,000+ military service members, DoD contractors, civilian employees, and their families.”
Name: Laura Reid
Program: MSW 2022
Congratulations on your new position! Could you please expand on what you will be doing? What does this mean to you?
Thank you! As the Family Advocacy Program Specialist of U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden, I am providing prevention, education, and training services on family violence for a rapidly growing community of 18,000+ military service members, DoD contractors, civilian employees, and their families. Military culture and systems present unique factors and challenges related to family violence. As an Army brat, this role means an opportunity for me to give back to the military community in a way that has a lasting positive impact.
What would you say your favorite thing about your new role is?
Being able to work across all levels of social work to prevent violence while educating and resourcing community members to empower themselves to protect and promote their health, wellness, and human rights.
You are also co-creating End Rape On Campus’ (EROC) Campus Accountability Map & Tool (CAMT). Tell us a little more about this and how this came about?
As a student activist, I collectively changed campus sexual violence policies and programs for 113,000+ Texas students. After graduation, I was looking for ways to provide ongoing support to folks working towards a future in which all students can pursue education free of violence. I found out that EROC was looking for volunteers to co-build a groundbreaking online resource on campus sexual violence data and policies, with particular focus on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), Rural Serving Institutions (RSIs), and Community Colleges. You can find information on the University of Houston in the CAMT. If you’re interested in supporting EROC in expanding the CAMT, check out upcoming volunteer opportunities here. By the way, EROC’s Executive Director Kenyora Lenair Parham is an MSW!
Why did you decide to become a social worker?
My experiences as a peer educator, community organizer, victim advocate, and teacher taught me how to work within systems that work against communities and their advocates; they also taught me how important it is to me to challenge and change or replace these systems. That’s why I decided to become a macro social worker: to make systems-level change on health and education, particularly on sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice.
What was your experience like at the GCSW and what would you say you took away from it?
I attended the GCSW from 2020-2022, and I was on the Macro track. Attending grad school during the COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact on my experience, including online learning and a virtual practicum. On top of the pandemic, I was navigating the structural and attitudinal barriers that lead macro social work to be under-resourced and under-valued. I am incredibly thankful for my macro classmates and professors. Based on an idea from the MACRO Network student group, I created a series of Fireside Chats with support from Professor Melanie Pang to support social work students in exploring macro professions and their connections to and opportunities for social justice. What I took away from that experience is that we need more resources for and by macro social workers and that our social work careers start during school, not after graduation. So, now, I create and share resources on LinkedIn using #MakeMacroMatter, which comes from macro social worker-led campaigns, and archive the content on this website.
What would you say is the impact you want to make?
I want to advance sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice across all levels of social work, both locally and internationally, through health, education, and policy initiatives. I also want to make macro matter more by connecting macro social workers and students with people, practices, resources, and spaces related to macro social work.