To Be Continued……. by Weberlyn Dossen
“I am Black, Woman, and African in a world that undervalues all three”- Upile Chisala
Want a quick way to ruin the mood, get quizzical looks at the dinner table, or completely eradicate any conversation in a social setting? Just say, “I think I want to be a social worker.” “ A social worker?” “Oh, so you like taking people’s kids and sh*t” “Why?” “You know you’re going to be broke right?” “Why?” “Are you analyzing me right now?” “Are you sure?” “WHY?” If you do the proper research and take the time to learn about the profession, you will see that social work not only leads to careers at Child Protective Services but also presents a wide variety of other options. As I prepare for my journey to grad school, I have repeatedly been faced with these and many other questions.The profession of social work is grossly misrepresented and poorly portrayed in mainstream media. It is not a shocker that most individuals are completely clueless. Though most days I still feel pretty clueless myself, here is my attempt to put into words what being a social worker means to me. Social work is the practice of aiding every individual to meet and attain basic needs of life so they can reach their fullest potential. I aspire to be a social worker, because I have always had a passion for helping others especially working with children and families. Social work is one of the few professions that best mirrors my personality. Due to my own personal experience with hardship, I have grown into a loving, caring, and selfless person. Instead of allowing my past to define my future, I decided to create a positive outcome and help others overcome similar struggles. My desire to support those most disenfranchised by the systems of injustice and inequality led me to the place I am today. Social work is grossly misrepresented and poorly portrayed in mainstream media. By dedicating my life to both protecting and supporting people, I am staying true to myself, my identity, and my spirituality. As African women, we must strive to locate ourselves in the work we undertake in the future.
I want to halt society’s tolerance and lack of interest in social justice issues specifically domestic violence. I want to educate others on the different types of abuse and debunk these myths of domestic violence because confusion over what causes it and the repeated question, “ Why she stayed?” only further diverts attention from the abused individuals. It will be my primary goal to draw on knowledge, values, and skills I learn to help people in need and to address social problems even to those who do not realize it is a problem. If you’re not with that then that’s totally fine but why criticize and talk down on a subject you don’t know anything about?
Being a young twenty three-year-old women, I’ve realized people will question anything and everything I do. I have made a lot of mistakes throughout my life. I have switched majors during undergrad, jobs, styles, friends, hair, hair color, and diets all in an effort to narrow in on my likes and dislikes. Who knows? I may go to graduate school and hate it or I might go to graduate school and absolutely love it. The point is, this is your life and you need to do what you believe is right and have faith that everything will work out; no matter what anybody says. I no longer expect people to understand my life and its current direction. Though It would be great to have people take the time to know me and my desires, I no longer care. I have found safety, comfort, and love in learning about myself and that is okay. If I stumble and fall at least I can say I tried. So dust yourself off and try again, try again, try again. *Cue Aaliyah dance break* I’m scared, confused, and lost, yet excited to embark on this journey. But just like anything in life, I understand that growth occurs when we open ourselves to learning, gaining new experiences, meeting new people, and most importantly finding ourselves. For African women like myself, still struggling with their life decisions, just remember, do you, be great, hush the noise and most importantly have faith that everything is going to be alright.
Isaiah 41:10 Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be anxious, for I am your God. I will fortify you, yes I will help you. I will really hold on to you with my right hand of righteousness. God got your back like a chiropractic!
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