September 25, 2011

Are Social Workers Heroes? LA Magazine Seems to Think So

As social workers, we are living in interesting times. For decades, the perception of our profession has been off the mark. Generally speaking, the public associates our professional roles in society as inferior or low-impact. For as long as social work programs have been in existence, we have been fighting against these stereotypes. For example, how many times have you seen a social worker depicted as a "baby snatcher"? Social workers are also frequently depicted as inept, or individuals that can't earn more than $40K per year.

However, I am pleased to bring attention to a moving article in Los Angeles Magazine that is proving that stereotype wrong. UCLA Professor Dr. Jorja Leap is featured in the October issue as one of LA Mag's featured "Action Heroes." Professor Leap has primarily devoted her academic career to studying and evaluating anti-gang programs in the Los Angeles area. Her tireless work with Homeboy Industries has transformed, and will continue to transform several ex-gang members' lives and their families' lives. Keep an eye out for her book titled, Jumped In: What Gangs Taught Me about Violence, Drugs, Love and Redemption, set to be released in March 2012.

Photo Credit: Professor Jorja Leap's Book Cover

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