Social work is more than a profession based on practice and academic discipline. It is also responsible for promoting change and social development, strengthening the principles of social justice, safeguarding human rights and promoting diversity.
Because of her passion for the job, the National Association of Social Workers recently named Olivia López, an adjunct instructor of sociology at Del Mar College, as chairwoman of its Human Rights Committee.
Founded in 1955, the association is the largest of its kind in the world with more than 120,000 associates.
López said she feels honored and excited to be more than a member of the National Association of Social Workers. The committee is expected to be fully active by the end of the year, with between three and six more professionals.
Lopez also said that among the projects she hopes to execute are strengthening and educating the population in the concept of human rights and social responsibility; working closely with the Latino community, African-Americans and all minorities who see themselves affected by discrimination; and promoting the participation of students and professionals in the area to these and other projects.
“One thing is to talk about human rights and another is to live it,” López said.
López, a descendant of a Latino family of migrant parents, has spent her career in the active practice in defense of women, migrants and other minorities. She has contributed and donated her time to the formation of different associations and professional assistance with other institutions with social service.
“Human beings have rights to be human beings, regardless of their origin,” López said.