Mass. Chapter of NASW Honors Lee Staples
By Farha Sandu
The National Association of Social Workers, Massachusetts Chapter (NASW-MA), has awarded Professor Lee Staples the Beverly Ross Fliegel Award for Social Policy and Change. Staples will receive the award at the 38th Annual Chapter Awards Ceremony at the Association’s 2010 Symposium Luncheon in Framingham, Mass. on April 16, 2010.
According to NASW-MA, the Beverly Ross Fliegel Award is awarded to a NASW member who has made a significant contribution to social policy and/or social change at an agency, local, state, or national level. The award is named in honor of the late Beverly Ross Fliegel, the first Executive Director of NASW-MA.
“(Staples) embodies social work’s core values of working effectively and tirelessly for social justice and the empowerment of oppressed groups,” said Professor Melvin Delgado, who nominated Lee for the award. “Whether they are public housing tenants, residents of disenfranchised inner city neighborhoods, victims and survivors of civil war, the institutionalized mentally ill, or refugees and immigrants. – Lee has fought for social justice.”
A community organizer for over 40 years, Staples has served as a mentor to students and practitioners, consulted and given workshops in over 150 local, national and international organizations, with a focus on community organizing, campaign planning, strategic planning, conducting effective meetings, building sustainable coalitions, and developing inter-agency collaborations.
Staples joined the School of Social Work as a clinical assistant professor in 1980, and was named clinical associate professor in 1996 and clinical professor since 2000. Since 2008, Staples has also served as Director of BRIDGE (Building Refugee & Immigrant Degrees for Graduate Education), which seeks to increase the number of social workers serving diverse newcomer populations.
He has written numerous articles and book chapters, book reviews, and other educational materials, and authored of “Roots to Power: A Manual for Grassroots Organizing.” Staples is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship and the Journal of Community Practice. He has served on the Governance Boards of Chelsea Collaborative and Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA). In addition to the Fliegel award, he received the Leadership and Community Service Award by Chelsea Collaborative in 2005, and the School of Social Work Teaching Excellence Award in 2002.