Doin' The Work: Frontline Stories of Social Change

Paid Social Work Internships Part 2 FED UP - Beth Wagner, Claire Mancuso, Natalia Norzagaray & Parham Daghighi

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Episode 62 Guests: Beth Wagner, Claire Mancuso, Natalia Norzagaray & Parham Daghighi Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW Listen/Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify Follow on Twitter & Instagram, Like on Facebook Join the mailing list Support the podcast Download transcript

Doin’ The Work is offering our Racial Justice & Liberatory Practice Continuing Education Series through several of our partner universities. Go to to learn more and register. We hope you will join us!

Thank you to this episode’s sponsor! The University of Houston has a phenomenal social work program that offers face-to-face master's and doctorate degrees, as well as an online and hybrid MSW. They offer one of the country’s only Political Social Work programs and an Abolitionist Focused Learning Opportunity. Located in the heart of Houston, the program is guided by their bold vision to achieve social, racial, economic, and political justice, local to global. In the classroom and through research, they are committed to challenging systems and reimagining ways to achieve justice and liberation. Go to to learn more.

In this episode, I talk with Beth Wagner, Claire Mancuso, Natalia Norzagaray, and Parham Daghighi, all MSW students at the University of Texas - Austin and members of the group FED UP, which is organizing for paid social work internships. This episode is Part 2 of a two-part series on social work students organizing for paid internships. They talk about how they created FED UP and how they organize, including how they frame their approach and strategies they use. They also talk about resistance they have faced and how they’ve responded. The FED UP members share their guiding principles and organizational structure, which are really interesting and can serve as models for others. We break down statements often said from social work administrators and faculty, such as, “Didn’t you know what you were getting into?” and “but you’re getting an educational experience.” The members discuss some of the challenges of unpaid internships for them and their peers, with a focus on how unpaid internships negatively impact students’ well-being. We also draw connections to issues of equity in the larger social work profession and how social work is devalued in society. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.

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