On Social Work and Social Media: Inside N.A.H. Part 1

Yesterday, I published a note about 12 different questions I was asked about my use of Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian as it relates to combining Social Work and social media. I then asked you to think of your own responses to those questions as they relate to you. I hope you’ll share them with me after you’ve given them some thought.

In the coming days I’ll attempt to respond to those questions through a series I’m calling “Inside N.A.H.” This is the first post of that series.

Question 1: What inspired you with the idea to conduct and share your work through technology?

For many years, I’ve been fortunate enough to receive encouragement on my writing ability. I have been told that I have a unique way of synthesizing and sharing information, and a compelling way of forming connections by making my experiences accessible to others.  While I explained some of my personal reasons for creating Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian in this interview I completed for the online magazine SocialWorkHelper, the actual motivation to take steps toward establishing a concrete online presence came forth pretty casually.


While I was in graduate school pursuing my studies for my Masters Degree in Social Work, I received a mass email from a professor that was sent out to make some formal announcement. I glanced at the signature at the bottom of the email and noticed that the professor’s name was hyperlinked.

I clicked on the link, and was taken to a webpage that featured information about this professor and his work, including a personal biography, curriculum vitae, personal interests, and other articles he’d written.

I was very impressed. The site looked professional and unique, and was easy to navigate. In my amazement I thought to myself, “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if I did something like that?”

That evening I took steps to create my own personal website, and created the first pages of Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian at around 3:00am on April 1st 2011. I’ve been publishing my notes publicly here ever since, and hope to continue to do so into the future.

Because everyone has to start somewhere,


From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins, MSW



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I'm a Social Justice Educator and Aspiring Humanitarian who is interested in conflict resolution, improving intergroup relations, and building more equitable and inclusive communities. "Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian" is my blog, where I write about issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. By exploring social identities through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I hope to continue to expand and enrich conversations about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.

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