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National Association of Social Workers to Honor Russian River Sisters

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National Association of Social Workers to Honor Russian River Sisters

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), California Chapter, Region A, Sonoma Unit honors the Russian River Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence with the distinguished Public Citizen of the Year Award. NASW, the largest membership organization of professional social workers, established the Public Citizen of the Year Award to honor an outstanding member of the community or community group whose accomplishments exemplify the values and mission of professional social work. The award is for individuals and groups that make a significant contribution to an area or population of concern to the social work profession, act with courage, demonstrate outstanding leadership, and exemplify social work values and ethics.

The Sonoma Unit is honoring the Russian River Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Region A Director, Shelly Kalmer states, “the Russian River Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were the perfect choice for this award. They serve as a model of service to the community. We’re looking forward to a fun and exciting award ceremony.” Building Community, Making History: About the Russian River Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

The Russian River Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are a member order of the international United Nuns Privy Council. They have been active in Sonoma County since 2001. As a 21st Century order of nuns their mission is to “…spread joy and goodwill through community events, charitable acts and fundraising, with focus on the special needs of the Russian River area.”  The overall betterment of the Russian River area is their primary goal. The order was founded in 2001 when Sister Mary Margaret X-plosion, already a fully professed member from another order living in the Russian River area, worked with six local Russian River residents to start the order.

At the inception of The Sisters they focused on responding to the HIV/AIDS crisis. They were deeply concerned with the needs of HIV+ men in our community and spreading safe sex information. As they engaged with the community they became intimately aware of the profound needs of the Russian River area. In recognizing the breadth of needs, they expanded their vision and set a goal of making the Russian River area a better place to live.

Over the past decade The Sisters have infused themselves into nearly every aspect of the community. They are an expected presence at nearly every community event; bringing attention, articulate advocacy, and joy wherever they go. The current membership includes 21 fully professed active members.

The positive impact of The Sisters is profound. Their work takes three main forms: financial giving, community events and activism, and the promulgation of joy. In the 15 years that The Russian River Sisters have been active they have raised and given away hundreds of thousands of dollars to local schools, health centers, groups, non-profit organizations, and students. They have a commitment to helping charitable causes that are often excluded from mainstream funding. They gave approximately $50,000 last year alone. About Eric J. Adams, award-winning screenwriter, and keynote speaker

We are fortunate to have a very special keynote speaker, award-winning screenwriter Eric J. Adams.  Eric relies on his unique background (and connection to social work!) to develop film projects that explore contemporary social issues, including teen suicide, racism, prison inmate rights and isolation on Native American reservations.  

His movies include Supremacy starring Danny Glover, based on the 1995 murder of local Sonoma County Sheriff Deputy Frank Trejo by a white supremacist released from Pelican Bay Prison. In addition, Eric’s film Archie’s Final Project (aka My Suicide) starring David Carradine, Joe Mantegna, Mariel Hemingway and local heart-throb Gabriel Sunday, won the Crystal Bear at the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival and 21 other major film festival awards.  This teen coming-of-age film focuses on teen angst!  A must-see for anyone raising or working with this sometimes volatile and often confusing age group.

Tickets and Information about the Annual Social Work Celebration Honoring the Russian River Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

Tickets for the Annual Social Work Celebration are priced $25 and may be purchased at www.naswca.org/events . Sign up quickly, space is limited. For information about the Russian River Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence visit www.rrsisters.org and follow them at www.facebook.com/groups/RussianRiverSistersGroup. For information about Eric J. Adams visit Sleeperwave.com