Column: Ada Deer still making a difference in Wisconsin
"March is National Social Workers Month, so I wasn’t surprised when my favorite social worker, Ada Deer, stopped by the office recently to make sure I didn’t forget.

Ada has always been proud of her chosen profession and the wide variety of services that it provides everyone from the very poor to the frail elderly and all walks of life in between. Among all the helping professions, she likes to point out, social workers are the only ones who trumpet social justice as their core value. Those who go into social work are men and women who see social inequity in the lives of individuals, families and communities, and strive to make things better. Some work with individuals, some with groups, some do community organizing, others do research.

Ada is retired now. Her last job was director of UW-Madison’s American Indian studies and distinguished lecturer in UW’s School of Social Work. But even as she approaches age 75, the former deputy secretary of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs under President Bill Clinton hasn’t slowed down. She’s still out there championing her causes and serving on committees that try their best to right wrongs.

One of those causes is to reform the state prison system, which Deer believes is costing the taxpayers of Wisconsin much more than it should, while other state services, the UW System, for example, suffer as a result.

Regard for Ada Deer is shared by many."

Get the Story:
Plain Talk: Ada Deer’s still working hard to make a difference (The Capital Times 3/19)