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ID: HR23-207
Presenting author: Melodie Garcia

Presenting author biography:

Melodie is a bi-coastal harm reductionist and consultant specializing in grassroots organizational development & community engagement. Melodie has 12+ years’ experience organizing and providing education around reproductive health, harm reduction, and direct service provision. She advocates for drug users, sex workers, and people living unhoused.

Harm Reduce the ego: Decentralizing ego in social service provision

Melodie Garcia, Michael Garcia

Workshop content

So often when people speak about ego, it is in concern of it getting "too big" or allowing oneself to become "full of oneself." However, in the world of social services, we see ego telling us, "Not only is there always more work to do, people to help, but we have the power, the right, the responsibility or even the obligation to do something." This notion is not only harmful to the clients of social services, but in fact creates a universally toxic workplace for social service providers.

Learning objectives

The audience should start to recognize their internal drives to "provide service;" understand ways their implicit bias and need for self-determination informs the work of social service provision, and think about ways to systemically tackle the nonprofit industrial complex from an ego-death perspective.

Expected outcomes

We expect the audience to be critically engaged in conversation and thought about how their ego informs their daily work, and ultimately think about the ways in which this drive creates burnout and causes harm.