Nataki D MacMurray. MSW
While I was pursuing a Master of Social Work degree at the University of Pennsylvania, BTG helped me begin a journey to become an effective interdisciplinary practitioner. In the Summer of 1995, I teamed up with a medical school student to staff the Safe Summer Center to provide adolescent sexual health education from our Center City base in the Gallery Mall. We pooled our educational background, creativity, and passion for helping youth to make healthy choices to develop interactive presentations. We left the ivy halls of campus to facilitate workshops at summer camps, recreation centers, as well as the drop-in center in the mall to reach teens and parents with brochures, condoms, demonstrations, etc.
I chose my profession of social work because I believed it provided the best avenue for me to make a positive impact in the world. My BTG Summer helped me to think critically about the philosophical, historical, and practical underpinnings of social work, and how to bring the best of my field into a collaborative setting. This also helped me grapple with some of my professional limitations so that I could better appreciate the perspective, knowledge, and skills that other professions can bring to a partnership to address social challenges.
Upon graduation, I began my career as an analyst for a White House agency focused on policy and programs related to substance use disorders (SUD). For more than 20 years, I have continued to focus on ensuring a comprehensive approach to understanding and addressing SUD prevention and treatment. During that time, I have worked with experts from multiple disciplines, including medicine, law enforcement, psychiatry, public health, public administration, etc. I am pleased to be a member of BTG’s alumni network. I will continue to hail the benefits and opportunities of developing an interdisciplinary practice early in our professional careers. It is my hope that BTG will continue, and even expand to include other disciplines such as education, criminal/juvenile justice, etc. to further address the complex social challenges of our communities.