My Life’s Trajectory - Ericca Blake Morgan, MPA, LMSW Alum 2017
My name is Ericca Blake Morgan, and I graduated from Morgan State University in May 2017. After working in Government for several years in various administrative capacities, I decided to pursue a master’s in social work. While working in government, I realized that we are all “social workers,” although many are called public servants or human service workers. I worked at the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC), providing safe, sanitary, and decent housing to Baltimore’s low to moderate-income families. In this role, I also advocated on Capitol Hill for funding for programs that would help residents to move from dependency to self-sufficiency.
I transitioned to the Mayor’s Office of Community and Human Development, a division that oversees all social service agencies (i.e., schools, police, housing, DSS, health, Dept of Aging, etc.). While there, I began to see the various social ills that permeate the city and the state. I knew that the social ills were more than what meets the eyes. To effectively help individuals, I wanted to learn more about human behavior and their social environments; hence, I decided to pursue a degree in social work. While the MSW degree did not increase my salary, it made me more knowledgeable about the field and better equipped me to deal with the day-to-day issues that came into the Mayor’s Office.
After leaving that department, I went to a smaller department called the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED), an arm of the city that helps individuals find employment or training and helps employers staff their companies. This was a rewarding job, and I felt that my social work skills had served me well in this area. I worked on policies, implemented workforce development programs, and advocated for funding for the various workforce programs that helped the city’s economy. However, after more than 20 years of serving in government, I decided I wanted to impact lives on a micro level; thus, this led me to pursue a job with an outpatient mental health center in Baltimore City.
As I listened to the news, read the newspapers, and watched the devastation Covid-19 inflicted upon us, I began thinking of ways to be more impactful. Hence, I decided to take the licensing exam so I could be licensed to become a therapist. Covid has wreaked havoc on every corner of our society, and I wanted to do more. During and after covid, the CDC reported that Depression, Anxiety, Suicide, Child Abuse, and domestic/Intimate Partner Violence doubled. The affected persons alone cannot manage these problems, so I felt that this was the time to step out and help my fellow men. Yes, we are our brother's keepers, and while it is good to have well-paid careers, someone must stay back to help the less fortunate, vulnerable, and mentally ill individuals. I wanted to be one of those change agents.
As a social worker, many see the work as a thankless job, a low-paid profession, and a less respected career, BUT can you imagine a society without US (Social Workers)? We are found in every area of the workforce industry (i.e., schools, churches, hospitals, outpatient agencies, health departments, police departments, and even funeral homes). Our skills are transferrable, and our relevance is needed. I could pursue other careers, but my love for people has propelled me to do this work. I am not sure how long I will serve at the micro level, but I know I will always work in a capacity where I can make an impact on the lives of others.
School of Social Work
1700 E. Cold Spring Lane
Jenkins Behavioral Science Building, Rm. 343
Baltimore, MD 21251