Facing the history of white supremacy in social work: MacroSW Chat 4/9/20

Chat transcript

As we move on from social work month, let’s adjust our focus on our work and our profession. While we celebrate the important work we do, it’s important to reflect on the role of white supremacy has had on our profession as it has developed, and how it remains present. White supremacy has direct impact on child welfare work, The nature of centering the practice of social work on White perspectives has immediate impact on how social justice work is done, particularly when White allies are not aware of the damage they cause. This is something we’ve needed to address here at MacroSW.com.

The fact that we are facing a growing pandemic is another way to illustrate examples of white supremacy. The spread of Covid-19 is disproportionately affecting people of color, the result of systemic racism that privileges white people. If you’re wondering why, in this time of crisis, we are focusing on white supremacy, this is one reason. White social workers should not absolve themselves of awareness and action during times of crisis.

Possible questions for discussion:

  1. What does white supremacy look like? How does this manifest in social work practice?
  2. In your practice in education, how is white supremacy addressed? Is it addressed at all?
  3. If you are a White social worker, how have you worked on addressing white supremacy in your practice?
  4. How is intersectionality impacted by white supremacy in social work?
  5. What resources do you recommend for further understanding of white supremacy in social work, and what we can do to dismantle it?

Resources for this chat:

Charter for Compassion: 4 Ways White Privilege Shows Up in Social Justice Movements: https://charterforcompassion.org/social-justice-compassion-reader/race-and-racism-compassion-reader/4-ways-white-privilege-shows-up-in-social-justice-movements

Decolonize Social Work Podcast: Episode 4: White Supremacy at Work. http://decolonizesocialwork.org/episode/white-supremacy-work

Dismantling Racism Works Web Worbkook http://www.dismantlingracism.org/ Information about the history and contributors for this resource can be found here: http://www.dismantlingracism.org/about-drworks.html

Drake University: Social Justice Toolkit https://www.drake.edu/diversity/getinvolved/resources/social-justice-toolkit/

Leigh-Anne Francis, Ph.D. Black Reformers and White Supremacist Beliefs. https://ssw.smith.edu/about-ssw/ssw-news-social-media/videos-school/2017-public-lecture-series/leigh-anne-francis-social-1

Social Work Coalition for Anti-Racist Educators: https://www.swcares.org/

Vox: The Intersectionality wars

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