Session: Leading the Charge in Addressing Racism and Bias: Implications for Social Work Research, Training, and Practice (Society for Social Work and Research 24th Annual Conference - Reducing Racial and Economic Inequality)

338 Leading the Charge in Addressing Racism and Bias: Implications for Social Work Research, Training, and Practice

Sunday, January 19, 2020: 11:30 AM-1:00 PM
Capitol, ML 4 (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
Cluster: Race and Ethnicity (R&E)
Sarah Bussey, MSW, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, Edward Poliando, PhD, Mount Sinai Health System and Monica Thompson, MSW, The Graduate Center, City University of New York
This current socio-political environment of increased overt bigotry, enactment of exclusionary policies, and divisive rhetoric poses great challenges to social workers. As a profession with an ethical mandate to engage in social justice reform and racial equity efforts, social work is well positioned to lead organizations and systems towards anti-racism, anti-bias, and equity practices through consciousness-raising efforts. Despite explicit anti-oppression values in social work, social workers in the US are socialized within a society shaped by racism, patriarchy, and a market-based economy. Social workers are trained, practice, teach, and conduct research within institutions infused with racism and other forms of oppression. This socialization informs and shapes the worldview and practice of social workers. Building from the assumption that no profession develops insulated from social, political, economic, or cultural influence, it becomes critical to examine how the racialized, violent history of the US has affected and still impacts the social work profession. Central to this is exploring ways in which social work has colluded in racism and exclusion. This critical examination bolsters the ability to evaluate how social work practitioners, educators, and researchers may inadvertently endorse racism and oppression in their practice. This roundtable aims to inspire the development of social work-driven efforts to make visible the harmful impacts of White supremacist ideology, capitalism, and patriarchy. Building from the facilitators' experience of creating and implementing an anti-racism and anti-bias curriculum in a large urban teaching healthcare system, this roundtable will leverage anti-racism tenets and anti-bias strategies to inform research, practice, and approaches to teaching. Didactic and experiential content will be introduced addressing researcher reflexivity, accountability to history, the impact of intersectional identity, and uncovering implicit (e.g. microaggressions) and explicit (e.g. exclusionary policies) biases. In addition, tools to disrupt oppression in practice, research, and education will be explored. Participants will have the opportunity to build collective knowledge by workshopping these concepts and applying them to their research interests, teaching approaches, and practice. Since its inception, social work has vacillated between being a function of social control and of social liberation. Developing awareness is a step to interrupting harmful practices that may exist, hidden or overt. Interrogating where imperialism and structural racism manifest in research, practice, and pedagogy, creates the opportunity for social work to champion a more humanistic and liberation-based practice.
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