This roundtable, comprised of a diverse panel of early career scholars working at the intersection of social and environmental problems, will critically interrogate the GND resolution and its social work implications through several lenses. We will draw on our experiences living and engaging in research with frontline environmental justice communities to discuss how social work expertise and lived experience can be married to promote equitable research and policy. We will describe the unique skills that social workers can bring to interdisciplinary environmental research to effect policy change including an emphasis on participatory approaches to lend credence to the experiences and expertise of frontline communities. Further, our presentation will privilege indigenous ways of knowing, describing how the GND may empower (or harm) communities who have borne the brunt of historical and policy-related trauma. Participants will have the opportunity to debate social work's role in prior social policy development, examining mistakes of past policies that perpetuated exclusion and marginalization in indigenous communities and communities of color.
The panel deliberation is of particular relevance to this year's conference theme of reducing racial and economic inequality because climate justice is reliant on socially just policies. The GND provides a venue for social workers to assert their leadership role through its focus on racial, economic, and environmental justice. Our professional imperatives and values force us to reckon with the crises facing our natural, built, and social environments in order to reduce racial, economic, and environmental inequality.