Session: Education Is Our Business: Social Work's Obligation to the Educational Justice Movement (Society for Social Work and Research 25th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Social Change)

All live presentations are in Eastern time zone.

268 Education Is Our Business: Social Work's Obligation to the Educational Justice Movement

Friday, January 22, 2021: 5:00 PM-6:00 PM
Cluster: School Social Work
Annahita Ball, PhD, University at Buffalo, Jandel Crutchfield, PhD, LCSW, University of Texas at Arlington, Ashley Daftary, PhD, University of Nevada, Reno and Danielle R. Eugene, LCSW, Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge
Vast disparities are evident in public educational outcomes and opportunity across social groups. Additionally, many children and youth experience educational injustice in multiple ways, such as disproportional exclusionary school discipline, sexist and transphobic dress code policies, bias-based bullying, inadequate student supports, and increased police presence in schools. These injustices are rooted in the United States’ history of colonialism, oppression, and white supremacy, yet a public education system is meant to ensure that all citizens have access to the knowledge and skills necessary to engage in a democratic society. At the same time, our education system influences citizens’ perceptions of their world, including the transmission of values and beliefs. Education, as the largest social welfare institution in the U.S., is more than an academic issue. Thus, social workers must be keenly aware of the ways in which public education systematically undermines youths’ ability to succeed. Recently, education scholars called for a civil rights movement that advances educational justice and calls attention to growing disparities in American public education. Social work, however, has been largely silent within this developing educational justice movement. This roundtable discussion will explore social work’s obligation to the educational justice movement, identifying critical areas for future research and cross-disciplinary investigation. We also will discuss and identify specific pathways for social work research to inform and strengthen social work practice in support of educational justice. In this roundtable, discussants will: (1) situate social work research and practice within the context of the current educational justice movement; (2) highlight specific areas of social work research and practice that may contribute to educational justice; (3) lift up existing practice solutions to educational injustice; and (4) identify critical research questions for social work moving forward. The discussants, who have both practice and research experience focused on social work and education, will share their perspectives and experiences related to these four priority areas. Specifically, participants will engage in a dialogue about research and practice knowledge related to colorism, white supremacy, community organizing, anti-oppressive practice, and cross-system coordination as they relate to the educational justice movement. This roundtable will begin to develop a base for social work involvement in the educational justice movement, positioning social work researchers as thought and action leaders who have the potential to create change.
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