Session: The Implementation of an Anti-Racist Practice in Research Teams: Process and Pollination (Society for Social Work and Research 26th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Racial, Social, and Political Justice)

70 The Implementation of an Anti-Racist Practice in Research Teams: Process and Pollination

Friday, January 14, 2022: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Archives, ML 4 (Marriott Marquis Washington, DC)
Cluster: Organizations & Management
Juliana Carlson, PhD, University of Kansas, April Diaz, MSW, MA, University of Kansas School of Social Welfare, Nancy Kepple, PhD, University of Kansas, Linda Chimwemwe G. Banda, MSW, University of Kansas and Kelechi Wright, MEd, University of Kansas
Endemic racism today greatly parallels racism as it existed in the early 20th century, with substantive progress seeming at times to be an elusive aspiration (McCoy, 2020). As we grapple with the intractable nature of systemic racism, social work researchers and those in research teams - particularly when led by white people - need to bring intentionality and focus to our anti-racist commitments and actions, including holding ourselves accountable for knowing our profession’s history and the larger societal history of white supremacy (McCoy, 2020). This intentionality is essential if we are to disrupt, rather than simply acknowledge, racist systems and practices (Strega & Brown, 2015). However, well-intentioned people still maintain counterproductive attitudes and actions that limit the effectiveness of our anti-racist ideals (Charles, 2016). Moreover, research teams, given their positions of power within the structure of higher education and academia broadly, often reproduce white supremacy culture (Okun, 2000) in their practices and choices, including development of data-collection instruments, engagement level of community involvement, and analysis and dissemination (Chicago Beyond, 2018).

This roundtable will bring the practice of regular and ongoing anti-racist practice utilized by two university research teams on separate federally funded projects.

To start the roundtable, participants will be asked to reflect on their research team experiences related to racial justice. Following this, the first presenter will share a brief overview of anti-racist practice within two research teams. Highlights will include a limited history of how one research team, in collaboration with values and practices of the project partners, developed principles that guide their work (e.g., pursuing racial equity, practicing a collaborative approach, conducting research for positive social change) and then, to live out these values, they committed to a weekly team practice to inform their work as researchers. The second presenter will share the pollination of this practice by the second research team, through a faculty member holding principal investigator roles in both teams. This pollination includes the practice germinating beyond the research team into practice teams at the intervention project level. The third presenter will describe how the overall process of the anti-racism practice. Specifically explored will be the process of how (1) the team identifies and selects readings that can be discussed in-depth over time, (2) the members of the team to read works by anti-racist writers aloud during team meeting, and (3) the team engages in a reflective analysis of the texts and ways in which they inform our work as researchers and scholars. The fourth team member presenter will share personal experiences from the team’s practice ranging from doctoral student researchers to principal investigators. The fifth presenter will guide participants through the experience for themselves and reflect together on ways in which they can bring anti-racist ideas and practices into their own research team. In closing, the presenters will field questions and facilitate discussion with the roundtable participants on anti-racist practice.

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