We begin this roundtable session by making explicit our conceptualization of racism and assessing the limitations of social work's use of the social justice framework as a guide for anti-racist work. Next, we review the history and principles of abolition and explore how they can be applied to the new grand challenge. We argue that the central aim of anti-racist social work praxis, as informed by abolition, needs to be the building of power in Black, Indigenous, or Brown and poor and/or marginalized communities. We suggest four additional principles as part of a framework for anti-racist social work praxis: 1) Engage critical theories to inform education, practice, and research. 2) Advance macro-approaches of organizing, advocacy, and movement mobilization. 3) Target racism at the source. 4) Develop interventions to eliminate and address the effects of racism.
The presenters provide guiding questions to assess the extent to which our praxis - action and reflection - furthers the elimination of structural racism. Each presenter will then apply the guiding questions to their work - across the areas of child welfare, the legal punishment system, community organizing, and social work education. We will offer additional tools we have found helpful for engaging in anti-racist social work praxis. A dialogue will then be opened up with all attendees about the strengths and implications of an abolition-informed framework for anti-racist social work praxis.