Session: Invited Symposium I: Resisting Regression: Safeguarding Social Work Science in the Face of Anti-DEI and Anti-Democratic Initiatives (Society for Social Work and Research 28th Annual Conference - Recentering & Democratizing Knowledge: The Next 30 Years of Social Work Science)

All in-person and virtual presentations are in Eastern Standard Time Zone (EST).

SSWR 2024 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Marquis BR Salon 6, ML 2. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 11. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

111 Invited Symposium I: Resisting Regression: Safeguarding Social Work Science in the Face of Anti-DEI and Anti-Democratic Initiatives

Friday, January 12, 2024: 2:00 PM-3:30 PM
Independence BR Salons D/E (ML 4) (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
Justin Harty, PhD, Arizona State University, Autumn Asher BlackDeer, PhD, University of Denver, Mimi Abramovitz, DSW, Hunter College, Jerome Schiele, PhD, Morgan State University and Stephanie Lechuga-Peña, PhD, Arizona State University
The wave of anti-DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) and anti-democratic initiatives sweeping across our society and higher education institutions represents a significant threat to social work research. The effects of such initiatives on social work can undermine efforts to create inclusive and equitable environments, hinder progress in addressing systemic inequalities, and impede the profession's ability to advocate for marginalized populations. This poses a real and present danger to our long-standing efforts in democratizing and decolonizing social work knowledge. The symposium aims to shed light on recent laws and regulations specifically designed to erode hard-won progress in DEI. Not only do these laws have the potential to adversely impact social work science, but they also pose a serious challenge to our collective vision of a just and equitable society.

The symposium will delve into the following areas:

1. Articulating the Threats: Examining the anti-DEI / anti-democratic movements that threaten the fundamental principles of social work research. This involves assessing the nature and magnitude of the challenge, understanding the motives behind these initiatives, and evaluating their impact on the populations we serve. 2. Implications of Threats: Discussing potential ramifications of these threats on social work researchers and the communities we serve. It will further explore the historic and contemporary impact of these regressive trends on profession of social work. 3. Counter-strategies to Threats: Presenting practical strategies to mitigate the threats posed by these laws. This will encompass a variety of responses, including advocacy, policy interventions, and changes in social work research.

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