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Addressing Anti-Black Racism in Social Work

June 5, 2020CASWE-ACFTS members approved a motion against anti-Black racism during the  Annual General Meeting on June 3rd. This was a joint motion made by the Student Committee and the Racial, Ethnic and Cultural Issues Caucus (RECI). 

Preamble:
Due to ongoing, pervasive, and persistent forms of anti-Black racism, in particular, the disproportionate number of Black people killed at the hands of police, members of the Student Committee and the Race, Ethnicity, and Cultural Issues (RECI) Caucus are compelled to present this Motion as a Call to Action within this Association given its mandate.

The social work profession has historically and is currently complicit in perpetuating anti-Black racism, through practices of segregation, surveillance, policing and exclusion of Black communities from health and social services.

At the same time, there is a long history of Black social workers, activists, and scholars–including Black feminists– in knowledge production, community organizing, social movements, health care institutions and schools of social work who have and continue to lead the fight against multiple and intersectional forms of oppression, including various forms of racism and colonialism, patriarchy, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and classism.

The current and recent public mobilizations across the world are only vehicles to raise awareness of the centuries of oppression on Black people, locally and globally. We call this Association to commit to concrete actions that will result in structural changes within this Association and Faculties and Schools of Social Work across Canada / Turtle Island.

We wish to make the following motion:
That CASWE-ACFTS and Faculties and Schools of social work across Canada / Turtle Island commit to:

  • Denouncing anti-Black racism within CASWE-ACFTS and faculties and schools of social work across Canada / Turtle Island
  • Ensuring the equitable selection, retention and degree completion of Black students within Faculties and Schools of Social Work
  • Supporting Black personnel, instructors and practitioners within their programs especially those who experience multiple and intersectional forms of oppression
  • Hiring of more Black professors within Faculties and Schools of social work as well as developing adequate retention and support mechanisms
  • Dedicating resources towards developing social work curriculum and teaching resources specific to anti-Black racism, in consultation with Black students, practitioners, scholars, community members, etc.
  • Honouring the autonomy of Black community leaders, activists, practitioners and scholars and their calls for the de-funding of police and the investment into health and social services and community initiatives that serve and empower Black communities.

Joint motion of members of the Student Committee and the Racial, Ethnic and Cultural Issues Caucus.

Approved by CASWE-ACFTS members during the Annual General Assembly, June 3, 2020.

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