Where social work leaders transform protests into positive action.
We live in an era where neoliberalism and authoritarianism collide, which has sparked a new generation of social activists across the world.
More than 4,700 demonstrations, or an average of 140 per day, since the first protests began in Minneapolis on May 26, according to a Times analysis. Turnout has ranged from dozens to tens of thousands in about 2,500 small towns and large cities.
Amid protest activities, the county’s unhoused population who are already amongst the most vulnerable during the pandemic, have also been struggling to access services even while engaging in protest activities.
YSocialWork, Inc. in partnership with the Social Justice Initiative at Bryn Mawr College and the University of Maryland School of Social Work is hosting a two-part series about “Social Workers 4 Justice.” This is a collective that uses a progressive approach to teach and learn with students and practitioners who engage in social justice protests.
Social Workers 4 Justice (SW4J) does not support violence, but rather engages in service- oriented acts of social justice amidst protests. This alliance of social workers is currently housed within YSocialWork, Inc. and employs the use of social work skills and competencies including de-escalation interventions, community relief assistance, and legislative advocacy.
If you missed either one of the two conversations, we invite you to review our presentation slides below, watch our Zoom recordings, and complete the post-event survey. If you have any questions about the Series, please contact Shauntia White at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Part 1: SW4J Across the Nation
Details: Thursday, September 10, 2020, 5:30 PM EST
Part 2: SW4J in Academia
Details: Friday, September 25, 2020, 3:00 PM EST
SW4J Two-Part Conversation on Systems Change and Reform
Social Workers 4 Justice Across the Nation
The first conversation will engage four protesters at Black Lives Matter demonstrations across the nation and focus on observations and lessons learned for future outreach and curriculum development and training. A special guest will also be in attendance, the first-ever Equity Officer for the Baltimore Police Department, as an example of social workers engaging in police reform.
Social Workers 4 Justice in Academia
The second conversation will expand on the perspectives and experiences of the previous conversation to consider how social work academics can learn from and support transformative social work practice.
(YSocialWork does not own the rights to this video and it is being used for educational purposes).
1. Promote basic knowledge and understanding of social activism and its interrelationship with social work values, ethics, and anti-oppressive practice.
2. Compare and contrast different forms of social action (protest, demonstration projects, community building) and protest environments across the nation for participants to formulate ideas towards collective activism and transformative field education and practice.
3. Enable participants to critically reflect on reforms to end police brutality that draw on social work skills and competencies at all levels of practice to bring about systems change across multiple social institutions.
Part 1: “Social Workers 4 Justice Across the Nation” Panelists
Part II: Social Workers 4 Justice in Academia Panelists
We invite you to submit any questions that you may have for the panelists in advance of the event.