Social Work Commitment to Anti-Racism
Social Work Commitment to Anti-Racism
UCCS Social Work Commitment to Anti-Racism
The Department of Social Work at the UCCS College of Public Service hereby declares its anti-racism stance.
The mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and to help meet the basic needs of all people, with particular attention to those who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty.
The ethical standards of the social work profession demand that social workers engage in social and political action in order to advance social justice, with a focus on vulnerable, disadvantaged, oppressed, and exploited individuals and groups.
We recognize that the fulfillment of the mission and honoring the values and ethical standards of social work requires direct and intentional opposition to the racist ideologies and white supremacy that are embedded in the foundations of our institutions and systems.
Thus, in accordance with the mission and goals of UCCS and the College of Public Service, we are fully committed to anti-oppressive practice and anti-racism work.
Anti-Racism in Context
We consider the declaration and fulfillment of our commitment to anti-racism to be an ethical imperative, given both the current sociocultural contexts of our society and the long history of racism in our country as a whole. Racism remains embedded in our institutions and affects people of color in the United States today.
Our commitment to anti-racist education answers the call of our profession, as communicated by the NASW’s statement on undoing racism through social work.
A legacy of racism is also apparent in the history and present contexts of the social work profession and education. A commitment to anti-racism requires intentional effort at the individual, program, school, university, community, and broader macro levels. As a result, UCCS Social Work strives to build a social work community that will engage anti-racism work in social work practice, education, and research.
We also strive to educate social workers who will engage in anti-racism work in both social work practice and in educational contexts. UCCS Social Work will support and educate students through the BSW and MSW curricula in the following ways:
In accordance with the 2015 CSWE Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) competencies for social work education, will prepare students for anti-racist approaches to social work practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. Our approaches to integrating anti-racism into our curricula and school culture include but are not limited to:
At the micro level, UCCS Social Work will be engaged in:
- Consciousness raising and reflexivity practice, targeting exploration of their personal values and affective reactions (EPAS Competency 1)
- Analysis of the effects of the social worker on practice with diverse clients and constituencies (EPAS Competency 2).
- Developing an understanding of diversity and a recognition of oppression, poverty, marginalization, and alienation, as well as exploring the role of privilege and power in one’s life (EPAS Competency 3)
- Use of a trauma-informed lens to foster understanding of the impact of shared and individual traumas on the lives of clients from marginalized groups (EPAS Competency 4,6,7,8,9)
- Learning to effectively engage, assess, and treat diverse clients and constituencies (EPAS Competency 6,7,8)
At the mezzo level, UCCS Social Work will be engaged in:
- A focused creation of a diverse team and student body (EPAS Competency 2,3)
- Fostering a culture of respect and inclusion (EPAS Competency 1)
- A committed engagement of students in school governance through leadership opportunities (EPAS Competency 5)
- Encouraging engagement in the university and community in ways that advance social and racial justice (EPAS Competency 2,3)
At the macro level, UCCS Social Work will be engaged in:
- Advocacy at the local, state, national, and international levels (EPAS Competency 3,5,6,7,8,9)
- Building curricula featuring particular attention to the impact of social and economic policies on vulnerable clients and on the provision of social services (EPAS Competency 2,3)
- Policy development, implementation, and evaluation skills for advancing social justice (EPAS Competency 3,5)
We will conduct an annual review of the UCCS Social Work program’s adherence to an embodiment of our anti-racism commitment.
Below, please find the references cited in this statement, along with a list of relevant resources. (This is not an exhaustive list.)
- National Association of Social Workers (NASW; 2007). Institutional racism and the social work profession: A call to action.
- UCCS (n.d.). Mission, Vision and Values
- Council on Social Work Education (CSWE; 2015). Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards.
Faculty & Staff Favorites
- Atlas (2022). Emotional Inheritance: A Therapist, Her Patients, and the Legacy of Trauma. Little, Brown Spark. New York
- EmbraceRace. Raising a brave generation. Together
- Dettalff, A. A call to social workers to act against racism and white supremacy now.
- The Equity Matters Podcast
- National Association of Social Workers. Undoing racism through social work
- National Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity (NCORED). Anti-racism now and forever more.
- he National Museum of African American History and Culture. Being Antiracist.
- Speak out with Tim Wise. Podcasting for Resistance and Justice in the Age of Trump.
- Sue, D. W. (2013). Race talk: The psychology of racial dialogues. American Psychologist, 68(8), 663.
- UCS Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. How to be anti-racist: A social worker’s perspective.
On-campus Resources for Students
- Office of Institutional Equity - Get help for you or someone else
- Office of Institutional Equity Resources
- MOSAIC and LGBTQ+ Resource Center
- Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration. Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.
- Jehangir, A. (2021). My grandmother’s hands: racialized trauma and the pathway to mending our hearts and bodies. Central Recovery Press. Las Vegas.
- Joyner, M. Racism is America’s human stain; Black Lives Matter.
- NASW Colorado Chapter. Racial justice.
- University of Colorado Colorado Springs. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- UCS Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work (2018). Honoring the African-American women who have changed social work.
- Wilkins, E. J., Whiting, J. B., Watson, M. F., Russon, J. M., & Moncrief, A. M. (2013). Residual effects of slavery: What clinicians need to know. Contemporary Family Therapy, 35(1), 14-28.