The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor,
Ahmaud Arbery and countless others are rooted in these social ills
and reflect profound failings on the part of institutions that are
supposed to protect and keep us all safe. These tragedies are
linked to a legacy of racialized violence in the United States that
continues to plague Black people and Black communities.
As social workers committed to social justice and the
dignity and worth of all of humanity, we recognize the pain,
suffering, and outrage resulting from a long history of racism,
oppression, and discrimination in this country. Social workers and
other professionals across the nation are needed to address the
inadequacies of our social systems in combating racism…As social
workers, our professional ethical mandate includes being actively
opposed to racism in all its forms-individual, interpersonal,
institutional, and structural.
recent statement from the NASW National Committee on Race,
Ethnicity, and Diversity. It's echoes what you've already read
NASW Code of Ethics (see 6.04 Social and Political Action).
Social workers are expected not to be impartial observers of
societal ills, but to be active participants in remedying
Every social worker has a different approach to putting these
principles to work. If you're unsure how to get rolling, ask
another social worker (or write us!).
This isn't new material for social work students and
professionals. What is new is how widely it's all being
discussed and called out. Just look at the current New York
Times bestseller lists. Just look at the ongoing and
growing protests all over the country and the globe. Change is
coming. Social workers can and should help it along.
Will this be on the test? This is the test!