We are committed in the fight to end racism in all its forms. On this page you'll find:
- resources to educate yourself;
- invitations to events and forums where you can become more engaged and be heard; and,
- what we're doing as a faculty to live up to our statement on Anti-Black Racism.
We also want to hear from you. What do you think we should be doing? What types of events or educational sessions would you like to see? Click the button below to tell us your thoughts:
In the News
Let's talk about reimagining better policing that reflects racial communities
Join us on Sept. 17 for this critical online conversation and discover what’s next ...
As part of our commitment to ending racism in our faculty and in society, we have created a task force to address Anti-Black Racism.
The task force has been meeting since July 2020. Since that time, we have discussed our main priorities and finalized our terms of reference.
Over the next few weeks, we plan to engage with our student groups and key stakeholders to determine the ways they wish to be involved. We also plan to organize several activities and events to address ongoing anti-Black racism.
Please bookmark this page, and check back on a regular basis for updates, events and important announcements.
What we're Doing: Updates
September 2020: The task force on Anti-Black racism is currently developing an action plan. We plan on engaging in activities and organizing events in collaboration with the University of Calgary.
As part of this plan, we are starting to engage students:
- The Dean is currently organizing a September meeting of racialized and Indigenous students. The goal of this online meeting is for students to come together to share experiences and issues.
- Our Associate Dean, Undergraduate, recently sent an email to BSW students and is reaching out to our Social Work Student's Association to recruit students to this committee.
- This group will have an important role in recommending actionable anti-racist and anti-colonial changes within the Faculty of Social Work. The group's recommendations will be brought directly to our task force on anti-Black racism.
Our Statement on Anti-Black Racism
The Faculty of Social Work strongly opposes and condemns systemic racism, white supremacy and discrimination in all its forms. We stand in solidarity with those who experience the injustices of racism and those who strive tirelessly to end anti-Black racism.
The countless deaths of unarmed Black women and men including the recent death of George Floyd, so senseless and painful, leaves many unsure of what to say or how to take action. However, it also leads us to reflect on the many horrific acts of everyday racism experienced by colleagues, friends and community members. Any act of racism violates our own humanity, professional values, commitment to social justice, and love for others.
In order to engage in a transparent dialogue on racism and privilege, and to create change, we need to first acknowledge its existence. We recognize that subtle and overt racism permeates all areas of society, including our university and deeply impacts many of our colleagues and students.
We must take action to achieve progress. As an accredited Canadian Association of Social Work Education (CASWE) program, we therefore commit to:
1. Championing the inclusion of content on Afrocentric social work in our curricula.
2. Utilizing diverse and critical perspectives.
3. Ensuring that students acquire a strong knowledge base focused on awareness and understanding of privilege and oppression.
4. Striving to enact a June 3rd, 2020 motion approved by CASWE, to dedicate resources and to take concrete steps to end anti-Black racism. Along with our entire faculty, we will weave this critical work into our own priorities and actions in the upcoming strategic planning process.
5. Expanding the knowledge and actions of dominant groups so that they can continue to understand more deeply the experiences of racialized groups, particularly Black and Indigenous people in this country.
We encourage all of you to bring forward your ideas on how we can confront racism and all forms of discrimination at the Faculty of Social Work and across the university.
We stand with you in these difficult times. We are determined to build a warm and inclusive community for all engaged with the Faculty and our communities and we are committed to supporting you.
Ellen Perrault, PhD, RSW, Dean and Teaching Professor, Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary
Some Suggestions from David Este, PhD
1. Voisin, D.(2019) America the Beautiful and Violent: Black youth and Neighborhood Trauma in Chicago
Note from Dr. Este: This book is written by Dr. Dexter Voisin, PhD, who is the relatively new dean of theFactor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at UofT. He is an internationally known research scholar who spent 20 years at the University of Chicago. In the book Voisin examines the impact of structural violence based on interviews with Black youth in Chicago as well as his work as a clinical social worker for several years.
2. Brown, Austin Channing (2018) I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness
3. Diverlus, R., Hudson S., & Marcus Ware, S (2020). (Eds) Until We Are Free: Reflections on Black Lives Matter in Canada
4. Cole, D. (2020)(Ed) The Skin We're In: A year of Resistance and Power
5. Austin, D. (2018) (Ed) Moving Against The System: The 1968 Congress of Black Writers and the Making of Global Consciousness
Note from Dr. Este: This book contains contains the original speeches that were made at a gathering of Black intellectuals such as C.L. R. James, James Foreman, Walter Rodney and Stokely Carmichael to name a few. This event is now regarded as one of the most pivotal events of the Civil Rights movement in Canada during the 1960's.
Some Suggestions from Lisa Silver, LLM
- R. v. Le, 2019 SCC 34 (CanLII), http://canlii.ca/t/j0nvf
- Report of the Independent Street Checks Review by the Honourable Mr. Justice Michael Tulloch: https://www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca/english/Policing/StreetChecks/ReportIndependentStreetChecksReview2018.html
- A Disparate Impact: Second interim report on the inquiry into racial profiling and racial discrimination of Black persons by the Toronto Police Service by the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC): http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/disparate-impact-second-interim-report-inquiry-racial-profiling-and-racial-discrimination-black and the OHRC’s response to the Toronto Police Services Board regarding that Report: http://www3.ohrc.on.ca/en/ohrc-written-deputation-toronto-police-services-board-re-police-reform-toronto-systemic-racism
- Tanovich, David M. “Applying the Racial Profiling Correspondence Test” (2017), 64 C.L.Q. 359.
- Amanda Porter – Australia: (2016) Decolonizing Policing: Indigenous Patrols, Counter-Policing and Safety. Theoretical Criminology, 20(4):548–565
- Policing Black and Indigenous Lives in Canada: A Digital Teach-In: https://youtu.be/Uo1JC04wHFQ
- Kendi, Ibram X. 2019. How to be an antiracist. (book)
- Maynard, Robyn. 2017. Policing Black lives: state violence in Canada from slavery to the present. (book)
- Silver, Lisa. “Confronting Racism in Supreme Court of Canada Case Law.” Ideablawg, September 11, 2020, https://www.ideablawg.ca/blog/2020/9/11/confronting-racism-in-supreme-court-of-canada-case-law
- Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy,TED Talk, “We need to talk about an injustice” https://youtu.be/c2tOp7OxyQ8
- Short, Dylan. “Indigenous inmates make up 45 per cent of all people in Alberta's federal prisons,” Globe and Mail, January 22, 2020, https://edmontonjournal.com/news/crime/indigenous-inmates-make-up-45-per-cent-of-all-people-in-albertas-federal-prisons