Social Work Values of Racial Equity and Justice
UNC Chapel Hill School of Social Work continuing education is committed to racial equity and justice and practicing greater transparency about the values that underlie its programming. The Clinical Lecture Series and Institutes aim to provide best practices for students, professionals, community members, and all who are caring for individuals and families in ways that are therapeutic, anti-oppressive, intersectional, and centered on self-determination.
- All forms of clinical practice carry the risk of replicating and reinforcing power dynamics and inflicting harm;
- Power imbalances are inherent in an enterprise based on assessment, diagnosis, surveillance, and gatekeeping in the service of care;
- Biases and values of practitioners inform the narratives about intimate areas of personal life;
- Marginalized populations are at greater risk for harm, particularly Black, indigenous, and other people of color; and
- Race interacts with other interlocking systems of oppression involving gender, sexual orientation, gender identification, (dis)ability, and other forms of difference.
The Clinical Lecture Series and Institutes strive to provide trainings that help participants to:
- Apply evidence-based practice models, while also interrogating whose voices are included and excluded, and who the models are intended to serve and ultimately serve.
- Engage in ongoing critical self-reflection of one’s biases, assumptions, triggers, and experiences with oppression and privilege, in the service of developing a critical consciousness and tools to engage clients with accountability, transparency and appreciation for intersectional identities and perspectives.
- Learn practice models and approaches that are explicitly anti-racist, including feminist, queer, anticolonial and other anti-oppressive paradigms.
- Approach clients with cultural humility and openness, while, at the same time, acquiring cultural competency to avoid the harmful practice of relying on clients as educators and/or assuming that individuals represent all members of a group.
- Hold nonpathologizing stances that center and validate clients as the experts on their lived experience.
- Provide strength-based narratives that contribute to healing, such as countering internalized racism and uplifting the inherent value of Black, indigenous, and other people of color.
- Foster therapeutic relationships that do not replicate micro aggression, and the skills to identify and repair harm when it does.
- Help people to grieve and heal from trauma, including intergenerational, racism-based trauma, and the effects of intersectional oppression.
- Sit with discomfort, and skillfully address experiences of race and power within and beyond the session.
- Integrate racial and social justice within clinical practice promoting equity, health and wellbeing, while simultaneously working to dismantle systems of oppression, which impact the health and wellbeing of marginalized people.
We welcome all input on ways we can be most effective in providing trainings that promote racial equity, social justice, and wellbeing.