Racial Equity & Social justice resources
This page was developed as a part of a larger effort to support school social worker leadership in addressing issues of racial equity and social justice. Our SSWAA model calls for school social workers to address education rights and advocacy as a critical component of the work that we do. School social workers are ethically called to address structural inequalities that impact a students’ educational trajectories and advocating for policy changes at all levels. School social workers play an important role in addressing issues of racial equity, inclusion, and social and economic justice in our schools. Particularly at a time when there is a national call for addressing racial inequalities and be actively anti-racist in our work and personal lives, we hope that these resources can support this work for school social workers nationally and internationally.
New from sswaa
On Sunday afternoon in the suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota, just a few miles from where George Floyd was murdered, a 20 year old Black man was killed at the hands of a police officer. Our hearts mourn with Daunte Wright's family and we offer our deepest condolences as they try to reconcile life without their loved one. As our communities grieve yet another life lost due to police violence, we also have to acknowledge the persistent psychological, spiritual and physical toll of each and every one of these traumatic deaths. We may find our students, families, staff and even ourselves cycling through a variety of feelings such as hopelessness, despair, pain, sadness, angst, fear, etc. The layers and layers of trauma perpetuated by institutional racism harms all of us and requires a holistic healing centered approach.
School social workers are well positioned to be transformational leaders in promoting equity, inclusivity and supportive school environments. Guiding efforts to heal our communities is fundamental to our practice not only through the direct services provided, but also through advocacy efforts. Despite these unprecedented challenges facing our nation, school social workers’ knowledge and expertise are integral to the health and well-being of the individuals and communities we serve.
As school social workers, "we need to assess our own spheres of influence and our skill sets, thinking about how we can use our strengths, develop new skills, and be willing to be courageous and take risks in order to enact anti-racist and anti-oppressive practices" in order for collective healing to begin (Villarreal Sosa, L., & McCoy, C., 2020). Before you can provide support or to become an agitator to disrupt the toxic systems continually causing harm, take a moment to pause, breathe and reflect upon where you are. Tap into practices that help you find essential grounding. Then once you have re-centered, please lean into the variety of racial equity and social justice resources listed on our website to support you in this work. Here are just a few items to help you: