The School of Social Work Anti-Racism StatementThe West Virginia University School of Social Work believes Black lives matter and we are committed to anti-racism, equity, and racial justice.We denounce white supremacy, systemic and anti-Black racism, oppression, and bigotry in any form. We are bound to our core value of social justice and answer the call to challenge societal injustices. As leaders in social work at West Virginia’s flagship university, we pledge to align our work with our professional values and actively engage in anti-racist efforts.
We understand that a commitment to anti-racism is not for one moment in time, but rather, a journey across our individual and collective lifespans. A commitment to anti-racism requires listening, learning, reflection, discomfort, dialogue, and action.
To ensure our own professional integrity, we must look inward and earnestly pursue our own transformation. We will conduct a thorough examination of our school’s policies, curriculum and processes, as well as critical assessments of our own biases and prejudices as faculty and staff. With our findings, we will create actionable tasks and engage in change efforts at School and individual levels that bring about equity and racial justice.
To expand this essential dialogue, we are dedicated to creating brave spaces that challenge our individual and collective biases and affirm the dignity and worth of each person—spaces where we can courageously speak, even when our voices shake, and where we can demonstrate our own vulnerabilities as we work to empower others. We will share our determination to fight for racial equity and justice and invite our communities to join us.
As social work educators and advocates, we are determined to dismantle the racist structures and culture of white supremacy that pervades our institutions, communities, profession, and relationships.
Our priority areas of action include the following:
- Consulting and collaborating with faculty and students to effectively engage in difficult conversations, and facilitating education on anti-racism, equity, justice, and white privilege and supremacy.
- Organizing and promoting professional development activities for students, faculty, staff and practitioners, on topics such as theBlack Lives Matter movement, systemic and anti-racism, white privilege and supremacy, criminal justice reform, and institutional change.
- Identifying and sharing curricular resources to further and enhance educational content on anti-racism, white privilege and supremacy, equity, and justice.
- Exploring and leveraging opportunities across the university and in our communities for interprofessional and interdisciplinary collaboration in research, educational programming, and social work practice centered in anti-racism, equity, and justice.
- Cultivating an inclusive learning and work culture that recruits, supports, and retains diverse students, faculty, and staff.