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BASW’s voices for Black History Month…and beyond

Veronica Bell, member of the Black and Ethnic Minority Professionals Symposium

It is so important that we celebrate and commemorate our history and those who have gone before us, whose giant shoulders we all stand on.

We all benefit from their efforts, wisdom and ingenuity – in spite of the suffering and discrimination they had to endure to leave us a legacy.  

I want to say that the breadth and depth of Black History cannot be reflected in a month – regardless of how diverse the themes. 

In social work, the barriers that exist have been created because of multiple generations of discrimination against people who look different and bring a different experience to shaping policy, practice and theorical perspectives. 

A distinct lack of understanding and assumption based on misinformation and mis-taught history underpins the prejudices of the white majority workplaces we are employed in. 

Those assumption are played out in how Black and minority workers are treated in the workplace. 

We have to work significantly harder than our white counterparts to break glass ceilings because we are often thought of as incapable to upholding standards, being creative and being seen as an ‘acceptable’ role mode and representative for our organisations. 

I would like to see all aspects of social work and social care being treated and equally represented across all media platforms – most certainly they have not been sufficiently informed about the role that adult social care have and continue to play in supporting people during COVID alongside the NHS.