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Anti-racism in social work: BASW England presentation and discussion

Pam Shodeinde, Liz Howard and Wayne Reid explore the importance of anti-racism in social work, specific areas of anti-Black racism, the Black Lives Matter movement and allyship

In this video - shared during Black History Month 2021 - we hear from Pam Shodeinde (social worker and member of the BASW England Black & Ethnic Minority Professionals Symposium BPS and vice-chair of the Student and NQSW Group), Liz Howard (professional officer BASW England) and Wayne Reid (professional officer and anti-racism lead BASW England) as they explore the importance of anti-racism in social work, specific areas of anti-Black racism, the Black Lives Matter movement and allyship. This film forms part of BASW’s wider commitment to anti-racism.

Watch here:                                                                                                                

BASW UK Statement on Anti-Racism

BASW UK adopts the definition from the Equality and Human Rights Commission and recognises that race can mean colour, or nationality (including citizenship) and also covers all ethnic and racial groups.

This means groups of people who all share the same protected characteristic of ethnicity or race.  BASW recognises that certain groups in society – particularly Black, Asian and other Minoritised Ethnic groups in the UK (such as but not limited to Jewish, Romani Gypsy and Traveller people) experience specific, pernicious and structural forms of racism.

While definitions aligned to legislation and human rights conventions are vital, to understand racism and its impacts we must always consider the individual or group’s experience and personal definitions. 

We also understand – in alignment with BASW UK’s overarching Equality Diversity and Inclusion statement – that experiences of racism may intersect with other aspects of identity and oppression creating distinctive personal experiences.

BASW acts to promote an inclusive, more equal society. We will speak out and challenge racism and social division across societies in the UK on behalf of our members and the profession.

We recognise that statements are not enough and that it is imperative for all of us in BASW, individually and collectively, to bring about change.

We urge members and partner organisations in social work to take direct action and stand in solidarity with people and communities who are oppressed, and we will continue to provide ways for social workers to engage in action.