Open Letter from Social Work Students, Alumnx, Staff, Faculty, and Administrators in Support of Black Lives Matter and Defunding the Police
We, the undersigned social work students, alumnx, staff, faculty, and administrators, endorse the Black Lives Matter platform and commit to the action steps outlined in An Open Letter to NASW and Allied Organizations on Social Work’s Relationship with Law Enforcement, authored by Dr. Laura Abrams and Dr. Alan Dettlaff, https://medium.com/@alandettlaff/an-open-letter-to... and the subsequent Affirming the Call for Social Work to Fully Support Defunding the Police, https://medium.com/@alandettlaff/affirming-the-cal...
We, the undersigned, call on individual stakeholders of schools, departments, and programs of social work to:
1. Publicly endorse the Black Lives Matter Petition to defund the police and reinvest in “our communities.” https://blacklivesmatter.com/defundthepolice/
2. Call for the NASW, CSWE, and allied organizations to add racial justice to the code of ethics and anti-racism to educational policies and standards.
3. Take seriously calls for abolition in our profession by hosting (or otherwise participating in) public conversations with those who are working to transform harmful institutions (e.g. child welfare and policing).
4. Recognize social work’s historical role in perpetuating anti-Blackness and regulating the lives of Black, Latinx, and Indigenous families.
We, the undersigned, call on deans and directors of social work schools, departments, and programs to:
5. Develop an organizational position statement on the divestment and reinvestment of law enforcement budgets that excludes expansion of law enforcement and instead supports community-driven alternatives to public safety.
6. Discontinue field placements in programs that uphold the Prison Industrial Complex — such as probation offices, prisons, jails, and others.
7. Demonstrate full support of students who in their fieldwork and curriculum activities refuse to engage in practice with the police.
8. Terminate partnerships with police departments, military apparatuses (such as the ROTC), and other similar organizations.
9. Create events or other learning opportunities to discuss how social work can move forward as a profession outside the current criminal legal system.
10. Revise curricula to include content about the harms that policing and law enforcement have caused Black people and other marginalized communities, and the ways social work has been complicit in these harms.
Please sign below to add your name to this endorsement and commitment to Black Lives Matter and defunding the police.