Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Keystones of Anti-Oppressive Social Work Practice

Heather Greene

Portland, OR
Justice Centered Social Work

Sheila Walker
Lawrence, KS


As practitioners of anti-oppressive practice, we know that the lens through which we view our work and the knowledge that informs our practice is always growing, shifting and evolving. In recognition of that, we don’t necessarily want to set in stone firm rules about what that work will continue to look like. We can, however, share with you some foundational commitments that have informed our own justice-centered practice.


1) An evolving understanding of justice, oppression and privilege, and our relationship with them

2)   An awareness of how justice, oppression and privilege affect the dynamics of social work systems, policies and practice

3)  A working historical context to inform our present day understanding of privilege and oppression

4) A commitment to self-reflection, persistence, and the understanding that it’s OK to be uncomfortable at times in this work



5)     A commitment to being justice-centered in our practice, balanced with kindness to ourselves (and our learning process) and a willingness to continue the work

6) A community of practitioner-allies (mentors, colleagues to bounce ideas off, folks who kindly challenge us in learning to reveal our blind spots, and those who are allies in this work and offer the validation, support and friendship so necessary for our sustained commitment to justice-centered work)

7)  A willingness to bring our "blind-spots" into the forefront of our practice

8) A working skill-set in empowerment work, intentional nonviolent communication, and consensus-based decision making

9)  A foundational understanding of feminist, multicultural, progressive, anti-racist, anti-oppressive, justice-centered, earth-centered, and deconstructive social work models of practice

10)   A dedication to our social work practice and a willingness to make unique contribution to this work

1 comment:

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