Thursday, April 14, 2011

growing the vision

It's so exciting to be connecting with other social workers who share this vision!!  

As a practitioner of anti-oppressive social work, I truly believe that critical, reflective practice is a necessary component of this work. This is something I hope the Social Work Activist Reader can delve into. There are so many rich learning opportunities in each day of practice. While I have participated in many inspiring and meaningful forums for formalized continuing education, I also see clearly that there are so many ways to continue growing and learning in our work outside of traditional learning environments. We learn from folks accessing SW services and from the privilege of being able to hear and witness the stories people share with us of their life, experience, need and dreams.  We learn from our mistakes and also our successes. We learn from students, colleagues, peers, supervisors and mentors. From those who share our framework whose practice we would like to align with, and from those whose practice foundation is one we would not choose to model. We learn from the system barriers and from our own daily decisions about how to navigate the systems, policies, institutions and agencies we work in.

I also believe we must do this work in community. We need mentors and allies, others to support our learning and to encourage us to dream and grow. To hold the vision of justice and to speak our truth.

The deadline to submit for the first zine publication will be June 21st and I'll be taking blog submissions on an ongoing basis and will publish as folks are able to submit. So far inquiries have come from Oregon, Kansas, New York, New Orleans, Alaska and Mississippi, with more to come.  I would most love people to write about the things that seem most meaningful and relevant.  My vision of this site is to have it be an open forum for exploring justice--and our vision for SW/practice--through a justice lens. All are welcome to participate, it is simply important for writers to have a commitment to justice and equality, a willingness to be a critical thinker (and encourage critical thinking), and have the intention of submitting something that will ultimately encourage others SWers to grow as justice-centered practitioners.  Welcome Community!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Call For Action (Papers). Seeking contributions to “The Social Work Activist Reader: Holding the Vision of Justice in Practice.”

Attention all social work activists and allies!

What is the most important thing you have to say about social work?  What is your vision for our work? Do you want to belong to a community of social workers who are committed to deepening and strengthening our skills as practitioners of justice-centered, anti-oppressive practice?  

My own vision is one of deep commitment to justice-centered social work practice. Social workers committed to this philosophy must regularly ask ourselves how we resolve the inconsistencies between our commitment to social justice and our agreement to work within systems that often contribute to systemic inequity. Rather than passively maintaining the status-quo, we strive to co-create personal and community healing with social work service recipients.  We acknowledge and account for the institutionalized hierarchy that permeates social work systems and strive to minimize the power and privilege differentials that pervasively influence social work systems, policies and interventions.

Our comprehensive understanding of the human impact of injustice, racism, sexism, homophobia, classism and poverty, ageism, historical trauma, colonization, ecological degradation, genocide—and other unnamed forms of oppression—informs each step of our practice as we strive to combat  inequality with anti-oppressive interventions. We share our professional voice with those whose own voices have been silenced; we use our education, skill, compassion and ability to co-create healing and justice through the practice of social work.

I am growing this vision and want to do this work in learning community. A community-based, grass-roots commitment to radical social work activism, where street-level practitioners have a voice and forum to shape and grow our practice in ways that honor our commitment to justice.   The Social Work Activist Reader.

How you can be involved: Call For Action (Papers)
1)      Be a contributing writer to the newly forming social work activist zine (The social work activist reader: holding the vision of justice in practice).  Contributors can email submission offerings to  and should include your name and email address. Articles should be in areas of social work that help to build our vision of social work activism and justice-centered, anti-oppressive practice.  The zine will be published quarterly with our first publication planned for this summer.   

2)      Be a contributing writer to the SW activist blog: .  Articles should be in areas of social work that help to build our vision of social work activism and justice-centered, anti-oppressive practice. Contributors can email submission offerings to , and should include your name and email address. Articles that are accepted will be posted on the blog for community comment.   Please say if you would like your article to be considered for the blog, zine, or both.

3)      Follow the blog! Comment! Help co-create this vision of justice in our lives and practice. There are many ways to be a part of this change and community vision.

4)      Join the list severe . A discussion list for radical, progressive social workers and human service workers committed to anti-oppressive, anti-racist social work practice.

5)      Check out my website for more information about my framework, philosophy and intention.

I am greatly looking forward to meeting you and co-creating this vision in our practice! Please feel welcome to email me with any questions or thoughts at  .

In solidarity,

Heather  Greene, LCSW