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The Wurzweiler Anti-Racist Committee (ARC): Black Social Workers in Politics

By Joyce Roberson-Steele, LMSW, Ph.D. Candidate

Black Social Workers have played a significant role in addressing social problems that affect underserved and marginalized populations from the beginning development of social work practices. While micro-level social work is very important to supporting and improving individual needs of the populations we serve, macro-level social work also has its place in promoting long-lasting change.

Community organizing and political social work are necessary to create upward mobility to ensure inclusion and knock down the barriers to access of services within the community necessary to provide the best blueprint towards a productive life in society for all.

As we shift our practice focus to a social justice perspective, we must address the institutional structures that our clients are forced to navigate. These systems are often unable to meet the needs of our clients because of the racial infrastructure embedded in the fabrics of most social service support systems, laws and policy.

In order to be successful in our social justice work with our clients, we should follow the guidelines from our NASW Code of Ethics. We can start by becoming more relevant and active within the political arena, where the policy and funding for many of the programs and services can provide tangible resources to the populations in most need.

Black Social workers continue to play a pivotal role in promoting change in the policy, social systems and funding needs to provide an equitable environment. These critical changes and intentional practices of inclusion are resulting in advancement of new programs as well as an understanding of the need for cultural sensitivity to be included in the promotion and development of social justice change activities.

Below are a very small portion of Black Social workers currently in the political arena within our government. There are many more; however, the important act is to click on their associated links. View their missions and values-based ideologies. Review their histories and education, and if you note nothing else, see how similar your own values and histories may be. Will you be on our future ARC acknowledgements of political social work pioneers?

Ayesha R. Clarke

Angela Conley

Mathylde Frontus

Kimberly Hardy

Justin Hodge

Charles Lewis

Chantel Jackson