Social work

Statement From the Department of Social Work: Black Lives Matter

Dear Social Work Colleagues, Students, Agencies, and Allies,

The CSUN Department of Social Work expresses our sadness and outrage at the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Tony McDade due to racist police actions and institutionalized white supremacist violence. We strongly believe that BLACK LIVES MATTER.  We wish the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and countless others weren’t violently cut short.  We recognize that racist policing policies and white supremacist violence have been legally used as tools of terror against Black people for over 400 years. Our Department understands and is outraged by this shameful, long-standing state-sanctioned violence. We recognize that state-sanctioned violence extends its reach of harmful policies and practices toward Indigenous people, People of Color, LGBTQ communities, homeless and economically vulnerable people, Immigrants and Refugees, Deaf people, and people with disabilities and lived experiences with mental health. 

We remain in solidarity with the global uprisings and communities who have resisted, protested, and taken actions to disrupt the status quo. Thank you for being our leaders, visionaries, and healers. We know many of you have risked your lives against militarized police, national guards, and exposure to a deadly virus.  We reject the labeling of protestors as “thugs” and “criminals.” We oppose leaders’ racist calls and use of military force on protestors. We view these actions as consistent with historical precedent of aligning with white supremacists and further fanning the flames of racist violence.

We are committed to fully educate, enact, and embody the intersectional lens we have expressed in our mission statement.  We are committed to improving our response and effort to becoming an anti-racist Department. We know we have much to learn.  We know our growth and improvement will only occur with consistent practice, accountability, and critical self-reflection and thought.  We recognize we are stronger when we work together with many communities. In the spirit of learning and relational accountability, we invite you to join us as educators and practitioners against racism and other forms of violence. We envision our work involving, but not limited to:

  • Actively educating, strategizing, planning, and organizing to support families and communities of Black people harmed by violence.
  • Community healing spaces to collectively grieve, process, and experience the range of feelings and expressions related to racial trauma.
  • Accountability councils to ensure delivery of an intersectional, healing-centered, anti-racist curriculum in classrooms, agencies, and community.
  • Collaborative teaching and learning spaces for prospective and current students, family, alumni, agencies, and consumers. 
  • Creating forums to share action steps to accomplish intersectionality-based, anti-oppressive practice in our professional and personal lives.  

We are here to support, educate, and work alongside you in your ongoing development as professional social workers and allies.  The work requires a willingness to have difficult conversations.  We will work together to uphold our commitment to the values of Social Justice, Dignity, and Worth of the Person, Service, Importance of Human Relationships, Integrity, and Competence. We know this moment is filled with challenges and barriers, especially in the time of a pandemic.  We are ready to meet those challenges and look forward to creating the transformative systemic changes needed to end racist police practices and white supremacist violence. While we do this work, let us come together to build and cultivate a community of love and radical kinship.

Social Work Department Faculty & Staff

June 2020