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Statements from other institutions

Posted 3/20/15

School of Social Work Anti-racism statement


For Social Workers, it is an ethical imperative to recognize that more must be done to address persistent social problems such as poverty, lack of education and health care access, and discrimination based on gender, race, sexuality, or income.

In that spirit, and in the spirit of Social Work Month (March), we join with Schools of Social Work around the country by sharing with you our commitment to anti-racist action.  We are proud to stand in solidarity with the entire St. Ambrose University community toward this endeavor.

"The MSW faculty, staff and students of St. Ambrose University wish to articulate our individual and collective commitment to ending institutional racism and discrimination in the United States.

Oppression of people of color plagues the U.S. and undermines its stated commitment to equality and fairness.  The oppression and subsequent victimization of these marginalized persons is clearly evident in the excessive use of deadly force by law enforcement against them and their startlingly disproportional rates of incarceration.  Moreover, people of color face documented disparities in access to health, education, employment, and housing opportunities.

As a progressive School of Social Work in a University committed to social justice, we recognize our responsibility to speak out about these injustices.  We reaffirm our efforts to transform community services in order to provide equal access to resources and also to influence the development of fair social and economic policies.  Along with working to dismantle the structural racism within institutions, we will continue to encourage, support, and empower those who endure the cruelty of racist oppression.

The School of Social Work acknowledges the need to step up efforts to affect meaningful change.  We will take the following actions to further our efforts to eliminate racial injustices:

  • Evaluate our learning environment toensure respect for diversity and support for persons with diverse identities.
  • Conduct regular forums where individuals may shareexperiences of oppression and discuss anti-oppressive efforts.
  • Provide community conferences addressing institutional racism and discrimination in the United States.
  • Evaluate University and School of Social Work policies to identify and redress discriminatory practices and equal access to diverse racial groups.
  • Integrate social action as an experiential course component, participating in community events to end systemic racism.
  • Share with students and alumni various assessment and intervention tools for anti-oppressive social work practice.
  • Utilize social media and other strategies to organize support for non-violent social and political action addressing racial inequity.

As As we work to complete these objectives, we stand in solidarity with communities, universities, MSW programs, and others working across the country to end racial injustice."


The faculty, staff and students of the School of Social Work

Katherine Van Blair, PhD, MSW, MS

Director and Professor
St. Ambrose University School of Social Work
Office phone:  563-333-3936
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
It is the mission of the St. Ambrose University School of Social Work to prepare competent and ethical social work professionals who enrich lives and advocate a just society.