Strengthening critical allyship in social work education : Opportunities in the context of #BlackLivesMatter and COVID-19

Journal article


Gates, Trevor G., Bennett, Bindi and Baines, Donna. (2023). Strengthening critical allyship in social work education : Opportunities in the context of #BlackLivesMatter and COVID-19. Social Work Education. 42(3), pp. 371-387. https://doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2021.1972961
AuthorsGates, Trevor G., Bennett, Bindi and Baines, Donna
Abstract

COVID-19 has shifted social work education and widened the gaps in services for historically marginalised communities, including people of diverse cultural, sexual and gender identities and social classes. Existing inequities based on cultural differences have been magnified, perhaps most recently evident in George Floyd’s slaying and the subsequent #BlackLivesMatter demonstrations across the globe. Learning to be an ally for diverse communities and working towards the betterment of all people is a goal of social work education. We argue that simple allyship is not enough given the structural inequities present in North America and Australia the civil unrest amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Social work education’s focus should trend towards allegiance with disadvantaged communities or critical allyship and include a commitment to undertake decisive actions to redress the entrenched colonial, capitalist, systemic and structural inequities that oppress many and provide unearned privilege and advantage to others. We explore strategies used in classrooms to promote allegiance and make recommendations for social work education, policy, and practice in this time of change.

Keywords#BlackLivesMatter; allyship; allegiance; cultural responsiveness; cultural competency; cultural diversity
Year2023
JournalSocial Work Education
Journal citation42 (3), pp. 371-387
PublisherRoutledge
ISSN0261-5479
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2021.1972961
Scopus EID2-s2.0-8511431805
Page range371-387
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online02 Sep 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted23 Aug 2021
Deposited09 Jun 2023
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