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Developing A Social Work Response to Racism, Hate Crimes, and Police Use of Force
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Developing A Social Work Response To Racism, Hate Crimes, and Police Use of Force


In response to the events in cities such as Ferguson, Charleston, and New York City, NASW-Michigan and Wayne State University School of Social Work have partnered to initiate a call to action for social workers to help examine personal biases and to eliminate racism and institutional barriers. 


Social workers are trained to be skillful and knowledgeable about creating coalitions, empowering people and communities, advocating on policy issues, and communicating with different audiences. As a profession, we must gather our strength and work even harder to end the blatant racism and hate crimes that are occurring all too often within our neighborhoods and across the United States.


The forums will include an impassionate video from national social justice leader and social worker, former Congressman Ron Dellums. Following the video will be dialogue about the needs of both our community and profession. 


This will be the first in a series of events. The hope is that we will foster discussion and action across the state by using schools of social work as the initial meeting point. Our first statewide forums will be held across Michigan at various schools of social work October 8 - 23 and will be open to anyone from the social work profession.  


2 free CEs will be offered to attendees.


Partnering schools of social work/host sites in chronological order (click for more information):

Please post event pictures and highlights to social media using the hashtag: #MIsocialwork  



Event Goal:


Developing a Social Work Response to Racism, Hate Crimes, and Use of Force. What is/should the social work profession be doing to address these issues? What are the actions steps the social work profession, led by NASW - Michigan, can take to work on addressing these issues? 



Continuing Education Objectives:

  1. Participants will explore how bias and prejudice develop, and how they become structured into institutions and systems.

  2. Participants will describe how stereotypes inform our implicit biases and how implicit bias impacts our interactions.

  3. Participants will establish norms and learn strategies for having open and honest conversations about the content.


Event Format: 

  • There will be a 30 minute pre-recorded video featuring social justice leader and former Congressman Ron Dellums, MSW that will provoke a response from the audience. 

  • After the video a facilitator/s will facilitate a dialogue and pose a series of questions for the audience to reflect and respond to. (Some questions will be provided, but you are encouraged to develop your own questions)

  • Personal, professional, and community reflection on bias/racism should be a component.

  • Each site will have a notetaker to keep track of the community response and send back to NASW-Michigan that will lead to action steps.

  • The event will be duplicated across the state at satellite locations. All universities in Michigan will be invited.

  • 2 Free CE’s will be offered.

The long-term goal is to shape a call to action for social workers to examine personal biases and work at ways to eliminate racism and institutional biases. 

Event Forms:

 Please post event pictures and highlights to social media using the hashtag: #MIsocialwork 




Click HERE for the video interview



If you are interested in hosting a forum, please contact Allan Wachendorfer, Director of Public Policy with NASW – Michigan, at

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