Anti Racism Social Club

Last Updated on July 17, 2024 by Muzammil Ijaz

A Guide to Applying Anti-Racism in Social Work

Anti Racism Social Club are tasked with guiding their clients through difficult life circumstances and are continuously confronted with a wide variety of social work challenges. As a result, social workers have a greater chance than many other professionals to transform the lives of the people, communities, and institutions they deal with. This is crucial in light of the problems with racism and white supremacy in our nation. Check out our guide on using anti-racism tactics while advancing social justice and racial fairness in the field of social work.

Anti-Racism: What Is It?

Anti-racism is a method for proactively recognising and addressing prejudice. Action must always be taken against racism. In order to build a society where everyone is treated equally, it is important to become conscious of racism in all of its manifestations and actively change the attitudes, habits, and laws that support racist beliefs and practises in society at large.


Ibram X. Kendi, a specialist in race theory and the author of “How to Be An Antiracist,” provides the following definition of anti-racism: “I consider someone to be antiracist if they actively promote antiracist policies or articulate antiracist beliefs. Additionally, I define an antiracist idea as any notion that affirms the equality of all racial groupings.

Racism in Institutions and Social Work


According to the National Association of Social Workers, racism has “therefore affected social work philosophy and practise for generations” because it is ingrained in American institutions within American institutions and systems, much like racism is ingrained in our nation (NASW). The goal of social work is to improve human welfare and assist in addressing everyone’s basic needs, paying special attention to the weak, oppressed, and poor.


According to NASW, Black, Brown, and Indigenous families have frequently faced harsher treatment from the child welfare system. Additionally, medical racism still exists and contributes to health disparities and healthcare inequities, while other social work issues like mass incarceration, the war on drugs, and the school-to-prison pipeline have had negative effects on communities of color’s economic inequalities. Social workers have contributed to maintaining these damaging social arrangements, and this history cannot be disregarded, claims NASW. Social work “also has a key role to play in developing an antiracist society,” according to the same statement.


Racism on an individual vs. institutional level

The majority of people can name instances of personal racism. Individual racism tends to be overt, whether it’s someone calling a person of colour a racial slur on the street, a racist meme going viral on social media, or even a white shooter shooting Black churchgoers.


On the other hand, institutional racism might not be as visible. Institutional racism in America, sometimes referred to as structural racism, is the upholding of inequalities in the legal and financial sectors of our society as well as in educational institutions. Individual racial groupings may be impacted by this “built-in” racism.


“Redlining,” a sort of financial discrimination that refers to the refusal of home mortgages to otherwise creditworthy borrowers because of their race or where they are looking to buy a house, is a common illustration of institutional racism. Our criminal justice system has more instances of systemic racism: More minorities than other groups are detained and locked up.


How Social Workers Can Fight Intolerance and Discrimination

Fighting for the rights of oppressed and underprivileged individuals is a core value of the social work profession. Social workers have an ethical obligation to eradicate racism, both personally and professionally, and to provide an example of what it means to be antiracist, according to the NASW.


The NASW Code of Principles outlines social work ethics and ideals. Using that as a benchmark, social workers can start or continue their work in social justice by taking the following measures:


Face up to their racism. The subject of white privilege must be addressed given that white people make up 60% of social workers in the United States1. This can be achieved through professional development and education, discussions with peers, and constant self-reflection.

Encourage neighbourhood efforts. To get in touch with organisations in your town working for equity, locate the NASW branch there.

Encourage lawmakers to pass just legislation. Working to pass better legislation is one strategy to promote anti-racist policies and significant social change. Take into account subscribing to NASW Advocacy Alerts.

Decide to change the organisation. To discuss their anti-racism initiatives in social work practise, education, research, and regulation, prominent social work organisation leaders participated in a nationwide town hall organised by NASW in July 2021. The NASW Town Hall Series on Racial Equity: Undoing Racism tape is available to view on YouTube.

What Are the Micro, Mezzo, and Macro Levels of Anti-Racism?

Three interrelated scales or scopes of practice—micro, meso, and macro social work—are used by social workers to effect change. By using this paradigm, anti-racism measures can be included into routine activities.

Small-Scale Anti-Racist Activism

Micro social work includes family counselling and individual counselling. In these situations, social workers have the chance to face their own internalised racial bias toward others by reflecting on racial episodes they have personally experienced, taking into account their own histories of power and privilege, and looking for possibilities for change.


Anti-Racist Mezzo Practices

Working with communities, organisations, or other smaller groups like the personnel of schools, hospitals, community centres, and prisons are all part of mezzo social work. In these contexts, anti-racism efforts may entail recognising unfair norms and striving to address them collectively. This could take the form of joining an anti-racism reading group or constructively pointing out racism when you witness it at work or at home.


Large-Scale Anti-Racist Actions

The primary objectives of macro social work are societal issue prevention and the large picture. It includes activities including doing social work research, leading nonprofit organisations, implementing community-based social justice and education programmes, and analysing and promoting public policy. Utilizing privilege and power, such as contacting elected officials to support and promote racial justice and the advancement of marginalised people in your neighbourhood, city, or state, are all part of macro-level social work. Other opportunities could be being involved in racial and social justice-related elections, petitions, and demonstrations.


Anti-Racism Reference Books

Here are a few books that can help social workers learn more about racial equity: