The Department of Social Work at the University of Mississippi denounces the state-sanctioned violence against Jacob Blake, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Rayshard Brooks, Sandra Bland, and the countless other Black individuals murdered by both police and armed civilians. We denounce anti-Black racism in all its forms and stand with others in demanding justice, equity, and accountability. We commit to dismantling the system of racism and oppression that perpetuates this violence, as well as social, economic, political, and environmental injustice.
In pursuit of this commitment, the staff and faculty of the Department of Social Work at the University of Mississippi will:
- Engage in self-assessment and reflection, both as members of the department and the department itself, to identify ways in which we consciously and unconsciously maintain systemic racism;
- Seek input from students, staff, and faculty regarding ways to dismantle racism within our department and communities;
- Revitalize and re-focus the efforts of its departmental “Empowerment” Committee to plan action steps and post those steps on the departmental website;
- Examine the program to identify and eradicate the ways in which systemic racism is upheld by departmental policy;
- Examine the social work curriculum to ensure inclusion of anti-racist curriculum and pedagogy;
- Partner with local, regional and national social work programs and social work organizations in advocacy and policy action to dismantle racism and structural oppression in practice, licensure and professional policies, and throughout society.
We are committed to these actions as the core of our work to educate future social workers and create an equal, just, and better society.