ACOSA Responds To Ferguson
“History is filled with stories of people engaged with power over other people in a seemingly unending array of differences using a seemingly unending array of tactics to exhibit power over others. Luckily, history is matched, equally, by the unfailing, courageous, skilled actions of citizens rising up to share their voices and to reclaim their own power.” – Michel Coconis, Chair-Elect, ACOSA
By Rachel L. West
Advocacy & Community Outreach Consultant
The Association for Community Organizations and Social Administration (ACOSA) has issued a response to the events in Ferguson, Missouri. The statement includes a call to action:
Our call to action provides clear steps that social work professional organizations, schools of social work, and individual practitioners can take to advance social justice. Action range from hosting forums and lecture series to conversations with neighborhoods and colleagues. The social work profession cannot be silent on this matter.
Part of the call to action includes:
We encourage all faculty members to facilitate conversations regarding the events in Ferguson and their implications for the people and communities with whom social workers work. These conversations can add context to the larger systemic issues, especially when linked to the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis. Discussing the impact racism in such diverse areas as criminal and juvenile justice, education, employment, health care, and housing is key to advancing social justice.
We encourage schools of social work to highlight the work of faculty doing research with implications in this area. Schools can provide development opportunities for faculty to translate their research into forums that could heighten public awareness of these issues and influence policymakers. Examples include the development of a speakers bureau for media and community consultation when need arises, training in the use of social media, the submission of op-ed essays, and testimony before legislative bodies.
Council on Social Work Education, National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work, & Society for Social Work Research should hold special forums or symposia at their annual meetings to discuss the social work response to the issue of institutional racism.
You can read the entire statement here. The press release can be found at the end of this post.
ACOSA is still working on developing a mechanism that will enable the organization to continue to examine the issues raised by the events in Ferguson in a way that contributes to action. If you would like to offer feedback on this please contact the Chair, Mark Homan, at firstname.lastname@example.org. All of ACOSA’s contact information can be found on the press release below.
On October 9th I will be tweeting from the ACOSA Twitter account (@acosaorg) about Ferguson, ACOSA’s call to action, and role social workers should be playing. The chat is part of the bi-monthly #MacroSW Twitter chat.