Black Women Resistance to Whiteness in Social Work
As Black women, we are often challenged within organisations to critique incomplete and underdeveloped cultural competence/diversity organisational goals. Our Black bodies are used to meet a diversity/inclusion quota and create programming that appears representational of the larger community for the appearance of inclusivity. However, the white experience is set as the standard of living within systems connected to family, community and individual social and personal needs. Challenges transform to workplace stressors through unequal professional demands/workloads, racist tropes, silencing, questioning credentials, ‘racial gaslighting’, emotionally draining work, white fragility, and violence. At the core of our concern: Once the path has been traversed and it’s time for us to move on to other professional or personal endeavors, what happens to the work created when Black women as change agents and leaders leave the space? What happens to the outcomes associated with the tireless work, accomplishments, and the intention for the work to continue? As Black women, we have found in providing cultural competency/diversity training that this instruction is steeped in whiteness and that presenters/teachers must pursue this education as a form of resistance as these presentations strengthen our pedagogy by addressing that whiteness and decenter whiteness for the betterment of our profession globally.
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