Behind the Front Lines: Realities of Racism and Discrimination for IBPOC Social Workers
With the growing initiative to integrate social justice practices into social work praxis, frontline workers need a concrete understanding of what achieving advocacy looks like, particularly in the context of trauma-informed practice. Advocating as a social worker with an intersectional and forced marginalized identity causes further strife between social workers and the societal structures that they operate within, often oppressing Indigenous, Black and other people of colours’ (IBPOC) knowledge systems that challenge colonial and mainstream ideologies. There is a continued recognition amongst the social work profession that there is a lack of knowledge regarding historical and contemporary policies and their current implications, when working with IBPOC, and a lack of support for those who seek to decolonize the social work profession. In this paper, we write from the perspective of a light-skinned, nêhiyaw/métis person and a South Asian settler, working as frontline social workers, to explore the ways in which advocacy work is a key part of a trauma-informed approach.
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