Social Workers Cannot Be Silent

Statement & Call to Action Against Racism & Race-Based Violence 

Rally 2020

“Do your laws against larceny and murder prevent those crimes? No law will eliminate crimes, but at least you as legislators can assert to the world that you recognize the evil of the present situation and speak your intent to help us overcome discrimination.” -Elizabeth Peratrovich - 1945

Social justice is one of the most important values of the social work profession. Our code of ethics states:

Social workers pursue social change, particularly with and on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed individuals and groups of people. Social workers' social change efforts are focused primarily on issues of poverty, unemployment, discrimination, and other forms of social injustice. These activities seek to promote sensitivity to and knowledge about oppression and cultural and ethnic diversity. Social workers strive to ensure access to needed information, services, and resources; equality of opportunity; and meaningful participation in decision making for all people.

As social workers, it is essential to our practice to recognize injustice and stand against it. Alaska is no stranger to social injustices. There is a long history of colonization that has led to suffering for many people throughout our state. We are not shocked by the murder of George Floyd or the many, many people who were murdered before him. We are devastated that year after year our calls to end discrimination and violations of human rights go unanswered. We are ready to see change.

The NASW-Alaska Chapter condemns racism and xenophobia. We are vehemently against the continued murder of unarmed black and brown individuals as a result of ignored police misconduct. We ask that you take action to fight this injustice. Sign a petition, protest, make a donation, or educate yourself on systemic racism in our state and country. Advocate and encourage improved and additional training in your local law enforcement agencies. We are at an impasse and now is the time to take a stand. We need your voice. 

In social work solidarity,

The Staff and Board of Directors of NASW-AK

Photo by NASW-AK member Leigh Bolin, June, 2020 Protest in Fairbanks, Alaska

Anti-Racism Resources

For social workers committed to joining us in the fight against racism, these resources can help.

Get anti-racism resources