By Meghan Chua
The School of Social Work facilitated dialogue on the role of social workers in overcoming racial inequity in Wisconsin by bringing together area social workers and community leaders for a one-day conference in April.
Over 200 social work practitioners and students attended the conference, called “Confronting Racial Injustice: Social Workers Moving Beyond Neutrality.” The conversation was contextualized by community-wide interest in the topic that spans from the 2013 Race to Equity project report detailing racial disparities in Dane County to the officer-involved shooting death of 19-year-old Tony Robinson in Madison March 9.
Jalateefa Joe-Meyers, who helped to organize the conference, said it “challenged social workers to reflect and think about their own role in mediating racism.”
“I deeply believed that there was a need for the African American community to come together on one platform to discuss advocacy around the issue of racial disparities in the black community,” Joe-Meyers said of organizing the event.
Speakers throughout the day included leaders in Madison’s African American community and in county government, many of whom are life-long...