As we watch the unfolding news in and around Ferguson during the last 24 hours, it seems a good time to re-dedicate ourselves to some fundamental aspects of our work as changes agents and allies in the work of social justice. The School of Social Work at Portland State University is a place where learning about and practicing a living anti-racism stance is part of an expression of our ethics. It is paramount to the wide array of human service and human rights settings in which we live and practice. We stand with all people locally, nationally, tribally and internationally who work for peace, justice and human rights.
Faculty (both in the classroom and in the field) as well as students throughout all four of our academic programs, and our related research and sponsored projects, are encouraged to continue getting involved, learn, teach, and participate in solution-building regarding racial justice (and related interlocking oppressions for vulnerable people) at every level of community life. As a professional school participating in a global network of social work education, we express our ongoing dedication to the elimination of injustice through peaceful and purposeful action.
The current focus and expressions of outrage regarding Ferguson reflect deeper and widespread divisions, inequities and intolerance that persist despite many years of efforts to curb them. With renewed humility and dedication, we continue our shared work to bridge the gap between the ideals of a more just world and our current reality.
In that spirit, I’m including a list of learning resources previously included in this blog. This is an incomplete list…feel free to add others in the comments section. Let’s go forward and continue our work of making the world a better place.
- Deadly force in Black and White (Pro Publica report on national analysis of killings by police) (just added)
- What White people need to know and do after Ferguson (just added)
- Studies confirm the dehumanization of Black children and the ‘Preschool-to-Prison Pipeline.’ (just added)
- Telling my son about Ferguson – from Michelle Alexander (just added)
- How a century of racist policies made Ferguson into a pocket of concentrated despair(just added)
- Open letter from Ferguson protestors to the world (just added)
- 7 Documentaries you can stream right now to better understand what’s going on in Ferguson
- The Ferguson Syllabus
- Following Ferguson: Teaching the crisis in the classroom
- How professors in St. Louis are teaching the lessons of Ferguson’s unrest
- Michael Brown is not a metaphor
- 1400 Sociologists demand justice and change in policing communities of color
- The poorest corner of town
- How to teach kids about what’s happening in Ferguson
- Next Steps for Justice in Ferguson and Beyond
- The UN just officially condemned America’s racist police brutality
- Hands Up United
- What does it mean to prevent “the next Michael Brown?”
- James Bell article (about George Zimmerman verdict) from 2013. Mr. Bell was the 2014 Shireman Lecture Guest Speaker at the SSW this past year and is active on issues of racial justice particularly as they impact young people. Here is a brief film of a talk he did the previous year which is very similar to his talk here in Portland – never are these remarks more relevant or needed.