Decolonizing Social Work: The Reparative Nature of Ubuntu Philosophy
Decolonization of social work requires the profession and practitioners to make a real and concerted effort to incorporate the very same communities the profession purports to serve. It requires social work teaching, practice, and research to include theoretical considerations that incorporate history, identity, pedagogical processes, race, and space alongside the ways in which they shape our understanding of help.
Centering the African philosophies of community, humanity within the group, and connection to spirituality that are espoused in Ubuntuism would require the profession to take into consideration historical contexts and include more spiritual and supernatural aspects of culture that are not normally considered in traditional, Western social work. It may also change the nature of practice to look towards more mezzo-level social development interventions and programs instead of looking at development through a micro-level lens.
1. Attendees will better understand the history of the Western, white-dominated lens of social work;
2. Attendees will better understand what it “decolonize” and “Indigenize” social work;
3. Attendees will learn about the Ubuntu philosophy, prevalent in many African nations, and how it may help decolonize social work practice.
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