Operationalizing Democracy through Blackness: Revisiting the Revolutionary Actions of The National Association of Black Social Workers, Inc.
The 1968 Position Statement of the National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW) as declared at the National Conference on Social Welfare (NCSW) 95th Annual Forum and Exposition Program represented a revolutionary act of exercising democracy on behalf of human liberation. This moment represented the collective resistance of community stakeholders, government and non-profit representatives, social welfare experts, faith leaders, and social workers addressing structural racism.
Through a ten-point demand, they asserted the will of the people. Operationalizing Democracy through Blackness represents the deconstruction of “democracy” through Black identity and its manifestation in social welfare and public policy. Through the ashes of U.S.urban communities’ grief, the 1968 Kerner Commission Report documented the “rage” of mostly Black and poor citizens trapped in neighborhoods of despair as a result of racism.
The Black Social Work Movement seized the opportunity to advocate an agenda from survival to liberation. Centering the 1968 Position Statement of the National Association of Black Social Workers this presentation utilizes primary documents of the NABSW National Repository located at Morgan State University and Black Digital Humanities to create a visual story of collective wisdom and institutional building toward community betterment and the recovery of Black humanity.
Define the ways the National Black Social Work Movement recovered Black humanity from social welfare and public policies
Identify models of advocacy and power-sharing used to support and collaborate with other social welfare organizations like the National Welfare Rights Organization
Identify NABSW strategies of institutionalizing Black collective identity and expertise in scholarship, research, as a tool for shaping community development.