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Statement of Civil Rights Attacks
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July 17th, 2013

NASW-DC Metro Statement on Attacks on Individual and Civil Rights

NASW-DC Metro Chapter represents the profession of social work within the Metropolitan Washington area and is one administrative unit of the National Association of Social Workers.

NASW-DC Metro joins with hundreds of thousands of individuals and organizations who have expressed concern over the acts against civil rights that have taken place this summer, including the Supreme Court’s Ruling on the Voter Rights Act, Stand Your Ground and other laws that disproportionally impact poor and minority populations, and George Zimmerman’s not-guilty verdict on July 13, 2013.

Over the past few weeks there has been a growing national dialogue about race in our country.  Every day, social work professionals and our clients confront the painful realities of institutionalized racism in interactions across all systems, including public education, health and mental health care, criminal justice, child welfare, employment and unemployment, and elder care. As social workers, it is our ethical responsibility to challenge social injustice as we are uniquely positioned to take action to undo institutionalized racism through community building, facilitation of meaningful dialogues, advocating for changes to discriminatory laws, and encouraging our clients to empower themselves in order to lead or join all of these efforts.. 

Structural racism, more than individual acts of hatred and bigotry, destroys the collective humanity of all Americans. It engenders fear and stifles potential—furthermore, it harms the mental health of our nation.

As we move forward, NASW-DC Metro will continue to monitor and mobilize our membership on the issue of the Supreme Court Ruling on the Voters Rights Act.  Additionally, we support the organizations and community leaders who are peacefully urging the federal government to explore every option to ensure that justice is served for Trayvon Martin and that his civil rights are honored and respected. 

NASW-DC Metro welcomes your responses to these events and to this statement.  Please visit our Facebook page or email dcmetrochapter@naswdc.org.

To learn more about NASW’s stance on the Supreme Court Ruling on the Voters Rights Act, visit: https://www.socialworkers.org/pressroom/2013/070113.asp

 


Cynthia E. Harris, MSW, MBPA, DHA
President, Board of Directors


Michael Francum, MSW, ACSW
Executive Director

 

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