Decolonizing Social Work Practice, Education, and Research

Start Date:9/29/2021

Start Time:1:30 PM EDT

Duration:90 minutes


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This is part of a 3-part series with the Centre of Indigegogy situated within the Master of Social Work (MSW) Indigenous Field of Study program at Wilfrid Laurier University.

This webinar will explore how colonization continues to structure social work practice, education, and research. Particular attention will be paid to social work’s role in the separation of Indigenous peoples from their lands and communities through various carceral sites of social work practice. Participants will be introduced to Indigenous justice systems and decolonial ways of engaging in social work practice

Webinar Objectives 

1. To introduce participants to the ways colonization continues to structure social work practice, education, and research
2. To examine how ongoing colonization results in disproportionate rates of Indigenous peoples within carceral settings such as child welfare, psychiatric institutions, and prisons.
3. To support participants in understanding decolonial approaches to social work practices

Part 2: Defunding the Police: Implications for Social Work
Part 3: Abolition and Transformative Justice: Re-Imagining Social Work

If you're already registered for the Decolonizing Social Work Practice, Education, and Research webcast, click below:

Please note this event will be recorded and an On-Demand version will be made available through this link 24 hours after the presentation has concluded.

First Name
Last Name
Email Address

Giselle Dias, MSW, RSW

I am a queer, disabled, mixed race, Metis community organizer, activist, and scholar. I often say that my ancestors travelled the globe to ensure my presence in the world. My grandparents traveled from India, Seychelle Islands, England, Ireland and across Northern Turtle Island. I am in the third year of the PhD program at Laurier in the Faculty of Social Work, Indigenous Field of Study (IFS) and am the Program Coordinator at the Centre for Indigegogy. I have been working in the field of prisoners’ rights, penal abolition, and transformative justice for 25 years.

Jessica Hutchison, PhD Candidate

I am a white settler activist-scholar pursuing my PhD in social work at Wilfrid Laurier University. My research explores the gendered, racialized, and colonial impacts of strip searching in women’s prisons. I have been a prisoners’ rights advocate for nearly 15 years and teach in social work and critical criminology. I am also a Project Coordinator with the Centre for Indigegogy and am deeply committed to dismantling colonial systems that perpetuate harm and violence.

Alexandra Zannis



Alexandra is the Social Policy and Communications Coordinator at the Canadian Association of Social Workers. (She/Her) Alexandra est la Coordinatrice des politiques et du communication de l'Association canadienne des travailleuses et travailleurs sociaux (Ella/La)