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Casualties of care: social work as a cog in the machinery of White supremacy

Start Date:12/10/2020

Start Time:1:30 PM EST

Duration:75 minutes

Abstract:

Indigenous and Black people in Canada are disproportionately targeted and killed by police.  They are also disproportionately involved in systems of child welfare. The Canadian state, it seems, insists on supporting Indigenous and Black families - even as it insists on taking Indigenous and Black life.  This apparent paradox is resolved by the reality that both practices, ultimately, secure the subordination of those disadvantaged by the racialized settler-colonial project.  ‘Hate’ and ‘love’ are not only compatible but collaborative.    

As those in the profession of administering care, social workers are a ‘benevolent’ cog in the machinery of White supremacy.  This presentation dissects the operations of this cog in relation to LGBTQ+ asylum seekers/refugees – a group of displaced people both produced by White supremacy, and exploited to perpetuate it.  It reflects on racism as more than interpersonal violence but structural denial and situates the role of care work in facilitating, legitimating, obscuring, and erasing this. 

Webinar Objectives 
  • Recognize the role of ‘benevolence’ in the perpetuation of White supremacy
  • Recognize the continuities between social work’s past and present, in the perpetuation of White supremacy
  • Recognize the racialized origins and racializing effects of refugee practice and discourse 
  • Recognize mental health knowledge as a system of power, towards the perpetuation of White supremacy
  • Recognize ‘cultural’ knowledge as a system of power, towards the perpetuation of White supremacy
  •  Recognize mainstream sexual and gender discourse as particular rather than universal 

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SPEAKERS

Khadijah Kanji

MSW, RSW

Khadijah Kanji (MSW, RSW) is a social justice programming coordinator at an Islamic educational centre in the GTA, where she primarily works on anti-Islamophobia education and activism; and a board member for a non-profit serving 2SLGBTQ+ young people across Ontario. She also currently works for a non-profit research and evaluation service, where she supports youth-serving organizations to conceptualize and assess their programmes. Khadijah writes and speaks regularly on issues of race, gender, and sexuality, both academically and in community settings (go to https://muckrack.com/khadijah-kanji for published articles). She has worked previously in therapy and research, with those marginalized by race, immigration status, gender, and sexuality.

Alexandra Zannis

Moderator

CASW

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)