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ABSW’s Africentric Work with Communities Presentation to NSASW AGM May 12, 2011 Alfie Saunders & Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard © 2011 Association of Black Social.

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Presentation on theme: "ABSW’s Africentric Work with Communities Presentation to NSASW AGM May 12, 2011 Alfie Saunders & Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard © 2011 Association of Black Social."— Presentation transcript:

1 ABSW’s Africentric Work with Communities Presentation to NSASW AGM May 12, 2011 Alfie Saunders & Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard © 2011 Association of Black Social Workers

2 Introduction History / Mandate Services Provided Professional Development Overview of challenges Black communities face Working with the strengths of Black communities… the opportunities… Implications for policy and practice Overview

3 ABSW History Established in Founding members NSASW not meeting needs Social service worker involvement No government funding Started in Montreal in 1977 by Diane Jacobs

4 ABSW Mandate To provide a forum for Black Social Workers and Social Service workers to exchange ideas, offer services and develop programs in the interest of the Black community and the community at large. To work in cooperation with other agencies to develop programs which serve the interest of the Black community and the community at large. To act as a resource to those working in the interest of the Black community.

5 ABSW Services Community Development Seniors Tea – AHM- Umoja, Imani Recognition Dinners- Imani Community projects- NSCC– Ujamma, Ujima, Parenting Programs- Ujamma, Gambling--- Ujima, Social Action – Kujichaguila, Community Forum on Corrections- Nia Seniors Mental Health Conference - Kuumba -

6 Professional Development Student Bursaries Member Support Workshops Fighting for Change book NABSW conferences Publications

7 Collaborations NS Home Community Justice Society Health Association of African Canadians RCMP Correctional Services Canada AUBA Black Educators Education

8 Collaborations cont’d Department of Community Services Department of Seniors Department of Health Black Student Advising Centre African Canadian Services Division Capital District Health Board

9 Future for ABSW Strengthen membership across NS Create chapters in Canada National organization Continue to build relationships with community partners Enhance current relationships Staff office at NSHCC site International Conference in 2014

10 Challenges Facing Black Communities  Under-development of communities—lack of sustainable development  Racism is physically, spiritually and emotionally painful for Black men, their families and their communities  Marginalization in education and work place  Unemployment, underemployment  Low wage jobs  Poverty  Single Parent Families/Systemic cycle of Poverty

11 Challenges Recruitment and Retention of African Canadian staff in SW Agencies Placement of Black Children Issues of Violence Education Health and Health Care

12 The Strengths of Black Families and Communities positive contributions from fathers (patience, love, affection, understanding, high moral values and motivation to achieve) Black mother/grandmothers guardians of the generations Valuing education/family Community safety/supports Church/spirituality

13 Impact on Social Work Practice Fear Buy into the stereotypes Leave fathers out Paternalistic with Black families Labelling Individualizing Abuse of power

14 What is the Best Way Forward? Acknowledge the strengths of Black families Acknowledge and own your privilege and power Answer this question… In order for change to occur in my practice/in my community…. Lead the change you want to see

15 The Way Forward ? Work with allies to fight racism and other oppression Those marginalized cannot fight alone There is power in the collective Use privilege and power to fight for systemic change Lead the change you want to see


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