How Racism Against BIPOC Women Faculty Operates in Social Work Academia
Keywords:Racism, Social Work, Academia, Faculty, Women of Color
In this article, we seek to highlight the ways in which we, as two female social work faculty members whose racial/ethnic identities fall into the categories of Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC), have experienced racism and White supremacy within predominantly White institutions in the United States. We seek to clarify that these experiences are not unique to any particular institution or university, but rather reflect systemic racism and the upholding of White supremacy in higher education in social work throughout the United States. We highlight the differential vulnerability faced by BIPOC women in academia, which are often unaddressed in the pursuit of what is seen to be an egalitarian or colorblind merit review. Bearing in mind our reflexivity on our positionalities, we share personal narratives regarding our own marginalization within White spaces and the emotional labor that we are often asked to carry for the institutions within which we work. We will elucidate experiences of tokenization or assumed intellectual inferiority by our peers. Given the current sociopolitical moment and the heightened awareness of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts within universities, we also reflect on how institutions of higher education, and particularly schools of social work, can move beyond simply hiring more people of color or conducting diversity trainings to ensuring that BIPOC women are more fully included in their roles within universities as faculty, administrators, staff and students.
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