The Network, in partnership with Boston University School of Social Work’s (BUSSW) Equity & Inclusion Committee, has released a free online course, “Understanding Structural & Institutional Racism,” to help social workers serve clients impacted by racism and white supremacy. In a recent article in BU Today, Joel Brown speaks with course designers Prof. Dawn Belkin Martinez and PhD candidates Noor Toraif (SSW’23) and Greer Hamilton (SSW’24) about their thought process in building the course.
Excerpt from “School of Social Work Offers Free Online Course for Understanding Structural Racism” by Joel Brown, originally published in BU Today:
“Belkin Martinez is the driving force behind Understanding Structural & Institutional Racism, a new free online self-paced noncredit course intended to give social workers and other health and human service providers a grounding in the basics of those fundamental factors in the lives of many clients.
SSW has a required 10-week course called The Dynamics of Racial Justice and Cultural Oppression, but students can take it whenever they want, even their last semester. “And when they took it, they’d say, “Oh my God, why didn’t we know this earlier,” Belkin Martinez says.
She also heard feedback from students doing required fieldwork who were running into the practical consequences of systemic racism, but didn’t have the theoretical framework to make sense of it. They wanted access to that information right away.
“We didn’t want to create this thing, it was a lot of work, but we looked around and couldn’t find anything for free that we could borrow,” she says.
More than 1,150 people have registered for the class since it first became available in January 2022, but the school is not tracking how many complete it. The module is now available via Blackboard and the Network for Professional Education, and through the latter has begun attracting learners from all over the globe.”
Read the full article here.