When racism, poverty, power and prestige collide in Social Work education and practice

Monday 10 May 2021, 4pm - 5pm

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The words, “Sorry, you’re not ‘Black’ enough” painfully reminded me of the domineering presence of institutional racism.

Positioned at the intersections of race, gender and social class, this talk draws on Critical Race Theory’s counter-storytelling, using autoethnographic research to critically reflect on my trajectory as a working class, ‘Mixed’ race female student studying at a prestigious ‘White’ university in South Africa and employed in England as a social worker. Revealing painful experiences of microaggressions and overt racism in social work practice, this talk furthermore highlights celebratory moments of good practice, academic success and individual resilience. * This lecture is based on a journal article that has been submitted to the Journal of International Social Work.

Originally from South Africa, Carlene has both national and international academic and professional qualifications in Social Work, Criminology, Sociology and Education. These qualifications led to employment in Child Protection, Youth Offending Service, National Probation Service and Higher Education. She is a registered social worker with Social Work England and the British Association for Social Workers. Currently, she is working as Lecturer in Social Work, Admissions Director for Sociology and SWK Lead for the SNSW Teaching Partnership. Her research interest focuses on Race, Social Work, Sociology of Education and NEET youth.