Social Work Student Perceptions of Racism, Implicit Bias, and Other Forms of Discrimination: A Racial Justice Climate Survey

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Stacey Barker
DeVonne Allen
Kessy Moreau
Nicolette Soverall


racial justice, social work education, faith-based


This article discusses the findings of a racial justice climate survey using a mixed-methods design conducted to learn more about the areas of strength and areas of improvement related to racial justice in one faith-based School of Social Work. The framework for organizing the findings focuses on the three pillars of social work education: the explicit curriculum, the implicit curriculum, and field education. While the overall findings indicate that student experiences in our BSW and MSW programs related to racial justice are primarily positive, some of the data indicate otherwise. Findings suggest that the efforts being made in the explicit curriculum should continue and expand, while several recommendations for improvements should focus on the implicit curriculum. These findings will help our social work programs move towards more racially just pedagogy, policies, and practices, which could serve as a model for other programs within the College and for social work programs in other colleges and universities. 

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