“Ethical Principle: Social Workers Challenge Social Injustice. Social workers pursue social change, particularly with and on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed individuals and groups of people. Social workers’ social change efforts are focused primarily on issues of poverty, unemployment, discrimination, and other forms of social injustice. These activities seek to promote sensitivity to and knowledge about oppression and cultural and ethnic diversity. Social workers strive to ensure access to needed information, services, and resources; equality of opportunity; and meaningful participation in decision making for all people.”
–NASW Code of Ethics
Be The Change
As social workers, we have a unique perspective and obligation to acknowledge and contend with the political intersections of our clients’ lived experience. Social work is the application of psychology and sociology toward social concern and the support of disadvantaged and marginalized populations within society.
The profession is based on the notions of inherent human dignity and worth, caring for individuals, families, and communities who are struggling within the socioeconomic order, and challenging the factors that perpetuate or inflict harm and oppression.
We work, train, and commit to intervening with the factors and symptoms of oppression, suffering, and neglect in our society. Gabriela Dieguez, LCSW, in her article “Be Willing to Stand Up for Justice” calls her social work peers and colleagues to action: “It is time for people who see a sister or a brother in their fellow human beings to be intentional and obvious about it. Don’t be an idle witness to harassment. Be willing to stand up for justice. Be willing to converse with people who have an accent who don’t look like you, help us feel safe. Be active, and let your opinion be heard. Contact your representatives, talk to your friends and family, and become part of an organization.”
Social work is the “do something” profession.
What will you do today to stand up for justice?