Guest: Wayne Reid, Professional Officer, Social Worker & Anti-Racism Visionary
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW
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In this episode, I talk with Wayne Reid, who is a Professional Officer and Anti-Racism Visionary at the British Association of Social Workers (BASW). Wayne is my first international guest, and I am so grateful! Wayne talks about how his understanding of anti-racism in social work and his motivation for speaking out and taking action was catalyzed by the murder of George Floyd. He discusses a number of projects he and BASW have been working on, specific to anti-racism in social work – check out the link to his extensive portfolio in the show notes. These are excellent resources. Wayne shares what anti-racist social work means to him and how a concept that should be straightforward becomes very complex in application due to the embeddedness of white supremacy and racism in laws, policies, institutions, beliefs, and actions. We discuss how no one wants to say they are racist, but actions that support racist policies are being done in the regular operations of social work practice. Wayne talks about his “pure, proactive, and unapologetic” approach to anti-racism within social work and the need for this approach due to constantly being up against white supremacy both as a Black man and as a Black male social worker. He discusses the need for social workers to practice anti-racism as part of our standards of conduct, not just with clients, but with colleagues, and the need for organizations to provide protections and support for social workers of color that explicitly address the many forms of institutional and interpersonal racism they experience, as well as steps organizations can take to transform into anti-racist organizations. Wayne also shares how he got into this work. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.