Is There A Place For Us? Social Workers of Color As Outside Agitators Within the Profession


  • Michael Rangel DePaul University



Outsider, Social Work, Outside Agitators, Social Workers of Color, social work profession


The outside agitator narrative has been used to discredit and harm people of color for decades. Currently, it is being used as a forceful tactic to separate the movement for Black lives from the broader narrative that racism is deeply rooted in American social structures, institutions, and everyday life. This article examines the implications of how the profession of social work has similarly and simultaneously maintained a culture of white supremacy and racist ideologies in our work. As outsiders in a predominantly white profession, social workers of color act as outside agitators when dispelling myths and practices used in and for communities of color. By centering the lived experiences and knowledge of social workers of color, all social workers can increase their awareness of racism within our profession and work together to dismantle the culture of racism and white supremacy that persists within social work.


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