Mapping an Integrative Critical Race and Anti-Colonial Theoretical Framework in Social Work Practice


  • Siham Elkassem Memorial University
  • Andrea Murray-Lichtman



Anti-colonialism, Critical race theory, racism, social work, white supremacy


The social inequities highlighted by the racial injustice protests of 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic challenge the social work profession to respond to the past and present social consequences that disproportionately impact Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). We argue that social work's commitment to social justice has not taken up an explicit anti-racism mission to eradicate white supremacy, racism, and coloniality in the profession. We further argue that although social service agencies often include a commitment to cultural competence/humility, practices continue to be rooted in color-blind approaches to service and treatment. Social work's failure to address racism poses challenges for those from racialized backgrounds experiencing psychological distress due to racism and other inequities. Building upon the theoretical foundations of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Anti-Colonialism, we provide a conceptual framework for practice and service delivery with BIPOC clients through social work praxis. This conceptual framework offers three overarching directives that include integrated critical race and anti-colonial theoretical concepts for social work practice and service delivery. We discuss the implications for application of this conceptual framework in practice and service delivery.


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