Social Work Leaders in Health Care of Metro St. Louis is an organization that values excellence in leadership and education while working to promote standards and ethics of Social Work in healthcare. As leaders, we recognize that it is our responsibility and ethical call to action to stand against the senseless killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others. Now is a time to amplify the voices of our Black colleagues and clients and the voices of those who are oppressed and suffering injustice at the hands of systems that have long sought to silence them. As Social Workers, we are called by our own Code of Ethics to challenge social injustice and there is no greater injustice working in this country than systemic racism.
These are the principles that we have promised to uphold: NASW Code of Ethics, Value: Social Justice, 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.”
NASW Code of Ethics, Ethical Standard 6.04 Social and Political Action (a) Social workers should engage in social and political action that seeks to ensure that all people have equal access to the resources, employment, services, and opportunities they require to meet their basic human needs and to develop fully… (d) Social workers should act to prevent and eliminate domination of, exploitation of, and discrimination against any person, group, or class on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, political belief, religion, immigration status, or mental or physical ability. St. Louis has a history of police brutality and discrimination towards the Black community that permeates through common Social Work practice areas, including healthcare. St. Louis has not only seen a disproportionate amount of illness and deaths from Covid-19 in the Black community, but there are also disparities in education, employment, and housing. Systemic oppression causes injustice on all levels. To practice Social Work in the St. Louis area is to acknowledge, address, and move towards a resolution of these disparities and injustices.
Dismantling systemic racism is a long-term commitment. Social Work Leaders in Healthcare of Metro St. Louis is committed to being part of the solution by broadening our perspectives of racial justice, sharing resources, and continuing to grow as leaders and advocates in our respective Social Work roles.
Social Work Leaders in Healthcare of Metro St. Louis is committed to and stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.
All members of Social Work Leaders in Health Care are encouraged to reach out to the board with suggestions on how SWLHC can better amplify voices of people of color, not only in our organization, but in our community as a whole. We hosted a virtual educational seminar for members, led by Heather Fleming of In Purpose Educational Services on July 28th, 2020 to focus on trauma in the Black community to help further our understanding of racism and its detrimental impact on the black community. We commit ourselves to ongoing education to better our understanding and support of diverse and under-served populations.