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Special issues call for papers

Black Lives Matter – Special Edition of Critical and Radical Social Work 10 years on

Guest editors: Charlotte Williams, Bangor University, UK and Suryia Nayak, University of Salford, UK

The establishment of the BLM campaign dates back to 2013 and returned to international attention in 2020 following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin. Floyd’s death spurred an outcry across world, prompting one of the largest collective protests in history. The protest was characterised by Black and White people walking in solidarity, taking the knee and adopting strategies of peaceful protest.  The BLM debates took on different inflections in different country contexts. In Australia the issue of Aboriginal deaths in custody took prominence as well as the Closing the Gap strategy failure of successive governments. In the USA the persistent and sustained legacy of deaths at the hands of the police spanning generations was reiterated. In several European countries the discrimination facing second and third generation migrant youth, the plight of refugees and newly emerged minorities was central. In the UK Black history and the legacy of colonialism was encapsulated in the public monuments debate.  Black Lives Matter UK urges all to join the revolution and take a stand against racism. https://www.blacklivesmatter.uk/

But tackling racism doesn’t come easy. As the sudden surge of the movement begins to wane now more than ever comes the need to turn attention to actions that will make a difference to those oppressed by the injustices of racism. Change needs a sustained agenda, not a pop-up or a trendy rubric. Social work has long acknowledged its critical responsibility in this respect. Vava Tampa recently argued social workers need to do more than stand in solidarity with Black people (see:  https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/oct/20/as-social-workers-we-must-do-more-than-stand-in-solidarity-with-black-people ).

Researchers, academics, policy makers, practitioners, activists and those experts by experience have a role to play in this agenda. What strategies is the profession mobilising in different country contexts?  What has been the response in terms of actions and outcomes to improve the lives of Black and ethnic minority communities nationally and internationally? What does the research evidence tell us?

In 2018 CRSW published a social work Black history timeline as a discursive tool for consideration of the legacy of the profession in respect of its response to issues of racial inequality. This year we are seeking to complement that marker by inviting contributions under the theme of Black Lives Matter for a Special Edition due out in Autumn 2022.  

We are interested in a broad range of interpretations on this theme – including but not exclusively:

  • Disproportionality in criminal justice, Black children in the care system, mental health incarceration and indigenous incarceration
  • The differential impacts of poverty and inequality in the Covid pandemic and beyond
  • Getting beyond service discrimination
  • Lack of representation of Black and ethnic minorities in social work academia/ leadership roles in social work.
  • Tackling intersectionality
  • Black lives at sea’- ethical and moral duties with refugees and asylum seekers
  • Black voluntary sector policy and practice
  • Social workers making links with/contributing to social movements/advocacy in Black Lives Matter agendas
  • From advocacy to action – international perspectives
  • Social work education projects that address BLM
  • Book reviews related to this theme


Responding to the call

If you are interested in this call please submit:

  • An abstract no later than Monday 27th September 2021 by email to Charlotte.williams@bangor.ac.uk and s.nayak@salford.ac.uk. We will inform authors by mid October whether we would like them to submit a full paper.
  • Full Papers will be due for submission by January 31st 2022

Any enquiries to Charlotte.williams@bangor.ac.uk or s.nayak@salford.ac.uk

Instructions for authors can be found at: https://policy.bristoluniversitypress.co.uk/journals/critical-and-radical-social-work/instructions-for-authors