Developing Anti-Racist Professional Identities and Practices

Update (6/9/20): The CSSW Action Lab (previously the CSSW COVID-19 Action Group), which aims to address anti-Black racism and other key social justice issues, has curated resources for engaging in anti-racist action.

Take a look at their website, in particular, their working document of action items, for educational resources, volunteer opportunities, and new advocacy initiatives that you can join.


We’d like to take a moment to acknowledge what a trying time it has been, especially for our Black colleagues, friends, students, and alumni, as we grapple with the continued manifestations of hate and injustice that seep through the fabrics of our society, both overtly and covertly. We too are outraged and heartbroken.

The lives of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Sean Reed, and Tony McDade, and experiences shared by Christian Cooper and countless others–too many unnamed and unrecorded–remind us of the critical need to proactively engage in anti-racist action, in particular, action against anti-Black racism, both in our personal and professional lives.

Much of this work begins from within, including reflecting on our own knowledge, practices, and values. Below are links to resources that we have personally found useful in engaging in this work.

What tools and resources have been helpful in developing and enhancing your own anti-racist professional identities and practices? We invite you to share them with us by emailing swcareer@columbia.edu.

In solidarity,

Tomomi and Rawlisha
Office of Career Services and Leadership Management

NOTE: The Columbia School of Social Work Council of Deans has issued a Call-to-Action to address anti-Black racism. Read their statement and co-sign here.

Applying an Entrepreneurial Spirit to Your Career

With the world of work operating remotely, how do you stand out when the traditional means of making an impression, from networking events to coffee chats, no longer apply? Consider the framework of entrepreneurship.

An article in Forbes describes the entrepreneurial spirit as a mindset: “It’s an attitude and approach to thinking that actively seeks out change, rather than waiting to adapt to change. It’s a mindset that embraces critical questioning, innovation, service, and continuous improvement.”

Here are some ways you can incorporate this framework into your professional identity and brand:

    • Engage in critical discussions: Attend virtual conferences to meet professionals in the field who are having important discussions about the world of work in the COVID-19 era. Use these as opportunities to connect with others, learn best practices in the field, and become a resource for your field or organization. You can also start your own communities of practice.
    • Innovate or influence: Have you been following the latest trends and practices on serving communities particularly impacted by the pandemic? Share relevant thought pieces and articles on LinkedIn so others can benefit from the knowledge. You can also publish your own articles to highlight new ideas or initiatives you have worked on.
    • Embrace the value of service: Remember the personal values that brought you to social work: helping others in need. Wherever you are, look out for the call for volunteers in your community. Contributing your time and skills will help you stay connected and engaged in a meaningful way, and at the same time, showcase your value to others.
    • Seek continuous improvement: If you’re job hunting, this is a prime time to invest in your professional growth. Whether you choose to learn a new language or further develop your technical or clinical skills, taking time to up-skill will show that you are open and able to adapt to changing needs and priorities–qualities that will make you attractive to any employer.

The world needs social workers now more than ever. Leverage your natural ability to lead the way in problem solving and effecting change! Doing so will not only enhance your chances for employment, it will also make you marketable for future opportunities.

Solicitation for Applications: Free SAMHSA Train-the-Trainer Event on Trauma-Informed Criminal Justice System Responses | Apply by February 21

SAMHSA's GAINS Center logo

Free SAMHSA Training: How Being Trauma-Informed Improves Criminal Justice System Responses

Application deadline: Friday, February 21, 2020

Are you an experienced trainer interested in developing your capacity to provide trauma-informed training to your local agencies and community? The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation has a free training just for you!

“How Being Trauma-Informed Improves Criminal Justice System Responses” is a train-the-trainer event designed for community-based criminal justice system professionals such as law enforcement, community corrections (probation, parole, and pretrial services), court personnel, and human service providers that serve adult justice-involved populations. While not a requirement to apply, this year’s training events will place special emphasis during the selection process on applicants who provide training to drug courts and/or re-entry programs.

When applying, you can choose from three two-day training events in 2020, all of which will be held at the Sage Colleges in Albany, New York:

  • June 10-11
  • July 22-23
  • August 12-13

While selected applicants must cover their own travel expenses, there are no fees for registration, tuition, materials, or follow-up technical assistance and support associated with the event.

Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to become the local expert in trauma-informed training for your agency or community!

Learn more and download the application here

Please direct questions to

SAMHSA’s GAINS Center
Policy Research Associates, Inc.
345 Delaware Avenue
Delmar, NY 12054
Attn: Amelia Allen, Training Coordinator
Phone: 518-439-7415 ext. 5237
E-mail: aallen@prainc.com

Learn more about the GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation

Build Your Brand with Josie Rosario ’19 | Wednesday, October 16

Join us for an exciting workshop led by CSSW Alumna, Josie Rosario ’19!

Building Your Brand: Strategies to Enhance Your Marketability While in School
Wednesday, October 16, 12:30 – 1:30 PM
CSSW Room 301

Register

This is a great opportunity to learn how to effectively define and communicate your personal brand and increase your marketability for future opportunities.

About the Presenter

Josie M. Rosario, LMSW ’19, MSEd is an NYC-based therapist, who helps individuals and couples improve their self and relational awareness while supporting their journey towards feeling whole and being well. As the founder of the Healing Strategy, a brand and marketing consultancy for therapists, she supports private practice clinicians increase their visibility and impact. Josie splits her time between private practice, leading the Healing Strategy, and a mental health clinic.

Josie earned a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University, a master’s degree in education from Hunter College, and graduated with distinction from Columbia University’s School of Social Work. Josie was an early participant of Business Essentials at Harvard Business School and the Columbia Entrepreneurship Design Studio. She is also a trainee in family and couples therapy at the Ackerman Institute for the Family.

Josie is a native New Yorker, a proud Black Dominican-American woman, a die-hard Golden Girls fan, and deeply committed to continuing to manifest her ancestors’ wildest, most fiercest dreams.