Published on : June 21, 2021
The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) joined with the Association of American Colleges & Universities and dozens of other associations to decry a growing number of states that seek to dictate how racism can be taught in colleges and universities.
In the June 2021 statement, AACU, CSWE and others highlight efforts in at least 20 states to propose laws that would “suppress teaching and learning about the role of racism in the history of the United States.” While the bills have nuances and variances, they share a common goal of prohibiting the teaching of “divisive concepts” in an attempt to “suppress teaching and learning about the role of racism in the history of the United States.”
CSWE first released a statement opposing such laws in February 2021: “Requiring programs to achieve and maintain competency in the areas of diversity, privilege, oppression, and intersectionality has been central to social work accreditation standards since 1952. A fundamental aspect of this foundational knowledge is to teach about historical institutionalization of privilege and oppression that has permeated our systems and social fabric.”
In this new statement, CSWE and the organizations agree that “under principles of academic freedom that have been widely endorsed, professors are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject. Educators, not politicians, should make decisions about teaching and learning.”