3/6 @ SBU: Bringing Abolitionist Principles to Social Work ✊

3/6 @ SBU: Bringing Abolitionist Principles to Social Work ✊


3/6 @ SBU: Bringing Abolitionist Principles to Social Work ✊

Happening Monday, March 6, by Stony Brook University: Bringing Abolitionist Principles to Social Work Practice

The State University of New York at Stony Brook, an NAGPS Legacy Member, will be presenting a program on Bringing Abolitionist Principles to Social Work Practice on Monday, March 6, via Zoom. The event is presented by the School of Social Welfare Graduate Student Government (GSG) in conjunction with Stony Brook’s Graduate School-wide Graduate Student Organization (GSO), an NAGPS Legacy Member.

“This conversation is an opportunity and an invitation to reflect on the convergence of abolition and social work, to understand the guiding principles and political framework of PIC abolition and to explore pathways to realize abolitionist principles in social work practice.”

Though there are many who are sympathetic to embracing Abolitionist principles in and out of the academe, there’s also skepticism about that possibility. This panel will serve as as opportunity to examine the following:

1. Abolition as a legitimate area of inquiry, scholarship, and praxis in the academe.

2. The extent to which Abolitionist inquiry, scholarship, and praxis in social work are of

critical importance, and aligned with the actualization of social work values.

3. The extent to which the social work profession has been an active partner in supporting and sustaining harmful and punitive systems that have devastating consequences for marginalized people and communities — especially Black, Brown, Indigenous, trans, queer, disabled, and poor communities. (These harmful systems include but are not limited to police, jails, prisons, ICE, and the family policing system, also known as the child welfare system.)

4. The extent to which Abolitionist history, inquiry, and praxis can give social work a way to understand not only the harm of these systems but a pathway towards building a world in which racially coded laws and practices rooted in the creation and maintenance of white supremacy are dismantled.

5. Frameworks used by social work practitioners to realize the liberatory possibilities of

social work.

6. The importance of an abolitionist perspective in social work education, particularly as it relates to Competency #2 of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)’s Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards — to Advance Human Rights and Social, Racial, Economic, and Environmental Justice.


Cameron Rasmussen (he/him/his) is a social worker, educator and facilitator. He works at the Center for Justice at Columbia University and teaches at Columbia School of Social Work. He is a Ph.D. student in the CUNY Graduate Center’s Social Welfare program and is a collaborator with the Network to Advance Abolitionist Social Work (NAASW).

Michelle Grier (she/her) is a social worker learning from and providing support to young people in schools and nonprofits. Her current commitments focus on working alongside advocates and survivors to eliminate racial and gender-based violence against Black girls and gender-expansive young people.

Vivianne Guevara is the Director of Social Work and Mitigation at the Federal Defenders of New York in the Eastern District and has been a social worker in public defense for over 14 years. Vivianne was previously an Investigator and Social Worker at the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, Georgia and began working in public defense as a Social Worker at the Bronx Defenders in 2007. Vivianne practices restorative and transformative justice and facilitates circles within public defense, schools, universities, coalitions, community members, and private and non-profit organizations. Vivianne continues to learn through teaching others and by providing opportunities that promote community and healing.


Dr. Crystal Fleming examines how people of African descent conceptualize and respond to racial oppression in multiple national settings. Her first book Resurrecting Slavery: Racial Legacies and White Supremacy in France (Temple University Press, 2017) uses critical race theory to significantly advance scholarship on racism in France and Europe. The book marshals ethnographic data, archival research and in-depth interviews with French activists and descendants of slaves to analyze how social actors construct racial temporality through collective memories and commemoration of enslavement and abolition.


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The vision of the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students (NAGPS) is to be a nationally representative and internationally recognized Association that advocates for institutional and structural changes to improve graduate and professional education in the United States.

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