Greetings NASW New Mexico members members. I have spent a long time thinking about what type of statement I should write as the NASW-NM Chapter Executive Director.
As I worked my way through several iterations I realized my thinking and considering is in many ways really a mourning. A mourning not just for the recent travesties; the loss of a human life (lives) in the face of racism, injustice and inequality, but also a grieving for the loss of hope, promise and potential that every life has to offer.
Institutional racism has plagued us far longer and is a pandemic of greater proportions than COVID can ever be. It is unfortunate that during these times, where we were learning to exist differently for the common greater good that we turn the spotlight from supporting each other in our communities, lifting up the most vulnerable to having to bear witness yet again to the brutal abuse of power.
As a woman of color, living in a minority majority state, I have experienced racism and discrimination. I cannot sufficiently express the importance of minorities to standing together. YES, BLACK LIVES MATTER! And until the day that majority populations work to inquire and truly understand how oppressive our systems, policies, and institutions are we cannot proclaim to be truly liberated.
Social Workers: I invite all social workers to stand above the violence, historical and institutional racism that works to divide not unite us as a human race. Make progress through peace, civil disobedience and policy change. Be thoughtful and conscientious of how we can peacefully and powerfully effect change in policy and justice that honors race, ethnicity, sex and gender minorities.
The time for change has long passed and we cannot rest until our work is done. I look forward to a different time and being a part of the work that will elicit sustained and persistent change. I welcome you all to take charge and be the change agents inherent to social workers.
In gratitude and service,