Smith SSW Anti-Racism Commitment
This quilt commemorates an interactive art installation that occurred in the summer of 2001 at the Smith College School for Social Work. Based on an invitation to respond to this event, participants expressed their sentiments on cotton strips, now woven into the quilt, representing a range of voices. The Class of 2002, the Anti-Racism Task Force and the Kahn Liberal Arts Institute cooperated to complete the quilt project.
In 1995, the School for Social Work faculty made a formal commitment to becoming an anti-racism organization. We made this pledge to make explicit our responsibility to continuously learn about and disrupt systems of privilege, inequality and oppression that maintain white supremacy and reward, punish and silence because of socially assigned differences.
Racism is a system of privilege, inequality, and oppression based on perceived categorical differences, value assigned to those differences, and a system of oppression that rewards and punishes people based on the assigned differences. It is manifested politically, socially, economically, culturally, interpersonally, and intrapersonally in the history of the United States.
Since our inception, the Smith College School for Social Work has worked to promote knowledge, values and skills that help students to identify, critically analyze and intervene against the insidious and lethal effects of racism. Our school community is one that fosters respect for diverse worldviews and for each other's equal place in the world. We believe in the power of self-reflection and ongoing discussion about how issues of race influence social work practice, research and scholarship.