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Michael Spencer, PhD

Presidential Term Professor

University of Washington

Martell Teasley, PhD

Dean & Professor

University of Utah


The Grand Challenge to Eliminate Racism was formalized in 2020. Network co-leads

and members of the wider GCSW community have been working for the past five years

to establish the foundation for this effort. Among other actions, they have:

• Spoken out about social work and racism,

including on the Social Work Podcast on the

question of "What role do social work deans

& directors play in addressing the legacy

of racism and white supremacy?" and on

U Rising about social work's commitment

to anti-racism

• Participated in the inaugural conference

of the Collaboration on Race, Inequality,

and Social Mobility in America, "Race at

the Forefront: Sharpening a Focus on Race

in Applied Research"

• Cosponsored a Congressional briefing

on "Black Lives Matter: Social Work

and the Future of Policing" along with

the Grand Challenges to Promote Smart

Decarceration and Achieve Equal

Opportunity and Justice for All

• Cosponsored a Social Work Leadership

Roundtable Town Hall on Racial Equity


A book on the Grand Challenge to Eliminate Racism will be published by Oxford

University Press in 2021. The book is edited by network co-leads Martell Teasley and

Michael Spencer, and their colleague Melissa Bartholomew, and includes authors

representing each of the other 12 Grand Challenges. In addition to publishing the book,

members of the Grand Challenge have articulated the following objectives for the next

several years:

• Focus on evidence and practice-based

research that cultivates innovation to

improve the conditions of daily life of people

impacted by racism and facilitates systemic

change on the individual, organization,

community, and societal levels

• Advance community empowerment and

advocacy for eradicating racism and white

supremacy through solutions that create

sustainable changes

• Foster the development of an anti-racist

social work workforce that promotes

access to resources and opportunities and

encompasses transdisciplinary collaboration

• Promote teaching and learning within

social work education programs that

examines structural inequalities and white

privilege, and their impact on individual

and group outcomes

• Develop a policy agenda for eradicating

racism and white supremacy from

institutions and organizations, where

structural racism is evident and causes

the most damage

• Examine the profession of social work

itself with respect to rooting out racist

policies and practices

Succeeding Together

We want to hear about your efforts to #EliminateRacism!

Tag us on Twitter - @GCSocialWork - to share your work and inspire others!

#Up4theChallenge | #EliminateRacism

An Impact Report at Year 5 of the 10-Year Initiative | 27


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