UPDATED!! 3 Calls for Submissions on Racial Injustice & Systemic Racism


Throughout the past year, many voices have begun to explicitly acknowledge the harm that systematic and systemic racism perpetuates. Reflections is announcing three (3) calls for manuscripts, all related to the experience of racism. Authors are encouraged to submit their manuscripts to the call within which they believe their manuscript best fits. The key difference in the three calls is two-fold: the role from which the author is reflecting and the experience about which they are reflecting. Please read the full descriptions of each call (in order of submission due date) below.

Practicing While Black


Social identities and social group membership, privilege and oppression, characteristics of dominant and subordinate groups, microaggressions, White supremacy, allyships, and empowerment are prevalent and pervasive to practicing professionals in the current politically charged environment. Further, the coronavirus pandemic affecting the world and the United States showcases the ugly underbelly of injustices, inequities, institutional, and systemic racism. Now out in the open, the revelations affect how Black professionals engage in work within and on behalf their communities.  Further, using technology to conduct services, made Black professionals face the arduous tasks of calling and naming injustices, while simultaneously responding to the needs of individuals, families, communities, and organizations. We see the rapid changes in the political climate, communities dealing and coping with the coronavirus pandemic, but also affecting the professional environment.  As such, Black professionals must remain current with knowledge, skills, and aptitude in their professional practice. We must seek to find out how Black professionals are coping and dealing with centering and facilitating social justice and race-related issues in their approach.   The environmental conditions provide the most suitable time to look critically at the experiences of “Practicing While Black.”  Thus, there is a need for the special section in the Reflection Journal issue on this topic.

Aim and Scope of Special Section

Guest editors seek narrative expositions and reflections from professionals “Practicing While Black” with individuals, families, groups, communities, organizations, institutions, government, academics, and settings. Thoughts on the design and use of technological advances to deliver services and content to encourage practitioners to remain technologically up to date are welcome. Submissions could include personal experiences with the provision of services, gaps in and opportunities for the need for services, and hopes for ways of moving forward with your practice.

Special Section Focus

Individuals who are “Practicing While Black” on every level of providing services, effectuating change, or dismantling racism to speak to bridging the impact with larger systems, including organizations, communities, and policies are encouraged to submit. All submissions should range from 1200-8000 words in length.

For inquiries about the submission for this section, contact Guest Editor: Dr. Patricia Gray, LCSW, Silberman School of Social Work, pg202@hunter.cuny.edu

Additional Guest Editors: Dr. Samuel Aymer, LCSW, Silberman School of Social Work, aymer@hunter.cuny.edu; Dr. Rebecca Chaisson, LCSW Southern University at New Orleans, rchaisson@suno.edu; Michelle Desir, LCSW, Silberman School of Social Work, md1244@hunter.cuny.edu; Dr. Priscilla Gibson, pgibson@umn.edu; Dr. Shakira Kennedy, LMSW, Touro School of Social Work, skennedy@touro.edu; Dr. Nadjete Natchaba, LMSW, Vice President S:US, nnatchaba@sus.org; Dr. Patricia Riley, LMSW, Consultant, patriley21@gmail.com

A Call for Social Worker Educators to Confront and Dismantle Systemic Racism Within Social Work Programs 
Submissions due: May 15, 2021


2020 brought about a renewed awareness concerning systemic racism, police brutality and the need for criminal justice reform. Subsequently, many BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) scholars, activists and every day citizens began to reflect upon their personal narratives publicly via social media about systemic racism and intolerance in criminal justice, education and health care. As many Colleges and Universities began to develop statements condemning systemic racism, BIPOC faculty, staff, administrators and students began to speak out about the systemic racism they experience within these institutions in the form of powerful narratives through the hashtag #Blacks in the Ivory. The social work profession has historically set itself apart from other similar professions such as counseling, or psychology through its emphasis on social justice and oppressed groups. However, social work education has made little progress in developing and implementing anti-racist practices nationally across schools, colleges and departments of social work that include the curriculum, faculty development (hiring, retention, promotion and tenure, funding, pay equity, pedagogical strategies), student development (recruitment, retention, scholarships/funding) and assessment activities.

Aim and Scope of Special Section

The guest editors are particularly interested in reflective pieces of 1) personal accounts that describe and explain personal experiences of institutional racism within schools, colleges and departments of social work, 2) the process of developing personal or institutional strategies for addressing, confronting or dismantling racism within institutions, 3) identification and discussion of structural constraints on institutional change and strategies for addressing these constraints, and identification and discussion of what schools, colleges, and departments of social work should aspire/seek to address regarding issues of systemic racism. Submissions of 1200-8000 words, from short narratives focused on a single vignette, to longer stories with multiple portrayals of interaction and references to the literature are welcome. The use of creative expression, such as poems, use of excerpts from songs, and photographs, are also welcome. 

Special Section Focus

The guest editors are seeking narratives from social work educators and students including tenured faculty, tenure-track and non-tenure track faculty, field educators and doctoral students.

For inquiries about submissions for this special section, contact Guest Editors: Tiffany D. Baffour, Ph.D., M.A., M.S.S., University of Utah, College of Social Work tiffany.baffour@utah.edu; Shonda Lawrence, Ph.D., LMSW, M.S., Clark Atlanta University, Whitney M. Young, Jr. School of Social Work slawrence@cau.edu

Black Racial Injustice: Personal Reflections to Change Strategies
This Call is closed to new submissions.


Systemic racial injustice experienced by Black people continue to plague our society and has been labeled a public health crisis. Nakedly exposed by the death of Mr. George Floyd and subsequent calls for dismantling symbols of racial superiority, helping professionals are uniquely positioned to develop and champion effective change strategies. Yet, maintaining such attention on this pernicious social ill long enough to not only have sustained discussions but also pursue corrective social actions elude us. Encapsulating the current racial climate and gaining popularity are four interrelated metaphors: “I can’t breathe”, “get off my neck”, “#sayhername” campaign and “all Black lives matter”. The phrase, I can’t breathe, uttered by Mr. Eric Garner and later, Mr. George Floyd, describes restricting one’s ability to (a) live in the world, (b) be creative and (c) exercise agency. The second phrase, get off my neck, a quote by Mr. Al Sharpton in Mr. Floyd’s eulogy, explains strategies to remove and eliminate restrictions and barriers. The third phrase, #sayhername campaign, originated by Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw and her colleagues, encourages the inclusion of Black women in the national conversation about race and policing. The fourth phrase, all Black lives matter, a theme of a march in Hollywood and title of a book, promotes including those who identify as Queer, and Trans People of Color (QTPOC) who have experienced racial injustice.   

Aim and Scope of Special Section

Our aim in this special issue is to focus on black racial oppression from a wide range of vantage points. Using the above metaphors as lenses, the guest editors are seeking personal stories (experiences, opinions, feelings and concerns) about inherent black racism in content, context, policies, procedures, practices, interactions and relationships, just to name a few. The objective of this special issue is to illuminate personal experiences along with suggested change strategies to deal with systemic racial injustice infecting our social systems on all levels. We seek manuscripts that explore and describe details of personal interactions and reactions of black racism and oppression in all phases of professional practice and education including interactions with administration, supervisors, colleagues and clients. We also encourage manuscripts on teaching, research, advising and mentoring students and community engagement. Each manuscript must include recommendations for solutions in the context of the narrative.  

Special Section Focus

We are seeking narratives from students, practitioners and educators across all helping professionals who are willing to share their personal experiences. All submissions should range from 1200-8000 words in length.

For inquiries about the submission for this section, contact Guest Editor: Dr. Priscilla A. Gibson, School of Social Work, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, pgibson@umn.edu

Additional Guest Editors: Dr. Patricia Gray, LCSW, Silberman School of Social Work, pg202@hunter.cuny.edu and Dr. Rebecca Chaisson, rchaisson@suno.edu

To submit a manuscript, please visit http://www.rnoph.org, register as an author, login and submit to the special section. For further instructions, see Submissions and Announcements (Reflections Author Instructions).