White Like Social Work


  • Shena Leverett Brown Clark Atlanta University


critical theory, white privilege, book review, anti-racism


This essay joins personal narrative with an unpublished book review expressing my skepticism about current anti-racism rhetoric within social work programs and the performative actions that often accompany it. Here, I revisit a critique of the personal narrative written by anti-racism educator Tim Wise in White Like Me (2011) completed during course work in a doctoral program. I use my reaction to Wise’s reflection on his white privilege as material to explore and examine efforts to confront and dismantle systemic racism in social work programs and essentially throughout the profession. I challenge social work programs to think critically about the next steps towards their positions on anti-racism and their interactions with students, staff, and faculty. Finally, the conclusion summarizes the essay while offering opportunities for scholars to contribute to the conversation about dismantling, deconstructing, and divesting from racist ideology and policies in social work programs.

Author Biography

Shena Leverett Brown, Clark Atlanta University

Shena Leverett Brown, PhD, LCSW, MAC is Assistant Professor, Whitney M. Young, Jr. School of Social Work, Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia (404-880-6781, sbrown@cau.edu).




How to Cite

Brown, S. L. (2023). White Like Social Work. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, 29(2), 114–121. Retrieved from https://reflectionsnarrativesofprofessionalhelping.org/index.php/Reflections/article/view/1987