Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Social Welfare


Vicki Lens

Committee Members

Ben Anderson-Nathe

Alexis Jemal

Bryan Warde

Subject Categories

Social Work


anti-racism, anti-Blackness, supervision, social work practice, radical social work, white supremacy, performativity


Addressing racism and bias within social work practice is crucial, given the social justice mandate of the profession and the profession’s history of complicity in oppressive policies. In a time of increased social division, overt bigotry, and pervasive structural violence, social workers have an opportunity to lead the helping professions in meaningful social transformation. Social work supervisors play a central role in developing and guiding ethical social work practice. Yet, little empirically driven scholarship exists providing supervisors with strategies for disrupting racism and bias in the practice of their supervisees. This exploratory qualitative study employs a grounded theory approach to unearthing such strategies. Fifteen participants with social work supervisory experience, who identified as anti-racist, offered insights into in vivo approaches to disrupting racism in social work practice. The findings from this study help inform preparatory work needed for supervisors hoping to engage in anti-racist practice, offer approaches to engaging in anti-racist supervision, highlight how to identify bias and prejudice within supervisees, and shed light on strategies for addressing such biases. In addition, the impact of organizational context on this work is contemplated. Implications for social work supervision, practice, and education, as well as future research, are considered.

Included in

Social Work Commons