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Statement: NASW-MA Condemns Racism and Xenophobia

Thursday, March 26, 2020  
Posted by: Jamie Klufts
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Statement: NASW-MA Condemns Racism and Xenophobia

The Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW-MA), with the full support and collaboration of its Racial Justice Council, condemns racism and xenophobia and recognizes the disproportionate burden coronavirus disease (COVID-19) creates for communities of color and other marginalized groups. We encourage everyone to challenge the racist and xenophobic political and cultural rhetoric that attempts to scapegoat particular groups in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 does not recognize race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, or other traits. You can do your part in countering COVID-19-related discrimination, stigma, and racism. For suggestions on how to have these conversations, please see the below resources:


In addition, NASW-MA recognizes the inequities and racial and ethnic discrimination inherent in our society, and thus the disproportionate impact the current COVID-19 pandemic has on communities of color and other vulnerable, oppressed, and marginalized populations in Massachusetts. We must support and advance legislation and other directives that relieve this disproportionate burden. As such, NASW-MA is lifting up the Massachusetts Public Health Association’s Emergency Task Force on Coronavirus & Equity’s policy recommendations to:


  • Ensure Immigrants Have Safe Access to Testing & Treatment

  • Ensure Everyone Has Access to Safe Quarantine

  • Pass Emergency Paid Sick Time

  • Enact a Moratorium on Evictions, Foreclosures & Termination of Public Benefits

Additionally, structural racism and other inequities baked into our system consistently perpetuate the cycle of poverty. In response, NASW-MA is advocating for short-term emergency relief to families in Massachusetts living below the deep poverty line by supporting HD 4951, Act to Provide Short-term Relief to Families in Deep Poverty. 

In times of crisis, we must remember our charge as social workers to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty. 


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