Tag Archives: social justice

Conversations to Promote Peace In Times of Fear 4/4: Supporting Each Other

When having conversations to promote peace, we also need to support one another. As I wrote before, being a social worker means incorporating the personal and professional. Usually, this feels good. Having a sense of integrity and purpose that flows throughout the day is deeply satisfying. The desire for this type of living is what often motivates people to work in this profession in the first place. Sometimes, though, it’s… Read Article →

Conversations to Promote Peace in Times of Fear 3/4: Bystanders and Encouragement

Bystanders are people who have a basically tolerant worldview and a peaceful agenda but don’t speak up much. They may be afraid of the social repercussions of speaking up, especially if they are part of a cultural group that values avoiding conflict. They may not have the language to do so and feel afraid of stating their argument incorrectly or offensively. They may just have different priorities, for example environmental… Read Article →

Conversations to Promote Peace in Times of Fear 2/4: Fear, Protectionism, and Compassion

Many people reacted to the bombing in Paris with fear. They identify with the French, and they think—this could happen where I live. Fear triggers a protectionist stance. We’re under attack and we’ve got to circle the wagons. Fear is dangerous. It overtakes compassion, logic, and values- and facts-based decision making. The person who is feared suffers. The person who fears suffers as well. It’s been difficult for me to… Read Article →

Conversations to Promote Peace in Times of Fear 1/4: Intolerance, Hate Speech, and Boundaries

I had many initial reactions to the bombings in Paris. One of them was this: I’m about to hear some very hateful speech. There is a group of people whose views are extreme, rigid, and very intolerant. They are a minority, but in a fear-based climate, their voice becomes a roar. Here are some things I’ve noticed about their thinking: Views are rigid and do not change with new information…. Read Article →

On Being an Advocate for Social Justice When Everyone’s Afraid

Being a social worker means balancing the personal and the professional. I truly do not believe that someone can or should compartmentalize. To be an effective practioner and advocate, your work must be impassioned and authentic. Part of this work– this duty– is to speak out against social injustice and to be competent allies both in our professional lives and our personal lives. These conversations are already hard in times… Read Article →