The University of Southern California Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work will no longer use the word “field” in its curriculum or its practices as part of its anti-racist framework, according to an email reportedly sent Monday.
The school reportedly stripped the word from use due to alleged ties to “anti-Black” and “anti-immigrant” rhetoric, according to the email sent by the Practicum Education Department to the campus community, faculty, staff, and students. The school informed that the word “practicum” would be used instead to “ensure [its] use of inclusive language and practice.”
“This change supports anti-racist social work practice by replacing language that could be considered anti-Black or anti-immigrant in favor of inclusive language,” the email reportedly reads. “Language can be powerful, and phrases such as ‘going into the field’ or ‘field work’ may have connotations for descendants of slavery and immigrant workers that are not benign.”
Today, @uscsocialwork sent out this letter announcing that they will no longer use the word “field” (as in “conducting field work”) because it’s perceived as racist. Is this with merit or empty virtue signaling? @elonmusk @IngrahamAngle pic.twitter.com/kgM9p4MAb5
— Houman David Hemmati, MD, PhD (@houmanhemmati) January 10, 2023
The revised language aligns with several anti-racist initiatives the school abides by, including the Council on Social Work Education’s Advancing Antiracism in Social Work Education and the Eliminate Racism Grand Challenge for Social Work, according to the email.
“In solidarity with universities across the nation, our goal is not just to change language but to honor and acknowledge incline and reject white supremacy, anti-immigrant and anti-blackness ideologies,” the email continues. “Words are powerful, but even more so is action. We are committing to further align our actions, behaviors, and practices with anti-racism and anti-oppression, which requires taking a close and critical look at our profession—our history, our biases, and our complicity in past and current injustices.”
The email then claimed the school would “train social work students” to “understand and embody social and racial justice” and told the campus community to “hold each other accountable.”
USC, the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, and the Practicum Education Department did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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