Developing Together Social Work  Teaching Partnership

Celebrating Black Voices: In Memory of George Floyd

One year on from the tragic murder of George Floyd, the Teaching Partnership team felt it was important to do something to not only acknowledge the events of the last year, but also to have a space for the celebration of black voices.

The event on 28th May was planned to be a drop-in reflective space, where colleagues could come and listen, or actively participate by sharing their thoughts and experiences. This was supported by a rolling slideshow of powerful quotes and videos from prominent black voices.

It was an amazing privilege to be part of this event and be with colleagues, albeit virtually, and share in a celebration of achievements by black members of the community.  This event was powerful and moving as we reflected together about achievement and action that we will take together to make a difference in the future.

Many of the conversations in the chat and out loud were about how powerful and important the event was, and how important it was to make space for conversations like this one. One colleague shared that she was watching with her son, and although he was too young to understand, it was very empowering to have him sitting and watching together with her.

A few colleagues reflected on how emotional the event had been, but also the importance of celebrating black voices and not just thinking about traumatic events. Many colleagues reflected that social work must respond with action and not just empty words or platitudes, and that uncomfortable conversations must occur within teams and wider networks, and the momentum must continue and keep moving.

To view the rolling slideshow that was playing in the background to our reflections, please click here.

Here is a list of resources that were shared in the chat or in conversation that you may be interested in:
• A powerful song written by one of the attendees titled ‘Still Can’t Breathe’
• BASW’s report on the ‘Anti-racism in Social Work’ activities across the UK
• Book by Reni Eddo-Lodge: Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race
• Podcast by Reni Eddo-Lodge: ‘About Race’
• Book compiled by Wayne Reid and Siobhan Maclean: Outlanders – Hidden Narratives From Social Workers Of Colour (from Black & other Global Majority Communities)
• Book by Prospera Tedam: Anti-Oppressive Social Work Practice (Transforming Social Work Practice Series)
• Book by Mervyn Weir: I Can’t Breathe – Can 8 Minutes, 46 Seconds* Change the World?
• Article by Nashan Wilson, London Borough of Sutton’s Anti-Racist Practice Lead
• Flyer for the Teaching Partnership’s BLM and the Voice of Social Work Discussion Groups. Any Black and other Global Majority colleagues who are interested in facilitating a future discussion group, with the support of the TP team, please do get in touch:

Thank you to everyone who attended and participated in this event. 

Together we will make a difference.