Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Journal of Progressive Human Services: Radical Thought and Praxis
For a Special Issue on
Stories of Resistance
29 February 2024
Stories of Resistance
Many people enter the social work and social service fields because they believe in the value of social justice and want to be engaged in work that makes a difference. But often they are stymied by structures, people, and policies in the workplace that do not permit them to do this. Oftentimes this is because caseloads are large and there is not time to do any thinking about how to engage in social change work. But there is also an insidious nature to this situation - the organisms that fund the work do not want workers engaged in social change work. Despite this, people create ways to circumvent the system to engage in practices that are meaningful, radical, and work to dismantle systems of oppression.
Recently the Social Welfare Action Alliance (SWAA) asked people about what it means to engage in radical practice for social change in these times. They put together a free verse poem of the responses published in Volume 36(2) of this journal with the following introduction:
-We were motivated to do this as conditions in our country continue to deteriorate - the poor get poorer; racism and white supremacy are alive and well; access to affordable and reliable healthcare are not in reach for many; public schools are underfunded; and the list goes on. SWAA wanted to reflect on the current situation as well as what we could and should do given this situation. As one of our SWAA colleagues often says
- “We were never meant to help” (Mary Bricker-Jenkins). We have to fight back. We can no longer be content at being the buffer zone between the rich and powerful and the poor and oppressed. We are committed to building new systems that push back against exploitation and oppression of both workers and people they work with. We do not want to reinforce the status quo - we want to transform it (SWAA, 2023).
This special issue asks people to reflect on how they are fighting back - in large ways and in small. We are seeking case studies, viewpoint articles, conceptual articles, creative pieces, and research articles covering (but not limited to) the following topics:
- How do social workers/service workers survive in difficult situations? How are they recuperating and implementing the radical tradition? How are they pushing back against structures that do not permit them to engage in social change?
- What kinds of pedagogical innovations are being used to teach students how to engage in social change work in traditional environments?
- How can we realign our practices and evaluative processes to be radical and to help us engage in radical practice?
- How are workers partnering with the people most affected by the injustices in our society to push ahead in social change work?
- What stories of resistance can people share so that we can all learn how to fulfill the promise of being agents for social change?
We hope to gather a mix of stories from practice and education.