Socialworkersspeaks on FacebookFollow Us on TwitterRSS Feed

Social Media Group formed to connect Black Male Social Workers

Group logo

Group logo

Being an African American male in the social work profession can be a little lonely.

More than eight out of 10 social workers are women, according to the Profile of the Social Work Workforce.  And more than half of new social work graduates in 2015 were white, the report said.

“There were just not that many males and when there were males they were normally white,” said André Marcel Harris, who plans to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in social work from Fayetteville State University in North Carolina this year. “I guess I started to feel the underrepresentation of black males in social work when I attended national conferences.”

Harris, who was originally a communications major but switched to social work because he wanted to advocate for other people like himself who are living with sickle cell anemia, decided to create a social media group where black male social workers from all across the nation could come together.

Harris launched the Facebook group, Black Men in Social Work, in November 2017. It started with just a few of his classmates and professors — no more than 60 men. Within three months the number had grown to more than 300 people. Now, there are almost 700 in the group and Harris has expanded the group toTwitter and Instagram.

Forty to fifty members of the Facebook group are students and the rest are social work faculty or practitioners, Harris said. They all use the group for a variety of purposes — for research, to find an ideal graduate program, or to share information or offer mutual support.

André Marcel Harris

André Marcel Harris

Recent posts have included information about scholarship opportunities; a social worker looking for a therapist for his client in the New York City area; and an article about rising rates of suicide among people who are African American.

Harris says he wishes social work curriculum did a better job at including the experiences of people of color and in particular black males. This includes educating social workers more about the school to prison pipeline that some men who are black undergo.

He hopes his social media group will encourage more men who are black to consider social work as a profession and wants to perhaps build a relationship between his group and the National Association of Social Workers and the National Association of Black Social Workers.

“I think it satisfies a niche,” Harris said of his social media group. “It’s a sense of belonging – ‘Hey I’m a black guy and I’m a social worker.'”

 

|   Leave A Comment
Tagged as: , , , ,

Advertisement

6 Comments

  1. I am a black man in the social work field who would love to connect with other black Male social workers to discuss some of the obstacles we face being black Male social workers

  2. I had no idea this existed. I will definitely share with male colleagues as well as my students. Very much needed, good work!

  3. I am so glad that I have found this site. As an older gentleman from an era where it was “forbidden” to talk about issues outside of the home this is very much needed. Unfortunately we grow up with the mentality that we don’t need help from someone outside the home and if we did seek the help whom are we going to turn to. Becky, Lisa and Steve did not have the same issues as I and they wouldn’t understand. I am very proud of myself to get into the field of social work to be able to put a “likeness” and understanding to a person like him/her. I will continue to follow this forum on Facebook.
    Thank you Mr. Harris and to all of the others who have made contributions. May God continue to bless you. Happy Holidays

  4. I am a Black male social worker who has worked in the field of social work for about 30 years and would like to hear about a Black male social workers perspective on the field of social work.

  5. Funny thing is I just had an interview and I told them I would not recommend that minority males into the social work field because at every job I’ve ever had I’ve experienced some form of discrimination distrust racism suspicion micromanagement false allegations and accusations barriers to advancement mistrust and more.
    One single fabricated incident can destroy your career and blackballed you in the field

  6. And let’s not get started on why you shouldn’t waste your time on an advanced Social Work degree if you are a minority male you are already a complete minority and you’ll be lucky if you even survive a basic degree in the field. So let’s just take a stab in the dark and say that 5% of social workers are minority males and that is probably high lower the more higher Advanced degree you have, end racism and discrimination begin immediately. Colleges do not address the issue of this problem even minority females are treated so viciously and I have seen even more of them fall under the pressure of the dominantly White female profession and every minority social worker knows it. And oh my God please don’t have some kind of petty conviction because these people in these positions are God-fearing law-abiding citizens with no criminal record whatsoever so when they see one it’s shockingly scary and you will not get the job. I could go on but I will digress for now. Even though I helped thousands of people over 20 plus years there is no gratitude from the agencies for which I’ve worked the Gratitude comes from the people that you help because there is none from the agencies that employ you or at least not so much for minority social workers the other ones enjoy full celebration and advancement it’s so ridiculous and pathetic

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.