25 Mar 2021

Message from the Registrar and CEO: Recognizing Anti-Asian Racism and the College’s Role as Regulator

As Registrar and CEO for the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (the College), I would like to take this opportunity to respond to recent tragic events as well as the shameful rise in anti-Asian racism and violence in Canada and the United States.

Last week, the mass shooting in Atlanta, Georgia took the lives of eight individuals – six of whom were women from the Asian community. Sadly, anti-Asian racism is also on the rise in Canada. This is reflected in an alarming increase in anti-Asian hate crimes from 2019 to 2020.

The College condemns these horrific acts of racism and violence. Continued societal, political and institutional changes are essential in order to address ongoing forms of systemic oppression, including anti-Asian racism.

The College also recognizes that structural and systemic racism and oppression have a direct impact on the work of our members and the communities they serve. Social workers and social service workers play an integral role in continuing the dialogue around social justice and in advancing necessary and long overdue changes in our society.

The College continues to consider and reflect upon its role as regulator with respect to these important issues. We have a key role in providing guidance and resources to our members in their practice, while carefully examining our organizational processes, resources and materials. .

The College’s Strategic Plan demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the challenging and very important issues of diversity, equity and inclusion as they relate to our regulatory role. This overarching priority encompasses anti-Asian, anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism, and other forms of systemic oppression which disproportionately affect racialized communities.

Members and other stakeholders can access the College’s resources related to diversity, equity and inclusion on our centralized webpage.

Should you have questions regarding this eBulletin, please contact the College’s Director of Communications, Sarah Choudhury at schoudhury@ocswssw.org.

Sincerely,

Lise Betteridge, MSW, RSW

Registrar and CEO