Towards a Transformational Field Experience: Disrupting Whiteness in Field Instruction

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Towards a Transformational Field Experience: Disrupting Whiteness in Field Instruction

Friday, November 17th, 2023

9:30am to 12:00pm ET


Presenter: Cecily Mitchell-Harper, LCSW


NASW Other Chapter Member (Including NYC): $50

Non-Members: $62.50

NASW-NYS Student and Transitional Members: FREE

This workshop is approved for 2.5 continuing education credit hours for licensed social workers, licensed mental health counselors, licensed marriage and family therapists and licensed psychologists

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Workshop Description
As Social Workers we are called to reform, dismantle or abolish racist and oppressive systems we work within and beside (NASW, 2020). While this calling applies to all Social Workers, this calling takes on an even greater significance for Social Work Field Instructors. Field Instructors are not only called to disrupt and dismantle racism within in their practice, they are called to ensure that they create a learning environment that teaches students how to disrupt and dismantle racism within their own practice. Fundamentally, Field Instructors have a responsibility to cultivate transformational learning, learning that challenges their implicit biases and assumptions, and shifts their perspective (Hendricks et al., 2013). 
With this foundational grounding, this session, geared towards beginner and intermediate Field Instructors practicing within various sites of Social Work practice, will explore, in depth, the ways in which racism and white supremacy are deeply embedded into the fabric of the Field Placement experience and get in the way of creating a transformational learning environment. Using Whiteness as a foundational lens (Roediger et al., 2016), this session will specifically explore the ways in which racism and white supremacy show up in two core areas foundational to the theory and practice of Field Instruction: relationships and leadership. As the relationship between student and Field Instructor are pivotal to the learning process and Field Instructors serve as leaders within the Social Work profession, this session will shine a spotlight on how Whiteness shows up in these two areas. Using the lenses of Relational Authenticity and Transformational Leadership, the presenter will introduce tools and practices to support Field Instructors to effectively disrupt racism and white supremacy within the Field Placement experience. This session will describe mindsets and strategies that enable participants to enter into relationship with students as a grounded leader, well-prepared to support students to engage in anti-racist Social Work practice that fully embodies the core values of the profession. 



Learning Objectives

After the completion of this webinar, participants will be able to:


1. Define Whiteness and explain Whiteness as foundational to the maintenance of racism and White Supremacy within Social Work education and practice 

2. Identify the ways in which Whiteness creates a barrier to cultivating the relationships necessary for student transformational learning 

3. Define Relational Authenticity and describe core practices to foster authentic relationships with Social Work students that foster transformational learning 
4. Explain the ways in which conceptions of leadership within Social Work produce a Whiteness bias and interfere with student transformational learning 
5. Describe ways to apply strategies and practices to disrupt the Whiteness bias in leadership through the lens of Transformational Leadership    



This workshop is approved for 2.5 continuing education credit hours.

NASW-NYS is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers (Provider ID #0014), licensed mental health counselors (Provider ID #MHC-0053), licensed marriage and family therapists (Provider ID #MFT-0037) and licensed psychologists (Provider ID #PSY-0088).

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Cecily Mitchell-Harper, LMSW.

is a NYS Licensed Social Worker with a passion and specialty for integrating research into practice, with a particular focus on developing transformative practices and processes to support programs that serve racially marginalized youth and families. She has an unwavering commitment to ensure that youth serving programs are equitable, inclusive and honor the full humanity of staff, young people and their families. Cecily received her BA in Psychology from Wesleyan University, and her MSW from the University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy and Practice.

As a seasoned Licensed Social Worker, Cecily has extensive experience practicing in various settings, including schools, human service organizations and research centers. Cecily has clinical experience providing trauma-informed therapeutic services to children and families including those involved in the child-welfare system. Additionally, Cecily has several years of experience providing technical assistance and evaluation expertise to strengthen program capacity and inform programmatic decision making in youth-serving non-profit organizations, utilizing an anti-oppressive, racial equity lens.

Cecily currently provides professional development training, coaching and consultation services to youth serving non-profit organizations. Her areas of expertise include creating healing centered organizational practices and cultures that support holistic wellbeing, supporting direct service staff in their own healing from secondary/vicarious trauma and utilizing a continuous improvement framework to support institutional change. Additionally, Cecily serves on the NASW, NYS Revolutionize Leadership Team and co-facilitates monthly Peer Healing Support Groups for BIPOC social workers. Furthermore, Cecily has presented at various professional conferences and events and was recently invited to teach at Adelphi University, School of Social Work Online MSW Program.



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November 17th, 2023 from  9:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Event Fee(s)
NASW-NYS Member $0.00
NASW Other Chapter Member (Including NYC) $50.00
Non-Member $62.50
NASW-NYS Student and Transitional Member $0.00
Information for Certificates
Presenter(s) Cecily Mitchell-Harper, LMSW
Instruction Method Live Webinar
Total Contact Hours/CEUs Awarded 2.5