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Thu 27 Oct

Building Racial Literacy: Understanding Unconscious Bias in Social Work and how to Mitigate it

12.00 - 2.00pm


€5 IASW members/€25 non-members

This webinar is part of the CPD programme of the IASW Anti-Racism Strategic Plan 2021-2023. Participants at this event will hear from Sinéad Twomey of the IASW Anti-Racism Advisory Group and Shantel Thomas, BASW UK Anti Racism Lead.

Speaker Biographies

Shantel Thomas is the course lead for the MA in Social Work at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and the UK Anti-Racism Lead at the British Association of Social Workers (BASW).  She is a qualified social worker and prior to academia worked in direct safeguarding practice, with a particular interest in work with vulnerable children and those from black and global majority communities.  In her BASW role, Shantel works to support the delivery of the equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) plan, in particular how anti-racist practice can be developed and implemented across and within the social work sector.  Shantel has co-written a chapter entitled ‘Risk and Safety: a strength-based perspective in working with black families when there are safeguarding concerns’ in Social Work in a Diverse Society: Transformative practice with black and ethnic minority individual and communities and contributed her practice knowledge to a book entitled - Safeguarding Black Children by Dr. Claudia Bernard.  She also co-developed a short course – Becoming an Anti-racist Practitioner/Leader from which this workshop will be based.  Shantel is a senior academic and doctoral researcher, who’s thesis is asking ‘What can an auto ethnographic study contribute to the understanding of issues of race and leadership in white led organisations?’.  She uses her position, passion, personal and professional ‘living’ experience of racism and intersectional oppression to be the voice for the ‘unheard’ and to represent the needs of global majority communities using a strength-based and compassionate lens. Connect with her on twitter @ShantelThomas77 or email:  

Sinead Twomey is a Social Worker in the Defence Forces, Ireland since 2019. Sinead is a graduate of the BSS NQSW course in Trinity College. She has over 20 years professional experience as a Social Worker in Ireland and in Western Australia. Sinead lived in Western Australia from 2012 to 2019 and worked as a Social Worker in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service in Perth, Australia and as a Team Leader with Dept of Child Protection in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. Sinead worked in Primary Care and on the Children First and HSE Child Protection teams for 13 years earlier in her career. Sinead is currently a member of the IASW Editorial Committee and of the IASW Anti-Rascist Advisory Group.