NASW ME & NH's Joint Statement Condemning Lethal Police Force and Racial Injustice

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Chapters of Maine and New Hampshire support the NASW national statement that strongly condemns the continued death of unarmed people who are African American at the hands of police. The urgency of the hour demands that we channel the energy and stand by the protesters to reform the police policies and culture and address the multiple factors of structural racism and violence. Therefore,

We call for our communities to adopt policing reforms to address this crisis.

We call for social workers to come together to address racial injustice and the multiple factors contributing to structural racism.

We call for social workers to create opportunities to elicit the perspectives and listen to our social work colleagues of color, recognizing social work’s own history and contributions to structural racism.

We offer condolences to the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylorand the many others who have died at the hands of racial injustice. We believe that violent actions against Black Americans highlight the need for systemic change not only in our law enforcement systems, but in our social service systems.

Our states are two of the whitest states in the union. That does not absolve us of the racial injustices and macro- and micro-aggressions experienced daily by people of color in our communities.

This is only a beginning. This is a call to action for the sake of the lives of people of color today and for generations to come. As social workers we don’t just call for change, we have an obligation to actually change systems by our engagement.

We owe it to our children and those who follow to create a world which honors the NASW values of social justice and the inherent dignity and worth of all people. Social justice is central to our code of ethics. We seek to elevate the voices of all of those who are oppressed. We have many ideas, yet would be operating from a privileged perspective to assume that we know all of the answers. We ask each of our members to join us in finding our personal and collective power, leverage and use them to push for change.

Operating alone can lead to despair.

Operating together can build hope and transformation.

Press Release: NASW condemns yet another incident of lethal police force against an African American

NASW Social Justice Brief: The role of racial profiling in encounters with police

In Social Work Solidarity,The Boards of the Maine & New Hampshire Chapters

National Association of Social Workers 

ACLU Maine

“We are committed to combating racism in all forms and to extending the protections of the Constitution to people who have historically been denied them on the basis of race.”


Immigrant Resource Center of Maine (IRCM)

“System advocacy is important towards creating the effective change to make provided services more inclusive of new populations. The goal, ultimately, is for underrepresented groups to gain a voice or a seat the table when policy decisions are made on their behalf.”


Maine Community Foundation

“It is critical that we invest in strategies that will help people of color access resources and overcome barriers.” The Maine Community Foundation has an Investing in Leaders of Color program, which supports nonprofit leaders combating racial injustice in Maine communities, and economic opportunity grants.


Maine Equal Justice

“When approximately 15% of white children in Maine live in poverty... and over 40% of children from Maine’s tribes live in poverty… and over 53% of children from Maine’s black or African American families live in poverty, there is no denying that inequities exist that must be addressed at a systems-level.”


Maine People’s Alliance

“MPA works to build a multi-racial social justice movement that centers the experiences and voices of Mainers of color, and involves people of all races working together to dismantle structural racism and its harmful impacts in Maine and across the nation.”


League of Women Voters of Maine

"We join […] in calling on law enforcement officials to provide transparency during this investigation, and to seek justice for George Floyd, his family, and his community... [And we] echo the call of our partners at the NAACP: we must all vote in November – the road to change lies at the ballot box."