Dr. Ashley Davis’ “Anti-Racism Project” Featured by inSocial Work

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“This project tells us something about where anti-racism work and doctoral education meet.”


In January of 2016, Social Work professor Ashley Davis was interviewed alongside her collaborator Dr. Allyson Livingstone of Salem State University about their “Anti-Racism Project.” The inSocial Work podcast spoke to the pair about the origin of the project, some of its outcomes, and the effects it could have on future cohorts of doctoral students.

Inspired by Garcia and Swenson’s “Writing the Stories of White Racism,” Davis and Livingstone’s project allowed eight participants (including the two researchers) to participate in candid and honest dialogue about racism and white privilege through the composition and exchange of journal entries. Davis speaks about being “intrigued and inspired” by what she read, convinced that its replication in an academic environment would be worthwhile. Urgency for such a project was heightened by the fact that their program did not have an alternate way for students to confront and resolve these issues.

Livingstone found this to be an essential piece of her doctoral experience, both as a facilitator and as a participant:

I really believe that one way to heal from the multi-systemic privilege and oppression here, talking about racism, is to be part of an honest, and supportive, and mutual, and caring relationship.

Davis agrees, noting, “until we really have a sustained ongoing commitment to having conversations like this, [until] we really get to know each other, we might not reveal as well in a classroom.”

This podcast is a must-listen for those considering doctoral programs for social work. Hear more about the project, its findings, and prospective implications, in the full podcast here.