The past decade has been notorious for the high amount of murders of unarmed black Americans by police officers. The rapid technological progress has made those atrocities more noticeable for many people. Congregational social workers can play a very significant role in addressing the problem of police brutality. The following essay will touch on the importance of this situation and why it needs to be solved.
The deaths of unarmed black people caused by police officers has brought the issue of police brutality into people’s attention. This cause has sparked multiple debates and social movements related to the issue (Robinson et al., 2018). It also has accentuated the correlation between this problem and racism (Wilson & Wolfer, 2020). According to statistics, black people, especially men, are the ones most likely to face racial profiling by law enforcement (English et al., 2017). This, in turn, has sparked questions about the possible solutions to this issue.
The reason why congregations play an important role is because these places have been well known for assisting people in need and the formation of social justice movements. The role of social workers in those locations can vary from supporting clergy to initiating broader congregational activities (Garland & Yancey, 2014). Social workers can provide direct services, for they tend to assist people at times of grief caused by this problem. Moreover, those who work in predominantly black American congregations are more qualified to deal with the hardships black Americans face (Crowell et al., 2017). Although their roles are neither official, nor paid, this is why are crucial to solving the issue of police brutality.
In order to improve the current situation, people need to pay closer attention to law enforcement and the qualifications of its workers. There need to be legislations that will make joining the police harder for those who may have implicit biases and those who have anger management issues. Thankfully, given how drastically things have changed for the better in comparison to the previous century, the future is very promising.
In conclusion, the problem of police brutality has gotten more severe over the past decade due to the number of casualties. Fortunately, a large amount of people are raising awareness of that issue, including social workers. Although they do not have official roles in congregations, they are very valuable to the people struggling with grief caused by police brutality-related deaths and the problem in general.
Crowell, C., Mosley, D., Falconer, J., Faloughi, R., Singh, A., Stevens-Watkins, D., & Cokley, K. (2017). Black Lives Matter: A call to action for counseling psychology leaders. The Counseling Psychologist, 45(6), 873-901.
English, D., Bowleg, L., del Rio-Gonzalez, A. M., Tschann, J. M., Agans, R. P., & Malebranche, D. J. (2017), Measuring Black men’s police-based discrimination experiences: Development and validation of the Police and Law Enforcement (PLE) Scale. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 23 (2), 85-199.
Garland, D. R., & Yancey, G. I. (2014) Congregational social work: Christian perspectives. North American Association of Christians in Social Work.
Robinson, M., Jones-Eversley, S., Moore, S., Ravenell, J., & Adedoyin, A. C. (2018) Black male mental health and the Black church: Advancing a collaborative partnership and research agenda. Journal of Religion and Health, 57.
Wilson, B.L., Wolfer, A.T. (2020) Reducing police brutality in African American communities: Potential roles for social workers in congregations. Social Work & Christianity, vol. 47, no. 3, p 66-84. Journal of the North American Association of Christians in Social Work