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Roots Deeper than Whiteness

2023 CE Track Participant Page


Welcome! This page is for registrants in our Fall, 2023 course, Roots Deeper than Whiteness, who are taking the NASW CE Track.

This page will include all content on the general participant page along with additional CE track specific study materials and logistical information. Please do not share this page with anyone not registered for the course.

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Additional Content:



In order to receive your credits for the course, please fill out the survey here.

PLEASE NOTE: there is a question in the survey about whether or not the CE track fulfilled the learning objectives for the program. For your ease in considering your answer to this question, you can find those learning objectives here. 

Congratulations! :) We will email certificates of completion in batches as those survey results come in.


Homework: Homework materials for all sessions will be posted below. Please allow 2-3 hours for homework per session. We ask that everyone engage with the study materials prior to each session. Please note that homework for session one will be posted on this page by October 1, 2023, two weeks prior to the start of the course.  


Recordings: While sessions must be attended live to obtain CE credit, recordings of each live session (including the CE track specific session) will be made available 2-3 days after it takes place. Links to these recordings will be posted at the top of the homework assignment for the corresponding session. Recordings, along with the participant page as a whole, will remain accessible through February 19, 2024 (three months after our final live session). After this, study materials will be e-mailed to you as a PDF and session recordings will no longer be available.

Have you visited the Logistics Page for the course? Please allow 20 minutes to review this page and take the action steps outlined within it prior to the course. Applications for your personal zoom login must be submitted by the end of the day Saturday, October 14, in order to participate in the first live session (applications are approved manually, not instantly). 


Supplementary CE Track-Specific Session: ​In addition to attending the first three main sessions, of the course, participants doing the Social Work CE track must attend the CE Track-Specific session taking place on Sunday, November 12 from 4:00pm-6:30pm EST. This additional session, like the first three main sessions, must be attended live to obtain CE credit. The same zoom login you use to attend main live sessions of the course should be used to attend this offering. This supplementary CE session will be led by Lynda Davis, longtime social worker, racial justice activist, and White Awake participant. CE participants are more than welcome to attend the final main session of the course, taking place November 19th. However attendance there is not required to obtain CE credit for the course.


Requirements for Obtaining CE Credit: This program is Approved by the National Association of Social Workers (Approval # 886890411-3521) for 8 continuing education contact hours.


Requirements to receive these credit hours include:

  1. Live Attendance at the first three main sessions of the course (taking place Oct 15, Oct 22 & Nov 5) and the CE specific session (taking place Nov 12).

  2. Completion of a participant survey for the course.


While not required for NASW credit hours, we hope that you will also complete the assigned homework materials before each live session in order make the most of your enrollment in the course.


After attending live sessions and completing the course survey, you will receive a certificate from White Awake verifying the CE credits that you obtained from us. We ask that you complete the survey for the course no later than Dec 15, 2023, in order for us to fulfill our obligations to NASW promptly.


For your later reference, all course materials will remain available on your participant page through February 19, 2024.


Optional: Books for Social Work CE Track


Study materials for the SW CE Track include selections from two books:

  • Howard, Gary. We Can’t Teach What We Don’t Know. 2nd ed., Teachers College Press, 2006

  • Reisch, Michael and Janice Andrews. The Road Not Taken: A History of Radical Social Work in the United States. Routledge, 2002

Homework for the SW CE Track includes a wide variety of materials, and reading recommended selections from these two books is not a requirement for completion of the track. Recommended selections from each book will not be extensive, so you may simply consider acquiring a copy at a later date as a follow up to the work in this course. If financial hardship is an obstacle, please contact us at The organization can purchase a limited number of books to share with registered participants.


About the Books: 


We Can’t Teach What We Don’t Know is written specifically for public school teachers, however, we feel that Howard’s description of (and advocation for) the inner work of identity transformation has broad application across professions. This book can be an especially helpful resource for individuals who are new to the subject of anti-racism. 


The Road Not Taken: A History of Radical Social Work in the United States is an excellent general companion to the work we will be covering within the SW CE Track, though it is not specifically focused on anti-racism or white identity development. Suggested selections from this book will be included in homework assignments for the last two sessions of the course.


Session One: Introduction & Cultivating Resilience

Session Recording (10/15): View Here

Chat Log: View Here

Study Materials


Understanding White Supremacy





  • Matewan “Union Speech” – clip from 1987 film (6 min watch). Note: The term “dago” is a pejorative for Italians, who were recent immigrants during the historical period of the Matewan Massacre.

Reflection Questions:


How did this content impact you? Was any of the content new, or was it helpful to reflect on these things afresh? What a-ha moments arose for you while considering the historical development of white supremacy in the US and the use of racism and antisemitism as divide and conquer tools?

Cultivating Resilience for the Long Haul 


  • Towards a Radical White Identity - AWARE LA (20-25 min) AND/OR the following selections from We Can’t Teach What We Don’t Know - Gary Howard (approx 30 min):

    • The Inner Work of Multicultural Teaching - pp 5-6 (from the Introduction)

    • Baptism by Fire, Bringing it all Back Home, Adventures of an Anti-Racist Racist, & Shaping an Authentic White Identity - pp 15-26 (from Chapter 1)

Reflection Questions:


  • After reading the three pieces in this section of your homework, what are your thoughts on resilience and social change?


  • The “Church of Social Justice” piece points out community stances and actions that thwart healthy engagement in social change. Have you experienced aspects of what Lee describes in your own life or within dominant cultural trends? If so, how?


  • The “Cultivating Resilience” abstract is short, but opens up a window into a more holistic approach to activism and social change through Roubos’s inquiry. What do you think about the antidotes Roubos describes? What kind of approach do you think is best suited for a movement of people to sustain itself long enough to dismantle oppression and create an equitable society?

  • Consider the Towards a Radical White Identity article AND/OR the selections we shared from We Can’t Teach What We Don’t Know. In what ways do you think a healthy sense of self, and integrated understanding of race, would help you be more effective when you work with clients and/or communities? Do you think that working with racial identity through this course could have a positive impact on your ability to work with clients and/or communities from a stance of cultural humility? If so, how? (*If you plan to, but have not yet acquired, Howard’s book, feel free to hold these reflection questions until after you have a chance to read from it.)


Session Two: What Happened to Us?

Session Recording (10/22): View Here

Chat Log: View Here

Presentation Materials: David's Slides

Study Materials


"The Making of Whiteness"





Stories of Assimilation






Reflection Questions: How do these study materials impact your understanding of your own family’s “coming to America” story? What new forms of clarity do they create and what new questions do they bring up? How do you fit into this deeper historical story of racial socialization?  Now apply these insights to your profession. Does increased knowledge of your own family history, and the historical context within which white identity was created, shift how you relate to the individuals and/or communities that you serve? If so, how?

Divide and Control in the Modern Era



Reflection Questions:


  • How does this content impact your understanding of the underlying drivers of injustice in our society today? 

  • When considering these sources alongside content on earlier histories of racial socialization, are there ways you see history repeating itself? If so, how? 

  • How have older tactics of divide and rule been modified for our modern era?

  • As a social worker, how do you see divide and control at work in the populations and/or lives of the individuals you serve? Do some of these tactics create a sense of division between you and the individuals and/or communities that you serve? Are there any ways in which the materials from the course help you experience yourself in solidarity with the people you are supporting, rather than separate from and/or above them?

Additional Resources on Israel- Palestine and the Current Political Moment


The following resources are meant to help us respond to the current political moment in which the US-backed Israeli military has chosen to weaponize Israeli and Jewish grief about the tragic events of October 7th to carry out an all-out assault on Gaza, cutting off access to food, water, electricity, and fuel, displacing 1 million civilians, killing thousands of uncounted human beings, and turning northern Gaza to rubble. 


Optional group process AFTER Sunday's session (from 6:40-7:00 pm eastern) | After taking a short break, we will hold 20 minutes at the close of our upcoming session on October 22, to create space for participant sharing, grieving, and processing about these realities.

TAKE ACTION: Ceasefire Now! Sign the Jewish Voice for Peace petition, and email OR call your member of Congress now asking them to join strong, anti-war voices calling for a ceasefire. Click here to sign the petition and email.  Click here to call.


In Gaza and Israel, side with the child over the gun - Naomi Klein (The Guardian)


Israel Has Killed 6 Hamas Leaders in Gaza. It’s Killed More Than 800 Children. - Seraj Assi (Jacobin)


A Textbook Case of Genocide - Raz Segal (Jewish Currents)


Session Three: Stepping into a legacy of resistance and self-determination

Optional Self Care Practices: Working with Grief and Sorrow


We are sharing some resources from White Awake’s ancestral recovery course (Before We Were White, which will be held again Jan-March, 2024) that may be supportive if you are experiencing grief or other strong emotions related to the histories we've covered in this course, or to the current events in Israel/Palestine, or anything else. These activities are designed as part of a larger sequence of activities in the course, specifically to help work with grief, pain, and sorrow. View the Practices Here.

Session Recording (11/5): View Here

Chat Log: View Here

Presentation Materials: Eleanor's Solidarity Slides

Study Materials


"The Other America" – 25 minutes total time to read and watch, plus reflection questions


Reflection Questions: Once you have read the Anne Braden quotes and gone through the other materials, please take a moment to notice: How are you feeling in your body? What emotions are arising? What thoughts are arising? You might want to take a few minutes to journal about your observations.

Social work specific reading, and suggested course follow up: In order to consider how social work practitioners helped create, and played important roles within, the “Other America”, we suggest purchasing and reading all chapters/selections that interest you in: The Road Not Taken: A History of Radical Social Work in the United States, by Michael Reisch and Janice Andrews.


If you purchased a copy of the book to accompany your work in the course while you are taking it, we suggest reading about Mary van Kleeck, and other social workers who spoke out against the 1930’s New Deal, on pages 61-64 of the book. You may want to do this as part of your pre-session three work or - given the length of this session’s assignment - you may want to follow up on session three with this reading. The goal of reading this selection is to consider one small example of the radical legacy you have a connection to within the social work tradition.

Solidarity Concepts – approx. 60-80 minutes reading time, plus reflection questions


General course resources:



Social work specific resources:

  • Social Service or Social Change? - Paul Kivel (please read the first two pages of the article [or just page one, if you are short on time]; est. 30-40 min read with reflection questions)  


Reflection Questions:


  • What stands out from these four pieces? What connections do you make between them?

  • Are any of these ways of looking at things new to you?

  • Do you have any questions that warrant further exploration?

  • What might shift in your professional practice if you took these awarenesses into account?

  • Consider the contrast between altruism and solidarity. What would solidarity look like in practice at the individual client level? The family level? The community level? The policy level? 

Solidarity-Based Organizing & Labor Today  

40-50 minutes total plus reflection questions


Social work specific resources:

Reflection Questions:

  • What stands out to you from the stories and concepts these resources bring forward?

  • Do you feel a resonance with anything that relates to work you currently do? Do you feel called to different work, or a different way of relating to your work?

  • Do these stories give any insight into how the political analysis you just studied might play out in specific situations?

  • Do these stories inspire a shift (or further nuance) to how you approach your professional practice? If yes, how so?

Fully Optional Deeper Study: 


Labor & Working Class Organizing:

Capitalism versus Democratic Alternatives

Session 4 CE

Session Four: Taking Action

Note to participants on the CE track: What follows is your homework assignment for your final required session for the CE track. This is the assignment we would like for you all to work with in preparation for your CE-specific final session with Lynda Davis, LCSW-C, on Nov 12 (the last session for which live attendance is required to receive CE credits.) As you know, you are welcome (but not required) to join the entire group for the final session of the general course on Nov 19, for which we have compiled a different set of homework materials that you can look at on the general course participant page here. The general course participant page also includes optional resources given in response to participant inquiries at the end of the third session, including: material that focuses on the relationship between capitalism and the land as well as articles on anti-BDS laws, and the BDS movement to support Palestinian liberation.

Session Recording (11/12): View Here

Chat Log: Coming Soon


Study Materials


SHARP: A Framework for Addressing the Contexts of Poverty and Oppression During Service Provision in the United States - Wendy E. Shaia, Ed.D., MSW (20-30 min read)


The SHARP Framework Practitioner Reflection Journal – Wendy Shaia. Please journal about/reflect on prompts in this document as they relate to a client of your choosing that you have or have had in the past. As you do so, you'll reflect on your client's experiences of structural oppression and how your own identity and biases could impact your work with them.


If you haven’t already read the Paul Kivel piece Social Service or Social Change? (first two pages) that we assigned for Session Three and/or the Towards a Radical White Identity resource that we assigned for Session One, we suggest you review these pieces now (and consider some of the reflection questions in Kivel’s piece.) You’ll be referring to them in your time with Lynda as an opportunity to reflect on specific shifts or practices you may want to bring from this course into your social work practice.


Lastly, the following piece can be helpful in considering the larger political context of advocacy and structural change that you may want to bring to your social work practice: Building a Political Agenda for Social Work - Filipe Duarte (7-10 min read).


This session will focus on how we can apply the concepts and approaches from the homework to our social work practices. Before the session, it would be helpful for you to think about and be prepared to discuss specific ways in which you can utilize the information from the SHARP, Kivel, and Duarte articles within your professional practice and/or how the coursework could support or enhance approaches you are already taking.

Optional study (now or later): If you purchased a copy of Gary Howard’s book We Can’t Teach What We Don’t Know, we recommend a couple of selections from this book as an aid in your process of applying the identity development work we have done in this course to your social work practice. Two selections can be helpful in this process: “Decoding the Dominance Paradigm” pp. 53-68; “White Educator’s and the River of Change” pp. 69-86; “Mapping the Journey of White Identity Development,” and “Ways of Being White A Practitioner’s Approach to Transformative Growth.”


Personal Assessment Activity (CE Track)


Please spend 15-30 minutes journaling on the following prompts. You will have the opportunity to discuss these questions with your CE track peers in the final live session of the course, as well as / in addition to during the final CE specific session with Lynda Davis.


  1. How has the course shifted your awareness of racialized/hierarchical dynamics in your workplace? 

  2. What resources and collaboration would be needed to address them?

  3. In what ways do you (or don’t you) resonate with the description of “radical” social work as a force for social transformation?

  4. Do you see a place for yourself within social movements aimed at changing neoliberal, austerity based institutions that conflict with the needs of the working class?

  5. What relationships do you need (or do you have) that would help you join with others to take this type of action?

  6. Considering the overall course, how do you want to develop your role as a social worker now that you have worked with the different themes and materials within it?


OPTIONAL: Getting Involved


The material below reflects assignments given for the final session of the general course, as well as a follow up resource specific for social workers. Working with the material in this section is not required for the CE track, however, you may want to refer to these resources as you integrate the work of the course, and the CE track, going forward. Again, you are welcome to join the final session of the general course (Nov 19) and work with any and all of the homework materials for that session, which you can find on the general course participant page, here.

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