As hard to believe as it may
seem, the University years of understanding and developing awareness around
anti-oppressive practice issues is the 'easiest' bit. By easy, I recognize that
people experience much of what I go through; confusion, blame, anger, joy,
hope, failure, depression...BUT the real test comes when we get that
certificate and go out on the pretence that we can intervene in people's lives
and make a difference.
Some practitioners I know do
not adopt any anti-oppressive elements to their work. They have got their degree
and have been in the field for a period of time. They stumble along, wondering
what they 'could do' or 'might do'.
Someone who is
really committed to the principles of changing lives, enabling people to gain
some control and generally being a worker who can adopt a critical approach to
their work, is someone who chooses to ACT upon what they have LEARNT.
That's why Student Youth Work
Online is taking this step. We want to develop an online place where people can
not only read about Black perspectives and anti-racism, but utilise resources
and take their learning into the field. And we want it to be a safe environment
where people can test their experiences, get support and develop their skills.
Its fruitless trying to say
there isn't time, or the conditions aren't right. Anti-oppressive practice needs
to flow through youth work, or the continued reproduction of workers who don't
really go into the job with a sense of commitment will continue.
I like to think of it as
three steps to using this section of the site: