Violent History of Benevolence

CFRC rebroadcast on May 1st a March 28 panel in Toronto called “Violent History of Benevolence”. This event was part of the monthly OCAP Speakers Series, where we gather to discuss issues that are critical to the success of poor people’s movements.

This event was sponsored by the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty.

Listen to the archive show here.

“Social work is often considered a noble profession.

But writers A.J. Withers and Chris Chapman argue this idea is not only historically inaccurate, but the fiction also allows decent people to become willing participants in furthering violence against poor and marginalized people.

In their book, A.J. and Chris document many histories usually left out of social work, including communities of Black social workers (who, among other things, never removed children from their homes involuntarily), the role of early social workers in advancing eugenics and mass confinement, and the emergence of colonial education, psychiatry, and penitentiaries.”

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