The preamble to the NASW Code of Ethics states, “Social workers are sensitive to cultural and ethnic diversity and strive to end discrimination, oppression, poverty, and other forms of social injustice” (NASW, 2021, para. 2). In order to meet these ideals, social workers must have not only interpersonal empathy but social empathy
. This webinar will unpack what social empathy is, why social empathy is critical in social work, and how we can build our own social empathy. Particular attention in this webinar will be given to how social workers with socially advantaged identities, and especially white-identifying social workers, can cultivate social empathy to promote a practice of allyship that is authentic, critically self-reflective, and action-rooted. Participants will leave with concrete examples of what social empathy in action looks like; how to engage in accountable and mindful allyship behaviors; and strategies social workers can use to align our actions with our intentions. Continued learning resources will be provided to support social workers on their life-long journeys toward greater anti-oppressiveness. The webinar draws on findings from a recent study published in Social Work Research
entitled, “Advancing Active Allyship for Social Justice: Cross-Group Friendships, Social Empathy, and Political Engagement” (Kiehne & Hafen, 2022).