Emancipatory engagement: An urban womanist social work pedagogy

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment

Publication Date


Date Added



Standing on the hope of the initial social work course from 1914 at Morgan College, this article provides insight into the significant learning outcomes of contemporary students in advanced social work practice with urban African American families. This research introduces the conceptual framework of urban womanist social work pedagogy as an inclusive practice-informed knowledge produced through the rituals, traditions, values, culture, and resilience of historically disenfranchised communities. Urban womanist social work teaching methods honor truth telling from the ones who have lived there. Urban womanist social work affirms transformative-centered research, teaching, and scholarship produced through institutions such as historically black colleges and universities (HBCU’s). The students’ reflective narratives reveal a process of transformation, centered in the freedom standpoint, which includes recognizing the location and context of their individual and collective identity as African Americans in the profession of social work. Urban womanist social work pedagogy cumulatively equips our students with intergenerational knowledge that inform their assessment of critical issues in Baltimore’s African American communities.




Social Work