Black Brilliance in Social Work: Alumnus Moyo Rainos MutambaCategories: Alumni + Friends, Q & A
I am an Anti-Racism and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (ARDEI) Consultant and Co-Director at Bloom Consulting. I support leaders and organizations in closing the gap between what they claim as their intention and what they practice around anti-racism, DEI, and social justice. You can learn more about how I do this work on our website www.bloomworld.org. While you are at it, check out the blog where my colleague Rehana Tejpar and I share our honest thoughts and experiences in the consulting world. I am also a continuing lecturer at the School of Social Work at Renison University College, University of Waterloo.
What communities do you work with?
I work with diverse people in many sectors as a consultant. This work and the voluntary work I do with my non-profit organization Ubuntu Learning Village in Zimbabwe gives me a lot of meaning. Through the wisdom and assets of the community, we have created five programs that support the community in Serima, rural Zimbabwe:
- The Ubuntu Free School, which offers free education for children. We have kindergarten to grade 3 and are adding a grade each year.
- The Utano-Women’s Wellbeing group, which focuses on a safe space for women to share and learn from each other by revitalizing Indigenous foods.
- 2UC, an intergenerational eco-team that turns trash into beautiful art and adorns homesteads with their murals.
- The Mbira Group, which focuses on cultural revitalization through music, dance, and ceremony. This intergenerational group has members as young as 6 years old.
- The Young Women’s Program. Our most recent program by young women and for young women offers self-empowerment through skills building and cooperative work.
What part of your work or journey in social work are you most proud of?
Working with and for people is complex, this complexity is rich with many lessons. I find myself inspired, disappointed, challenged, questioned, discouraged, motivated, and schooled at every turn. The learning is continuous and makes the work deeply exciting.
What is a professional or personal goal that you would like to achieve?
If I am allowed to dream as if there are zero constraints, I would say changing the world so that everyone in it (including nonhuman entities) can belong.
What advice do you have for Black social workers entering the field?
You have a role to play in decentering whiteness in social work practice and theory. Your experiences, embodied knowledges, thoughts, and feelings are all legitimate and valid. They are the very tools that are needed in building a decolonized and anti-racist society. You might find yourself not having authority in some situations, but never forget that you still have influence.
Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center, by bell hooks
Throughout the month of February we will be highlighting the work of Black social workers in our Faculty and around the world. If you would like to highlight a Black social worker or are a Black social worker yourself, connect with us.
Read more Q&As highlighting Black Brilliance in social work: