Department of Social Work and Equitable Community Practice
As of 2021, Dr. Best is involved in five projects. Together with three colleagues, the research study Microaggression in the Caribbean Diaspora was completed and the manuscripts are being written. She also created and produces a monthly podcast, Inside Out/Outside In- which highlights the voices of people of color and leads with the themes of diversity, inclusion, and equity. Dr. Best is also working with the NYC Administration for Children’s Services as a content expert consultant on the revision and expansion of The Historical Child Welfare Timeline: A Transformational Experience, which is an exhibit that features the history of child welfare in the United States centering Black, Indigenous and poor White children. Following the summer of racial reckoning, Dr. Best co-created the group, Sankofa Moms – a mutual aid group for Black mothers with Black children. Lastly, Dr. Best and Dr. Pablo Correa are in the planning stages of a documentary film based on the podcast episodes, COVID-19 & Equity: Bridging the gap between academia and communities of color, that is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities Fund at the University of Saint Joseph.
Microaggression in the Caribbean Diaspora is a mixed methodology research project that explored how ethnic and racial identification of black and brown immigrants and their American-born children connect to experiences of daily microaggressions in the workplace. Microaggressions have been studied for marginalized populations but research on microaggressions in the workplace for the Caribbean and Central American immigrants, whose identities are merged in the more visible Latinx, African American, or Asian-American identities, is rare. The results revealed that they pay a heavy emotional price to assimilate into the workplace due to their intersecting identities. This research concluded in 2020. It has implications for organizations, human resources, and organizational development.
The Historical Child Welfare Timeline Exhibit (HCWTE) is an exhibit that chronicles the history of child welfare for three groups of children – Native American and Alaskan Indian, African American, and White children using policies, legislations, procedures, and practices. It helps viewers understand why the child welfare system that was developed for poor white children in the 1800s is overrepresented today with African American and First Nation children, and white children are underrepresented. One of the purposes of HCWTE is to draw attention to the disproportionality and disparity in the child welfare system to change conversations, policies, and practices while advancing equitable outcomes for children and families of color, particularly black and First Nation children. Another is to inform, educate, and build antiracist leadership throughout the child welfare system. Antiracist policies and practices ensure equitable treatment of all people irrespective of their race, gender, religion, immigration status, sexuality, economic status, and educational level.
Documentary Film: Sinking While Rising: COVID & Communities of Color
The documentary film, Sinking While Rising: COVID & Communities of Color will focus on the podcast episodes on COVID-19 & Equity from season 2 of Inside Out/Outside In. This documentary film will share Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) experiences during the pandemic as they navigated the structural inequities and implicit bias to be safe while balancing historical distrust. It will incorporate the voices of students, faculty, activist, parents, community organizers/agitators/leaders, scholars, medical experts, and government officials while accentuating the struggles, pain, resilience, and joy of BIPOC communities. This documentary film will include a robust literature review, new film footage of interviews, and the integration of historical and current film footage of archival recordings from television and news outlets. This year-long project will begin in September 2021 and end in August 2022.
Mutual Aid Group: Sankofa Moms
Sankofa Moms is a Black Mothers' Mutual Aid Group that provides a space where we can safely express whatever we need to, unapologetically, in any and every way that makes sense. It is a place for us—as Black mothers, other mothers, and community mothers across the divisions of class, education, marital status, age, religions, beliefs, etc.—to come together:
To be silent