AABSW is Building Community, Connections and Support For Black Social Workers in Alberta

An Adinka Symbol used to depict the history of AABSW
About Us


The Alberta Association of Black Social  Workers (AABSW) started as an informal group of five Black social workers who originally met in the Fall of 2018. They came together out of a concern for Black social workers practicing in isolation, working conditions, barriers to advancement, the future of social work as a profession, and the issues impacting Black communities in Alberta.

These women understood the importance and necessity of connection, belonging, and space to discuss issues of importance to Black communities. Through grassroots community organizing, 5 Black social workers working together has become a network of 100+ social workers and social work students supporting one another in order to work to their fullest capacities doing impactful work.

The AABSW became a registered non-profit organization in July of 2020 amidst the economic downturn, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the murder of George Floyd. It was established after collective discussions to understand more about the experiences, issues, concerns, and needs of professionals.

About Us

Statement of Purpose

The Alberta Association of Black Social Workers (AABSW)  is an equity-seeking network of social work professionals dedicated to upholding the inherent worth and dignity of peoples of African descent in Alberta and beyond. The AABSW was formally established as a non-for-profit organization in July, 2020.

The AABSW was developed in response to a need for community, connection, support and recognition. We focus on addressing these needs by providing social networking, peer support, mentorship, supervision, professional development, education, training, community service, organizational support, advocacy and research.

A graphic image of 3 black women_AABSW
About Us


About Us

Values and Principles

The Alberta Association of Black Social Workers (AABSW) operates through an afro-centric lens. This means that the Black or African experience is the central focus of our practice (Merrit-Reid, 2015). For clarity, in this context, the ‘African experience’ refers to all people of African-descent. The purpose of an Afrocentric approach is to decolonize our practice and upholding our ways of being. Hence, we are guided by the principles of Dr. Maulena Karenga’s Nguzo Saba.  The principles are listed below:


Our diverse network is united on issues that impact our practice and communities.

Self Determination

We recognize the creation of initiatives and opportunities for us, by us. We acknowledge that each member of our community has a voice that should be valued and heard. We are committed to defining ourselves, naming ourselves, and developing a platform for ourselves.

Collective Work and Determination

We understand that to build our communities we need to work together and support each other. We take responsibility for our actions and how they impact those around us.

Cooperate Economics

We support Black-owned businesses and encourage economic empowerment through financial literacy in our communities.


Our work is intentional with a focus on building communal capacity.


We are committed to innovative solutions and approaches through multi-disciplinary collaborations to advance our profession and ultimately our communities.


We believe in ourselves and our communities. We honour our traditions and various ways of knowing. We will succeed in attaining our vision as a community.

About Us

Our Strategic Plan for 2023 - 2025

Be a Part of Our Story

AABSW is building community, connections and support for Black Social Workers in Alberta