Critical Race Theory


Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a theoretical paradigm rooted in legal studies that has gained traction in its applicability to other disciplines, including social work. CSUDH’s Master of Social Work Program is the only program in the nation – and likely in the world – whose theoretical foundation is rooted in CRT and Intersectionality. Our students take a course in Critical Race Studies in Social Work Practice in their first semester of the program, and CRT is integrated throughout the rest of the MSW curriculum.

Through its core tenets, CRT examines how race and its intersections with other markers of identity are social constructions that lay the groundwork for systemic and institutional oppression of marginalized groups. CRT in turn can provide a theoretical approach to social work practice that allows us to understand that the issues that a client presents have less to do with the client themselves and just as much, if not more, to do with institutions and systems that have created conditions that bring them before the social worker. Consequently, interventions informed by CRT attend to both the individual and institutional manifestations of oppression. 

Watch our Critical Race Theory Video.