Surviving Racism in Academia – Maxine Davis, MSW, MBA, PhD

Episode 55
Guest: Maxine Davis, MSW, MBA, PhD
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW
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We are now offering our Racial Justice & Liberatory Practice Continuing Education Series at Columbia University, Michigan State University, and the University of Houston. Join us! Check out the new Doin’ The Work Collection of hoodies, tees, mugs, and tote bags! Rep the podcast you love while doin’ the work. Thank you to this episode’s sponsor! UH has a phenomenal social work program that offers face-to-face master’s and doctorate degrees, as well as an online and hybrid MSW. They offer one of the country’s only Political Social Work programs and an Abolitionist Focused Learning Opportunity. Located in the heart of Houston, the program is guided by their bold vision to achieve social, racial, economic, and political justice, local to global. In the classroom and through research, they are committed to challenging systems and reimagining ways to achieve justice and liberation. Go to to learn more.

In this episode, I talk with Dr. Maxine Davis, who is an Assistant Professor and the Chancellor’s Scholar of Inclusive Excellence in Intimate Partner Violence Prevention & Intervention at Rutgers School of Social Work. Dr. Davis shares her experiences of the structural and interpersonal anti-Black racism, sexism, and oppression she experienced as tenure track faculty at her previous institution. She is incredibly vulnerable and opens up about when she attempted suicide due to the pain she was experiencing. We talk about specific examples of the varying attacks and racial assaults colleagues and administrators perpetrated on her and others, as well as the lack of any mechanisms for accountability or who you can go to when you’ve tried all forms of redress. This is an issue within individual institutions but also the larger social work profession and higher education as a whole. Dr. Davis shares details that she has not yet publicly shared. She also talks about her plan to create a Green Book, as well as a Red Book, so that faculty and scholars in the job market, particularly Black faculty and scholars, have much more information about these institutions prior to accepting a job offer. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.
Twitter: @DrMaxineDavis
The Chronicle of Higher Education article: Why They Left Nature article: Anti-Black practices take heavy toll on mental health