In this episode, Annie talks about her cultural identity as a black woman, her career in social work, and how they helped her become a leader on equity, diversity, and inclusion. Working with incarcerated women in the U.S. prison system made Annie realize the need for systemic change in our communities. This includes undoing old ways of thinking, celebration of diverse and inclusive spaces for all, and embracing the uncomfortable moments. In order to move in the direction of social justice, Annie believes, we must look beyond the motive and focus on getting the work done.
Annie Grier (she/her/Ms) is a macro social worker advancing inclusion, diversity, equity, anti-racism, accessibility and sustainability (IDEAAS) in practice, research and education. She is the Senior Coordinator for Diversity & Inclusion at Florida State University and an adjunct professor at Fordham University in the Master of Social Work program, where she instructs on working with organizations & communities and integrating practice with research & evaluation. Ms. Grier is the owner of IDEAAS, LLC.
Ms. Grier is an ambassador for the Network for Social Work Management and a field supervisor for several social work schools across the country. Prior to working in diversity and inclusion, she spent 8 years doing criminal justice research and 7 years developing programs within the criminal justice system in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Missouri and Florida.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Social Work, specializing in research, from The Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.
In her spare time, Annie Grier (#59) likes running full-speed at quarterbacks and ball carriers as a defensive end/tackle for the St. Louis SLAM Women's Professional Tackle Football Team (retired 2019), with whom she won three national championships in the Women's Football Alliance (2016, 2017 & 2019). Also, she volunteers within her local jail and mentors social work students/recent graduates interested in macro practice.
“When information we have on ‘good authority’ conflicts with moral authority, we, as leaders, must take a stand and act justly, whether it makes foes of our friends or fools of our counselors.” — Antoinette “Annie” Grier. The Washington Post. September 28, 2010.
Enhance Your Curriculum with Our Discussion Guide
You can incorporate this episode into your class or workshop curriculum with this discussion guide.
- Work on your diversity, equity and inclusion vocabulary: Glossary of Terms
- Explore the Florida State University’s anti-racism resources: Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
- Excellent book for starters: All Alone in the World: Children of the Incarcerated by Nell Bernstein
- Better understand the idea of systemic criminal justice reform: Pettus-Davis, C., Epperson, M. & Grier, A. Guidepost for the era of smart decarceration. Institute of Justice Research and Development.
- Find out more on criminal justice work at Florida State University: Institute for Justice Research and Development.
- Check out this national organization for social justice activism: Southern Poverty Law Center
- Learn more about national criminal justice work: The Innocence Project
- Use this resource for self-reflection: Harvard University’s Project Implicit