STUDENTS, FACULTY, AND STAFF, LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD
The University is committed to a culture that is enriched by diversity, equity and inclusion, in the broadest sense, in its thoughts, actions, and leadership. In short, we are Committed to Diversity and Anti-Oppression Excellence.
That said, we have possibly worked harder in the last several years than ever before to critique and challenge ourselves to do more and better in this arena. Reasons for the quickening pace and deepening of our efforts are numerous. We are located in an increasingly diverse geographic region, with more diversity among our students, staff, and faculty than at any time in our history.
In 2015, we felt our city rocked by the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. Most recently, shifts in the national political climate and federal policies have created confusion, anxiety, and fear among our students and the communities we serve and with whom we partner. These events have stimulated us to reflect on our continual efforts to create an inclusive school community and a more just society and to critically examine where and how we should dedicate our resources in the future to achieve the greatest impact.
Thus, we continue to adapt and intensify our efforts - most recently, by forming an Anti-Racism, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Excellence Task Force that spearheaded a new effort to unite our many initiatives, existing and new, into a single strategic effort.
With the Task Force's work now finished and their report public, the School is excited to continue moving forward with this, and other, vital information and suggestions so the School, as a whole community, continues to move forward in our committment to diversity and anti-oppression excellence.
The Diversity & Inclusion Strategic Planning Task Force Report
In the fall of 2018, a Task Force was formed, an offshoot of the School’s Diversity and Oppression Workgroup, and tasked with developing a report aimed at addressing structural racism and increasing equity, inclusion and diversity at the School of Social Work.
In August 2019, their report was presented to the SSW Community.
Dr. Kenneth Hardy "Social Workers’ Abilities to Discuss Race with Clients"
Inclusive Excellence Tour Explainer Video:
This video explains the National Inclusive Excellence Tour, providing an overview of key components and impact for colleges and universities, companies, non-profits, k-12 institutions, and more.
Consistent with the goals of the SSW Strategic Plan, the Diversity and Anti-Oppression Committee (DAO) works with other stakeholders within the school and larger community to foster an atmosphere of cultural responsiveness, equity and inclusiveness.
The purpose of the DAO is to advance social justice principles and to combat racism and all forms of oppression in the school, the university and the larger community.
I cherish the opportunities to enhance and empower the lives of vulnerable individuals and communities, while promoting social justice, and remaining conscious that I do all of this from a space of cultural humility.
--Erick, MSW Student
August 21, 2019
Dr. Gail Christopher and Michael Wenger of Ntianu Garden: The Center for Healing and Nature, hosted an afternoon session on Racial Healing and Implicit Bias at the annual All-School meeting held for all UMSSW faculty and staff.
Christopher is an award-winning social change agent and former Senior Advisor and Vice President of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. Wenger is an author and teaches about race relations and institutional racism at The George Washington University.