In alignment with the overarching missions and goals of the School of Social Work, the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (ODEI) is charged with providing strategic leadership, supporting the DEI efforts of units across the School of Social Work, DEI programming and initiative and promoting accountability.

Important Information About the SSW’s Fall 2022 DEI Pulse Survey Including Information About Gift Card Incentives!

Survey goal

The DEI Pulse Survey is a brief and confidential survey that allows us to do a “pulse check” on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the SSW. It should only take five to seven minutes to complete. The survey's data informs DEI initiatives and programming geared toward building a safer, more equitable, and inclusive SSW community!

Are there any incentives to complete this survey?

Yes. All participants who complete the survey are eligible to enter a raffle for an Amazon gift card. To qualify for the raffle, participants will be required to submit their email using a separate link so that the survey remains anonymous.

Survey timeline

This year, the survey will launch on November 7, 2022, and will close on November 21, 2022.

Where is the link to complete the survey?

Beginning November 7th, 2022, the survey link will be sent out through the Daily Bulletin, the Elm and to your emails. Please be on the lookout. You will also find QR codes posted throughout the main SSW building and on the screens in the main lobby that will give you access to the survey link.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should you take this survey and how is it different from other surveys you have already taken in this year?

● While many of you may have taken other surveys this year, the DEI Pulse Survey is specific to the School of Social Work. You are strongly encouraged to take this survey because the information collected is used to directly inform the School of Social Work’s DEI strategic priorities and to address issues within the School of Social Work that have systematically impacted our students, staff, faculty, alumni and community members

How often is the pulse survey administered?

● Usually annually however, beginning next year, the survey will be administered every other year. The next survey will be distributed in Fall 2024.

How has information from previous pulse surveys been used?

The survey data from 2020 and 2021 Pulse Survey have been used to inform the following next steps:

1. Collaboration with UMB’s Office of Accountability and Compliance to provide training and additional information around reporting bias and microaggressions

2. More HR processes (e.g., hiring, promotion) guided by DEI

3. Provide students with an overview of the kinds of disability accommodation they could request

4. More integration between USG and Baltimore campus on DEI issues

5. Launched SSW Affinity Spaces

6. Launched the JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Diversity) is Social Work Initiative: J.E.D.I. Social Work recognizes that Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion are not just a part of the work but rather, it IS the work.

7. Hosted the First annual JEDI awards.

8. Utilized restorative practices frameworks and approaches to improve community and relationship building among SSW stakeholders.

9. Created a school wide protocol for reporting DEI concerns

10. Established the ODEI pilot Book Lending Initiative, which provides free, easily accessible textbooks and other materials to students

11. Provided scholarships for community members to take the History of Oppression course through the Continuing Professional Education.

12. Created the LEAD Institute (Leading for Equity, Anti-Racism and Diversity) an E-convening training and coaching series focused on cultivating an anti-racist mindset. Close to 100 participants in the LEAD Institute.

13. AdministeredUMSSW's evaluation with the Association for Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD)led by the Office of Student Affairs

14. Hosted trainings on topics such as Ableism, Antisemitism and LGBTQ Policy

How and when will the SSW community find out about the results of the 2022 pulse survey?

● Survey data will be released to the SSW community in Spring 2023. A teach-in will also be held at one of the DEIC(Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee) Spring 2023 meetings to review results.

Who is accountable for the survey results?

● The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will work closely with SSW leadership across all units to address the issues and concerns highlighted in the survey.

What about confidentiality and anonymity?

● We do not require anyone completing the survey to provide their contact information unless they want to and participants’ identities remain anonymous.

What We Do

Reporting Form for DEI concerns button

DEI Programs and Initiatives

Groups and Organizations at SSW

SSW Timeline of Efforts

DEI Resources


Strategic Leadership ODEI provides strategic leadership and expertise and supports the efforts of units across the school to achieve their diversity, equity and inclusion goals. CLICK HERE to see our strategic goals and priorities for the upcoming year.
DEI Programs and Initiatives ODEI collaborates with unit across the school to develop student, faculty and staff programs and initiatives focused on social justice, anti-racism, anti-discrimination, racial healing, and culturally humble conduct.
DEI Training and Consultation ODEI provides training and consultation to units across SSW on diversity, equity and inclusion related matters.
Accountability, Data and Assessment ODEI collects and analyzes data to ensure accountability on strategic priorities as well as to evaluate DEI trends and needs


Our strategic opportunities include: community engagement, training, accountability, equity & access, data collection


DEI Statement & Guiding Principles

Social Work holds a longstanding value of upholding and working toward social justice for all peoples. We are a welcoming community working for social justice on campus and in the world. We must examine racism and other forms of oppression beyond the actions of individuals, for it is embedded in the very fabric of our society.

We acknowledge that racism and many forms of oppression exists . As we move towards being an anti-racist and anti-oppressive organization, we vow to purposefully identify, discuss and challenge issues of racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and other forms oppression and interrogate how the impact(s) they have on our organization, its systems, and its people. We will also challenge ourselves to understand and correct any inequities we may discover and gain a better understanding of ourselves during this purposeful process.

We are resolved to explicitly and publicly affirm our transformation into an anti-racist and anti-oppressive academic department.

We are resolved that our commitment to anti-racism and anti-oppression be reflected in the life and culture of the department through our policies, programs and practices as we continue to learn about racism. 

We resolve to develop and work to implement strategies that dismantle racism and oppression within all aspects of our department, college, university, and society.

Key DEI Definitions

Diversity: Includes all the ways in which people

differ, encompassing the different characteristics that make one individual or group different from another. While diversity is often used in reference to race, ethnicity, and gender, it also includes age, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, and physical appearance.

It also includes diversity of thought: ideas, perspectives, and values.

Equity: Equality means each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities. Equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.  “The route to achieving equity will not be accomplished through treating everyone equally. It will be achieved by treating everyone justly according to their circumstances.”—Paula Dressel, Race Matters Institute

Inclusion: The act of creating environments in which any individual or group can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate. An inclusive and welcoming climate embraces differences and offers respect in words and actions for all people. It’s important to note that a diverse group isn’t always inclusive. We cannot assume that simply because we feel all are welcome that everyone feels welcomed.


Anti-Racism:  The work of actively opposing racism by advocating for changes in political, economic, and social life. Anti-racism tends to be an individualized approach, and set up in opposition to individual racist behaviors and impacts.