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.

The School's DEI Support Form is for members of the SSW community to use whenever a DEI Concern arises. DEI concerns are incidents related to equity, inclusion, and belonging that occur in and outside of the classroom, work units, and field placements. These may involve students, faculty, and staff. This is not a form to report discrimination. If you believe that you have experienced discrimination, please contact the University's Office of Accountability and Compliance.


The SSW’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) is excited to share the UMSSW Gratitude Project Video

We know that creating a more inclusive SSW culture will take all of us, and we are fortunate to have such an amazing and compassionate SSW community (students, staff, faculty, and alums) filled with passionate and talented people who are up to the task. As we continue to create that culture, we invite our fellow community members to take some time to view the Fall 2023 Gratitude Project Video

Click Here to view the UMSSW Gratitude Project Video!

To everyone who submitted a gratitude message, the ODEI Team, Thanks You! We were able to pull off this project thanks to your help! 


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. .

DEI Programs and Initiatives

ODEI collaborates with units 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.

Upcoming Events

12:00 PM | Zoom Affinity Groups provide an opportunity for those with shared identity to connect, deepen their understanding, and work towards common goals.
12:15 PM | Zoom The DEIC is a convening body comprised of diverse stakeholders from across the School of Social Work, including staff, faculty, students, and administration, as well as alumni and community reps.
12:15 PM | Zoom The DEIC is a convening body comprised of diverse stakeholders from across the School of Social Work, including staff, faculty, students, and administration, as well as alumni and community reps.



  • See Our Collection of J.E.D.I. Is Social Work Posters

    View and download custom posters used at the SSW that speak on our JEDI is Social Work Initiative.

    JEDI Posters

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