The SSW has long been committed to equality, diversity and inclusion both within the School - and beyond. Dozens of new initiatives have been undertaken in recent years, the majority of which fall into one of three categories: Climate & Culture; Our People: Students, Faculty and Staff; and Curriculum. Highlights of these are touched on below.
For the past five years, the bulk of this work has heavily involved the School’s Diversity and Anti-Oppression Workgroup (DAO).
The establishment of DAO, in and of itself, was a first. In 2014, the faculty approved the committee, composed of faculty, staff, students, and school administration. DAO works with other stakeholders within the school and the larger community to foster an atmosphere of cultural responsiveness, equity, and inclusiveness. Its stated purpose: to advance social justice principles and to combat racism and all forms of oppression in the School of Social Work and the University, and the larger community. The committee makes policy and programmatic recommendations to relevant decision-making bodies about the curriculum, the school and campus environment, and the Strategic Plan in response to faculty, staff, and student concerns. The committee serves as a repository of public information pertaining to the school’s efforts to address issues of diversity, racism, oppression, and inclusiveness.
Where We Are Now
Since its inception, the Anti-Racism, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Excellence Task Force has been working collectively to develop a set of draft principles that helped guide their work. These principles have coalesced into “a commitment to challenge racism and all forms of structural oppression” and seeing the School become “a fully inclusive, equitable, diverse and multicultural institution” by focusing on six primary domains of attention and action. These are:
- Administrative Leadership
- Explicit Curriculum
What Came Next
The Task Force worked with the SSW and other School, student and campus leadership groups to identify an initial set of “SMART” goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound) and action steps.
Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Planning Task Force Report