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DEI Welcome Letter

Dear Social Work Community:

The field of social work is grounded in an appreciation of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice.  These principles are embedded in our professional values and the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers  and the International Federation of Social Workers. Our ethics and values can provide guidance and direction for us as we work towards   serve as justice and change by reducing the inequities of poverty, exclusion, exploitation, violence, oppression, powerlessness, and the dominance of particular cultural norms and values. The pursuit of diversity, equity and inclusion is not a new direction for our field but the creation of our strategic plan has led us to  identify areas we want to consolidate and maintain, and key priorities for intensive work to move to new phases. In undertaking this plan, we define justice broadly, to include but not be limited by the social, economic, cultural, environmental, restorative dimensions. 

Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan outlines strategies that touch every aspect of the school. Since implementing our plan close to 30% of our student body has been comprised of under-represented identities.  In addition, many students are first-generation college students or first generation in the United States.  Over that time period we have also increased the diversity, and diversity competence, of our full and part time faculty.  We have been making solid steps towards our goals to prepare our students, and develop knowledge, for our increasingly diverse and challenging world. 

Organizational change requires collective effort and there are ways we can all be involved. Our Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is a place that can connect you to the resources, tools and information to create inclusive places and programs.  We work with students, staff and faculty in facilitating discussions and workshops to learn more about privilege, oppression, diversity and social justice from a social work framework. We are also available during the school week to meet with students to discuss any interests or concerns they may have regarding DEI topics or issues. 

Please feel free to read through our most recent DEI Strategic Plan and to come to our office on the 4th Floor of the School of Social Work to get to know us and what we do. 

Lorraine M. Gutiérrez

Director, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program, and Professor of Social Work

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