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DEI Welcome Letter

Dear Social Work Community:

Organizational change requires relentless and ongoing collective effort, critical thinking, praxis and reflection. There are many ways we can all be involved. Our Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion connects you to resources, tools and information to create inclusive places and programs. Our creative programs provide opportunities for students, staff and faculty to learn more about power, privilege, oppression, diversity and social justice from a praxis-based social work framework. We are also available during the school week to discuss any interests or concerns regarding DEI topics or issues. Please feel free to read through our most recent DEI Strategic Plan and to visit our office on the fourth floor of the School of Social Work to get to know us and what we do.

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, and guide us as we work to reduce the inequities of poverty, exclusion, exploitation, violence, oppression, power, and the dominance of particular cultural norms and values.

We are also guided by our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan, which outlines strategies that touch every aspect of the school. The plan’s creation has led us to identify the areas we want to consolidate and maintain, as well as key priorities which support intensive work towards a just and inclusive School.

Since the plan’s implementation in 2016, our student body has grown to 34% of students from  under-represented identities. Many students are first-generation college students. Over that time period we have also increased the diversity, and diversity competence, of our faculty. We continue with solid steps towards our goals of preparing our students and developing knowledge for an increasingly diverse, complex and challenging world.

Larry M. Gant

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

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