SSW aspires to create and maintain an educational and working environment that is respectful of differences and free from harassing behavior. The Dean’s TBLG Matters Initiative promotes education, empowerment, and engagement for transgender, bisexual, lesbian, gay, questioning, intersex and ally constituents throughout the School of Social Work.
Dan Anderson helped organize QSWA for the 2015-16 year with two primary purposes in mind:
QSWA often works in tandem with TBLG Matters, a Dean’s initiative to educate, empower and engage students, faculty and staff in transgender, bisexual, lesbian, gay, questioning, intersex and ally issues, and to promote a safe, respectful educational and working environment throughout the School of Social Work.
Anderson is actively engaged with both QSWA and TBLG Matters. e assists in planning campus-wide events, workshops, and training seminars that support TBLGQIA education and awareness. The two groups are planning campus and community outreach, activism and education around the theme of intersectionality and gender, sexuality, ethnicity, ability, religion, violence and others. Training and workshops focusing on allyship and professional development with regard to LGBT health care practices and social justice issues are also on the agenda.
When it comes to mental health care in particular, Anderson is passionate about increasing access for all groups of marginalized people, especially those who don’t conform to society’s gender binary.
"We do a poor job of structuring access to quality physical and mental health care in this country. Anyone who identifies outside the gender binary, or whose identity isn’t represented in the mainstream, quickly finds that the number of professionals skilled enough to provide competent, gender-literate treatment dwindles to nearly zero. As activists and social workers, we have a lot of work to do."
Anderson decided to earn a MSW because the holistic approach in social work to dealing with individual concerns within the context of larger societal and cultural issues dovetailed with his undergraduate work in psychology and anthropology. He says that what he appreciates about social work specifically is the discipline’s broad use of strength-based practices that emphasize the client’s resourcefulness and resiliency when dealing with problems or when in crisis.