Since its founding, the School Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion has created programs and hosted trainings and events that develop critical awareness in order to embody diversity, equity, and inclusion within our school community. The School’s anti-racist work includes a variety of programs and activities to reach all facets of the community. The work begins during new student orientation — SEED week — and continues through programs designed for students, faculty and staff. Read about key components of our antiracism work.
Undoing Racism is a community collective of students, staff and faculty dedicated to fighting white supremacy at the individual, school and structural levels. This workgroup was established in 2019 after the community took part in the People's Institute for Survival and Beyond Undoing Racism workshops, and builds on their anti-racist community organizing model. The work has been largely focused on building collective community and emphasizes the role that white members of the School community must take on to dismantle and undo white supremacist structures. Led by Professors Lorraine Gutiérrez and Rich Tolman, Assistant Professor Lisa Fedina and Assistant Clinical Professor Daicia Price, the Undoing Racism Work Group received a 2019 DEI Impact Award.
Beyond White Social Work
Beyond White Social Work is a student-led group that looks critically at the social work field. The group hosts workshops to reflect deeply on the trauma, grief and fear experienced in Black communities. Programs have explored African-centered theoretical approaches and examined the development, implementation and evaluation processes. Beyond White Social Work develops leaders who are dedicated to eradicating systemic and institutional racism.
CSWE Student Advocacy
MSW students led by Justin Woods began a campaign to update the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) standards. The students' activism sparked Dean Lynn Videka to write a formal request on behalf of the Michigan Social Work community. In Spring of 2020, the School submitted letters advocating for the inclusion of anti-racism and anti-oppression language to the upcoming CSWE Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards.
Common Roots is a student planning committee consisting of members from the Office of Student Services, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Office, the LatinX Social Work Coalition, the Association of Black Social Workers and the Black Radical Healing Pathways. Common Roots celebrates individuals with identities that have been historically underrepresented.
Student representation from each organization work together to determine vision, structure, and initiatives. Their goals include increasing access to support, resources and opportunities for all historically underrepresented communities at the school.