College Diversity Statement
The College of Social Work and the University of Tennessee welcome and honor all people. In accordance with the Council on Social Work Education and the U.S. National Association of Social Workers, the College of Social Work defines “the dimensions of diversity as the intersectionality of multiple factors including” age, class, color, culture, mental or physical disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, gender identity, immigration status, marital status, national origin, political ideology, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation. “As a consequence, the college values intellectual curiosity, pursuit of knowledge, and academic freedom and integrity. A person’s life experiences may include oppression, poverty, marginalization, and alienation as well as privilege, power, and acclaim. The College of Social Work promotes social justice and social change, and strives to end discrimination, oppression, poverty, and other forms of social injustices. (Rev. 2-15-2013)
Commitment to Cultural Diversity and Social Justice
In accordance with the NASW Code of Ethics and the CSWE Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) for M.S.S.W. and B.S.S.W. Degree Programs in Social Work Education, The University of Tennessee College of Social Work faculty, staff, and students shall do the following:
- “Act to prevent and eliminate domination of, exploitation of, and discrimination against any person, group, or class on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin [or ancestry], color, sex [gender], sexual orientation, age, marital status, political belief, religion [creed], or mental or physical disability” [NASW Code of Ethics, 6.04(d)].
- Practice within the defining principles “of service, social and economic justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, and integrity and competence” (CSWE, Educational Policy, Purposes, 1.0).
- “...Enhance human well-being and alleviate poverty, oppression, and other forms of social injustice” (CSWE, Educational Policy, Purposes, 1.0).
- “...Develop and apply practice in the context of diverse cultures” (CSWE, Educational Policy, Purposes, 1.0).
To this end, the M.S.S.W. and B.S.S.W. curricula shall provide content and learning experiences to prepare social workers “...to practice without discrimination, with respect, and with knowledge and skills related to clients’ age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation (and)...to alleviate poverty, oppression, and other forms of social injustice....” (CSWE, Educational Policy, Purposes, 1.2).
A Diverse Student Body
The College of Social Work and The University of Tennessee actively seek students from different backgrounds and with different needs. The following services and programs are available to help meet the needs of these groups.
International Students. The University provides advanced educational opportunities for qualified students from many countries, as well as an active international organization and support service on the Knoxville campus.
Minority Students. The University Office of Minority Affairs is located in Knoxville at the Black Cultural Center. This office provides academic, educational, social and cultural programs to assist African American students. The Memphis campus hosts the Black Student Association which promotes cultural and ethnic awareness on campus and provides a support network for African American students.
The College has a Minority Affairs Committee, comprised of faculty and students who organize programs and advise on minority issues. Each campus has a support group or mentoring group available to interested minority students.
Students with Disabilities. The University Office of Disability Services organizes and provides essential support services for students, faculty, and staff with temporary or permanent disabilities. The College of Social Work itself has successfully accommodated the needs of students with a wide range of disabilities and is flexible in actively seeking adequate support for these students.
University of Tennessee Diversity links (including Student Associations, Academic Resources, and Commissions & Councils)