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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The College of Social Work is committed to anti-racism and social justice. The goal of the college’s Office of Equity and Inclusion is to implement awareness and change in the college through a series of programs and events. We focus our efforts around anti-racism and social justice. Cultural relevance and sensitivity to the personal, social, economic, and political needs of vulnerable high-risk groups are emphasized in the education, research, and service of students and faculty.

Be One UT
UT IDE Strategic Alliance Premieres New Video The University of Tennessee System is doing its part to help create an environment where everyone is included and feels a sense of belonging. The UT IDE Strategic Alliance has created a short video entitled “Inclusion Begins With I and Always Needs U.” We invite you to take a look.

Diversity action plan graphic - click to download diversity action plan

Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee

The equity and inclusion advisory committee is composed of faculty, staff, and students The committee serves in an advisory capacity to the Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion, faculty, staff, and students to support the College’s commitment to anti-racism (i.e., race, ethnicity, national origin, class, gender, family structure, sexual orientation, age, marital status, political or religious beliefs, and mental or physical disability) and an inclusive, social and economically just society.

Diversity and Inclusion Fellows

The diversity and inclusion fellows support the College of Social Work’s mission of creating an inclusive learning environment for students by cultivating a welcoming environment and supporting recruitment and engagement initiatives. The DI fellows help build foundations of knowledge, and engagement practices by working with the Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion.

Learn more about this here.

diverse group of individuals having a meeting around a wooden table
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Social Justice Innovation Initiative

The Social Justice Innovation Initiative
at the College of Social Work was made possible through a gift by longtime College supporter, Susan Cooper. The initiative offers a unique framework for understanding many of society’s most pressing issues around education, healthcare, and social justice. The initiative provides grants for students and faculty to creatively challenge social injustices in their communities. Read the announcement of the 2021 award winners.

Programs, Training Initiatives, and Faculty Development

Inclusive pedagogy seminar

Inclusive Pedagogy is a faculty development opportunity that involves a facilitated space for instructors to discuss and support each other as we grow in our understanding of the influence and impacts of diversity, identity, and oppression in classrooms, student interactions, and the overall college and campus environments.

social justice podcasts

Social justice promotes fairness and equity across many aspects of society. The social justice podcasts are an accessible way to educate stakeholders.

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#UTCSWGeneratingJustice was launched in June 2020 following the aftermath of George Floyd’s death. Generating Justice is a forum for addressing recent and ongoing events. UTCSW Generating Justice provides a platform for showing up for racial justice and strengthening our community.

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The Critical Conversations model uses experiential learning to prepare faculty, staff, and students to engage in conversations that open up space for discussing power and privilege, oppression, and structural inequities.
Check back in late November for registration information.

Student Organizations

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Rainbow Collective

The Rainbow Collective is a student organization open to current students in the College of Social Work from all programs (BSSW, MSSW, DSW, Ph.D.) who are interested in advocating for the rights of people who identify as LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Queer, and all populations who are marginalized based on their gender identity, sexual orientation, and/or romantic orientation). The Rainbow Collective is an inclusive organization and welcomes participation by all supporters of its mission.

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The Coalition of Black Social Workers

The Coalition of Black Social Workers exists to engage, connect, and empower Black social work students and professionals in the community, with the goal of increasing awareness about issues specific to the Black community and cultivating a network of support.

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Helpful Resources
Division of Diversity and Engagement | Global Initiatives | Reporting an Incident Related to Bias
The UT Student Government Association Diversity Affairs Committee | The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Guide to Intervention

National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education