Student speaking at mic

Striving For Equity

Cultural humility, anti-oppressive practice, and social justice are values central to the profession of social work and our school. We seek to enhance human well-being and promote human rights as well as social and economic justice to achieve an equitable, healthy, and productive society. To do so requires understanding and dismantling personal biases (unconscious and conscious) and systemic injustices within our society and school. The Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work prioritizes equity and inclusion work in all areas. We have a lot of work to do. It is an on-going process.

Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Read more about the strategic plan

The school is in a multi-year process of implementing a Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the content and direction of which has been informed by students, faculty, and staff. The objective is to scrutinize current efforts and provide a road map for ongoing and new efforts around diversity, equity, and inclusion. The goal is to create a strategic plan that can be discussed by our community and stakeholders on an ongoing basis, to coordinate short- and long-term efforts to ensure that each member of our community can contribute ideas and actions to meet our current and future diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. By having a strategic plan, we will also hold ourselves accountable to making change and assessing the outcomes.

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Committee on Diversity and Inclusion

This committee works to develop and maintain an environment that will attract, nurture, and support a robust, inclusive school community. With a particular attention to equity, the committee works to prioritize the interests of underrepresented students, faculty, and staff in the functioning of our school. Central goals of the committee include:

1.) improving school climate by increasing opportunities to build community

2.) training students, staff, faculty, and community in ways that include leveraging diversity and intersectionality to improve course content, and create safe space and supportive learning environments.

The committee includes faculty, staff, and students.

Contact co-chairs of the committee for more information:

Amanda Ngola
Lynette Studer

Supporting Black Lives

The summer of 2020 was one of uprising and awakening.

The killing of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Sean Reed and so many more people is due to persistent racism sustained by white supremacy culture, demonstrating the historical and present racism specifically targeting Black people in our country. As social workers, we are required to actively push against this culture and work to make change.

In response, many of us marched in the street, affirmed that Black Lives Matter, demanded an end to the police violence and killing of Black people.

The school held several events and discussions that continue.

Please check out: Supporting Black Lives.

Social Work Community Read

The Social Work Community Read for 2022-2023 will be: Once I was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America, by Maria Hinojosa.

Cover of book, "Once I was you" by Maria Hinojosa. It includes a photo in black and white of Maria as a child.

Complimentary books will be available and distributed in September when classes start and more information about this process will be available then. The book was voted on by students from an extensive list of suggestions: Past Community Read Book Submissions.

How the Community Read Started:

In 2018, we started our first annual Social Work Community Read. Each year the book is selected with a focus on social justice and systemic oppression. It is voted on by students, staff and faculty, and integrated within activities and classroom discussion throughout the year. Students, faculty, and staff all get a free copy of the book.

To date, our books have included:

  • 2022: Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
  • 2021: Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019, edited by Ibram X. Kendiand Keisha N. Blain.
  • 2020: Making a Difference: My Fight for Native Rights and Social Justice by Ada Deer
  • 2019: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration n the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander.
  • 2018: So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo

New This Year:

Please pick up a bookmark and self-paced discussion questions in the library when you pick up your community read book!

News and Events

Every year the school hosts a number of events and trainings for students, faculty, staff and community members. These include the Social Workers Confronting Racial Injustice Conference, and trainings on topics like centering intersectionality in supervision, anti-oppressive practice in social work, psychiatric healing and social mobility, and system reforms in child welfare.

Check News and Events for a full list of upcoming opportunities from the school.

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Annual Progress Reports

Each year, the College of Letters & Science asks the school to provide a brief update (one page, in some years) highlighting some of the work on diversity, equity, and inclusion.








Demonstrators at Library Mall for Black Lives Matter march
Thousands of demonstrators gathered to speak out against racism and racial injustice as they walk through Library Mall at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for a Black Lives Matter Solidarity March on June 7, 2020.