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School of Social Welfare Statement

Friday, September 23, 2016

The KU School of Social Welfare finds the ongoing atrocities that are consistently being perpetrated against marginalized members of our society nationally with the recent deaths of Tyre King, Terence Crutcher, and Keith Lamont Scott, and on our own campus, as unacceptable. We are not oblivious to the fact that these activities are not just happening globally but are happening here in our backyard most recently with the verbal assault of a transgender KU student. We acknowledge the pain and hurt that continually plays out in our society.
 
As social work educators, the School has an obligation to uphold its Code of Ethics and stand by, support and address oppression faced by marginalized populations with respect to race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, political belief, religion, immigration status, and mental or physical disability. The School is responding to these challenges by taking action.
 
Our faculty, administration, and staff are working collaboratively with the Toni Johnson Office of Race and Social Justice to create an inclusive and supportive, safe space for students, faculty and staff. The Office has created initial action steps in an ongoing, growing process in support of the following goals:

  • Increase our school's development of cultural intelligence regarding cultural sensitivity, cross-cultural knowledge, and skill-base,
  • Provide organized forums and resources for advancing cross-cultural communication and understanding for students, staff, and faculty, and
  • Advance one's ability to become more culturally micro and macro affirmative. 

Initial Actions Steps:

  1. Development of an ongoing Student Forum titled- Student Essential Conversations: Sharing and Exploring Diverse Experiences to advance Cultural Awareness, Knowledge and Skills starting this fall.
  2. Development of a diversity and inclusion-based dialogue forum for Social Welfare staff titled, The Welcoming Table; Conversations of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity.
  3. Development of a diversity and inclusion training for our adjunct instructors (facilitated by Jody Brook)
  4. Field Instructor and Field Liaison diversity and inclusion trainings: The focus is on increasing awareness of racial biases and strategies for mitigating these biases. An introductory training was completed in August 2016 and an intensive one will be presented in October 2016.

Additionally, our faculty is attending Safe Zone training while we work with the Interactive Theatre Troup to set up a workshop to support our faculty in the classroom.
 
As we pursue this effort, we welcome input from all members of our community. In addition, if you have concerns, we encourage you to reach out to the School at socwelweb@ku.edu, or a trusted faculty or staff member.
 
Other resources to report acts of violence, harassment and discrimination:
·         KU Public Safety Office (kupso@ku.edu, 785-864-5900)
·         Institutional Opportunity & Access (ioa@ku.edu, 785-864-6414)
 



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