School’s Dedication to Anti-Oppressive Practice & Social Justice
Our dedication to anti-oppressive practice and social justice is reflected in our ongoing efforts to recruit and retain a diverse staff, faculty, student body, and associated field agencies. We are also committed to working with and within diverse communities. In accordance with the NASW Code of Ethics, we educate the School of Social Work community on anti-oppressive practice and social justice highlighting the importance of understanding intersectionality and the role that power and privilege play on individual, institutional and cultural levels. Particular attention is given to developing critical consciousness, examining the structural forces in our society that shape our socio-political environment, and promoting advocacy that mobilizes social justice efforts.
Just Community comprises faculty, staff and Graduate Student Organization MSW and PhD student representatives. Its role is to facilitate and support educational and advocacy efforts and to enhance inclusion of more anti-oppressive practices in our classrooms, programming and in our daily interactions with one another at the School.
To provide opportunities for the UConn School of Social Work community to come together to educate, discuss and debrief issues relevant to the social work profession within the context of our socio-cultural/political/historical and economic environment. These opportunities will help enhance personal and professional development, mobilize advocacy efforts and promote an inclusive environment.
To create a community that is capable of dialoguing with, learning from, and participating in mobilizing social justice efforts.
- Raise critical consciousness through educational programming and skill development
- Be a consultative body for members of community who are interested in providing programs and initiatives relevant to social justice
- Enhance communication among various school units related to the purpose of Just Community
To view upcoming programs sponsored by Just Community, visit the school’s events calendar at http://ssw.uconn.edu/
Listing of Current Committee Members
Just Community Committee Co-Chairs:
Milagros Marrero-Johnson, MSW, Director of Student and Academic Services
Lisa Werkmeister Rozas, PhD, Associate Professor
Marilyn Cardone, MSW, Assistant Director of Field Education Department
Alberto Cifuentes, Jr., PhD Student Representative
Ann Marie Garran, PhD, MSW Program Director, Associate Professor
Cheryl Jackson-Morris, MSW, Associate Director of Field Education Department
Samantha Lew, MSW Student Representative
Michelle Meek, HESA Graduate Intern
Peter Papallo, LCSW, MS, Assistant Extension Professor
Miriam Valdovinos, PhD, Assistant Professor
Advocacy and Inclusion is a Fabric of Our Community
The School addresses diversity in a number of ways, which allows for faculty, staff and students to be a part of our ongoing efforts. We begin by sponsoring the annual Convocation on Cultural Competence, a means to emphasize the School’s commitment to the profession’s Standards for Cultural Competence. This experience helps incoming students understand the definition of cultural competence, how to work effectively with a wide range of human diversity including culture, race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, socio-economic status, and age.
Field education gives students the opportunity for exposure to various social work settings and populations. Students have the chance to integrate theory with practice as class content in many courses draws heavily from the agency experience. The Annual Diversity/Field Advising Seminar focuses on a specific cultural competence related topic that is integrated into students’ field seminar discussion focusing on self-reflection, critical thinking, and informed practice.
There are also co-curricular activities that allow students the opportunity to engage in meaningful experiences. The Graduate Student Organization offers social, cultural and educational events, as well as networking opportunities. Its sub-organizations include the Asian and Asian American Student Organization, Latin American Student Organization, Jewish Social Work Alliance, Organization of Black Social Work Students, PRIDE, Progressive Action Committee, Social Workers for Global Justice, Student Veterans and Supporters Alliance, and the Women’s Caucus.
Our Specialized Institutes, Centers, and Projects address a range of contemporary issues and professional challenges. The Center for International Social Work Studies, Nancy A. Humphreys Institute for Political Social Work, and the Puerto Rican & Latino Studies Project all host open conferences, workshops, and other educational opportunities throughout the year.
Students also have an opportunity to complement their method concentration with a Focused Area of Study. To do this, students can organize their nine elective credits on a special population or social problem. These courses broaden knowledge and skills to work in the context of diversity.
We encourage you to think about your commitment to the values and ethics of the profession and its commitment to cultural competence. If you are a prospective student, consider whether the mission of the UConn School of Social Work is compatible with your own values and goals. If you are already a member of the SSW Community, we invite you to join us as we pursue our journey to make a difference.