Social Justice Efforts

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

Just Community is comprised of 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.


  1. Raise critical consciousness through educational programming and skill development
  2. Be a consultative body for members of community who are interested in providing programs and initiatives relevant to social justice
  3. Enhance communication among various school units related to the purpose of Just Community


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 Areas 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.

Just Community Committee Members 2018-2019

Just Community Committee Chairs:

Marilyn Cardone, MSW, Assistant Director, Field Education
Margaret Lloyd, PhD, Assistant Professor
Miriam Valdovinos, PhD, Assistant Professor


Ann Marie Garran, PhD, MSW Program Director, Associate Professor
Madri Hall-Faul, PhD Student
July Leon, Undergraduate Student
Natalie O'Connor, BA, Program Assistant, Office of Student and Academic Services
Lisa Werkmeister Rozas, PhD, Associate Professor and BSW Program Director
Johanna Schubert, MSW Student


Social Justice Action & Resource Guide

Volunteer Opportunities

United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut

Contact Phil Blonski, Manager of Community Engagement, at

United Way Search
Downtown Hartford Zipcode: 06103

Hands on Hartford

CLICC – Connecting Through Literacy: Incarcerated Parents, Their Children, and Caregivers

Current Research & Self-Education

Social Work Research Network

Organization Guides & Websites

Social Justice in Action

National Association of Social Workers

Council on Social Work Education

Racial Equity Tools

Social Justice News

Social Work Social Justice News

Huffington Post

Social Justice Solutions

Justice: The People’s News

Political Action & Legislative Contacts

Connecticut Legislative Contacts 

National Legislative Contacts

Center, Institute & Project

CISWS - Center for International Social Work Studies
NAHIPSW - Nancy A. Humphreys Institute for Political Social Work
PRLSP - Puerto Rican & Latin@ Studies Project

We envision this resource and action guide as a living document that the UConn SSW community uses and adds to as they explore social justice and advocacy in the Hartford community and beyond. If you have resources to add to this page, please contact Just Community at