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September 9, 2021 at 11:00 a.m.

Anti-Racism Action Plan Published

Dear CSSW Community,

A first-draft CSSW Anti-Racism Action Plan has now been posted to the School’s website to provide an opportunity for community-wide feedback and continuing conversation around goals and action steps:

https://socialwork.columbia.edu/about/dei/cssw-anti-racism-action-plan/

Please view the action plan as a work-in-progress that describes the School community’s principles around and commitment to anti-racism, and steps we need to take to achieve our aspirations. The Council of Deans has carefully considered the thoughtful dialogue that began in earnest during the 2015-2016 academic year, and has taken the first steps to collate and present a set of specific action steps on this website, the contents of which have been informed by numerous conversations, committee meetings, and town halls over the past several years. We have also benefitted from feedback kindly provided by a generous group of faculty, staff, students, and alums who have already taken a first look and we are now in the process of implementing some of the suggestions they generously offered. Going forward, we see this as very much a collective effort that can be continuously improved by working together.

We know that each of you has key insights to add to this ongoing initiative and we very much value your opinion. We invite you to share your (optional) feedback now or at any time throughout the coming academic year by sending an email to action-plan-feedback@columbia.edu. Please keep the following in mind:

This is very much a work-in-progress. As we see it now, it will never be considered “done,” but will continue to evolve over time.

We would be especially interested in your thoughts in response to the following questions:

  • Is this plan clear? Are its contents relevant?
  • What are the most important elements that it contains?
  • What elements are missing and should be added or expanded?
  • What might be the best ways to continue to gather feedback in an ongoing way?

If you have specific comments about items in the commitments section of the website, please refer to them by number to make it easier to provide detailed feedback and facilitate editing.

Note that the list of commitments contains some action items that have already been implemented, some that are in progress, and some that are on our agenda. This is very much a formative process. We have included information in the document about the current status and approximate timeline for each item.

In addition to written feedback and suggestions, we greatly value continued dialogue. We will include discussion of the action plan as part of many committee meetings and community meetings throughout the academic year.

This is one of many opportunities you will have to weigh in and share your thoughts and perspectives to help shape the School’s anti-racism action plan. You will be able to continue to comment on the document and its changes going forward.

Please use this email to provide your feedback: action-plan-feedback@columbia.edu.

We recognize that this represents additional work for our community members. We are grateful to all who generously give of their time to work on this together.

In community,

CSSW Council of Deans

Melissa Begg
Karma Lowe
Carmela Alcántara
Heidi Allen
Gerard Bueno
Cheiku Camara
Moira Curtain
Richard Hara
Monique Jethwani
Kathryne Leak
Michael Lovaglio
Matthea Marquart
Ann McCann Oakley
Desmond Patton
Susan Smith
Atavia Whitfield