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March 5, 2021 at 5:21 p.m.

In Honor of Social Work Month and Women’s History Month

Dear CSSW Community,

The month of March marks the opportunity for us to recognize both the social work profession and the contributions of women activists here in the United States. This year’s Social Work Month theme, “Social Workers Are Essential,” could not be more apropos. Social workers are essential: in combating anti-Black racism across all systems; in contributing to scholarship that examines racial disparities in access to health care, educational and economic opportunities, and employment; by advancing policies that are informed by social work practice and person-centered research; and by continuing to stand strong as the largest group of professionals providing mental health services in the U.S.

This year’s theme for Women’s History Month, “Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to be Silenced,” is a continuation from the 2020 theme which honors suffragists and civil rights activists who fought for voting rights not just for women, but for Black Americans as well. As we saw from the 2020 Election, the mobilization efforts of women and women-led organizations significantly contributed to the largest turnout of voters in any modern-day election.

Their organizing efforts bring to mind Dorothy Height. Height completed post-graduate work at the New York School of Social Work, a predecessor to CSSW, and was known as the “godmother of the civil rights movement.” She remained steadfast on the front lines, even while often being the only woman in the room.

Please join us in celebrating the many women, particularly women of color, and social workers who continue to advance our profession and create meaningful change in our communities.

In community,

Melissa Begg

Dean & Professor

Karma Lowe

Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Community Engagement