School’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

CSSW Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Mission Statement

At the Columbia School of Social Work, we believe that systems of racial oppression that impact our engagement across all sectors of society must be disrupted in order to dismantle these systems and address inequities across social identities. We are committed to centering race in our pursuit of social justice and anti-oppressive practice. We view this as a guiding principle for our community – using a power, race, oppression and privilege (PROP) framework across our curriculum, administrative practices, operations and personal interactions. Through the PROP lens, we aim to foster brave spaces where students, faculty and staff can engage in critically analyzing and addressing institutionalized racism, multi-systemic inequities, and various forms of oppression, thus creating an environment where diversity, equity and inclusion are at the center of our research, scholarship and all interactions with individuals, organizations and communities that we serve. Approved in Spring 2020.

Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Our Guiding Principles

(From the DEI Office Website)

Diversity: We consider diversity to include race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, ability, learning style, life experience, as well as cultural, political, religious or other affiliations or perspectives. These varied dimensions to members of community contribute to an environment where we can engage in.

Equity: We consider equity to be the creation of access and opportunity for the advancement of all members of our community. This includes identifying and eliminating any barriers to fair treatment, complete access and full participation of any individual in the classroom, field education and all other activities at the School.

Inclusion: We consider inclusion to mean the active and intentional engagement with the diverse identities and perspectives of our students, faculty and staff, where we have created an environment where all community members feel valued, represented, respected and heard.

Our Guiding Principles

  • To provide and encourage ongoing education and dialogues between and among our faculty, students and staff, where we engage in critical and challenging conversations
  • To ensure that in our teaching, scholarship, administrative practices and daily interactions, we are all mindful of how the PROP-lens informs those practices and engagement
  • To foster an environment in the classroom, our offices, meetings, and hallways where community members feel welcomed, respected, and treated with empathy and understanding
  • To continue promoting social justice as a cornerstone of our profession and our School’s mission, keeping at the forefront of our work the importance of having an anti-oppressive social work practice lens
  • To consistently recognize, acknowledge and support the members of our community – within CSSW, the University, and the communities writ-large that we serve – who are feeling marginalized, silenced or not represented.
  • To challenge ourselves with ongoing self-reflection and engagement in intergroup dialogues.