Action Against Racism
As part of the Silver School’s efforts to address the challenges of racism and to build a more inclusive, equitable, and diverse School, the Dean and members representing the School’s Executive Committee, the Silver School Senior Leadership Team, the Social Justice Praxis Committee, and the Student Affinity Groups came together on February 28, 2019, to identify short-term action steps, timelines, and committees designated to oversee progress with each action step. The School recognizes that eradicating racism requires changes at multiple levels—personal, interpersonal, and structural—and that this initial list of actions represents only a small part of the work that is necessary for long-term sustainable change in creating a more inclusive and equitable learning environment.
In May 2019, the Faculty of the Silver School voted in favor of endorsing a resolution, Education Against Racism at NYU, passed by the NYU Tenured Faculty Senators Council (T-FSC), which calls for the University to provide antiracism education for its faculty, students, staff, and administrators; designate support and resources across all schools and departments to empower students of color; and conduct yearly evaluations of its antiracism practices.
The information below is updated as of October 2020, and will continue to be updated to reflect additional progress. Full committee listings are linked in each action below but may also be accessed at the committee contacts page. Any general questions or comments may be directed to the NYU Silver Dean's Office.
MSW Program Curriculum
Goal: Review and revise MSW program curriculum with respect to social justice, critical theories such as critical race theory and standpoint theory, and anti-oppressive practice.
Point Person(s)/Committee: MSW Committee
- Timeline: Ongoing and throughout the 2020-2021 academic year
Update and Next Steps: The first course in each curriculum area has been revised, which includes HB I, SWPP I, Practice I/Field I, and Research I. In some cases, additional courses have also been revised, including HB II, DROP, and Practice III (although there may be some additional revisions). On the agenda for this academic year is the revision of HB III, Advanced Policy, Practice with Groups, Practice II/Field II, Practice IV, and Research II. In addition, an introduction to the critical theories and concepts central to the curriculum revision was provided to new students in the Fall Orientation, and a similar introduction was provided to all faculty teaching in the Fall semester. The introduction will be provided to faculty teaching in January and Spring as the academic year progresses.
Goal: Bolster the capacity of full- and part-time faculty to navigate and address discussions on racism and other forms of bias and exclusion, and to facilitate self-reflection with regard to these issues in the classroom.
Point Person(s)/Committee: Pedagogy Working Group
Update and Next Steps: The Pedagogy Supports Workgroup launched the inaugural session of the Silver School Antiracism Seminar for full-time and adjunct faculty at the outset of Fall Semester 2020, with the goal of providing a structure for reflective, accountable, and consistent engagement in the study of antiracist practice and transforming how we teach and train our students. The seminar is ongoing and consists of five modules of self-directed learning activities. Key Learning Outcomes include: 1) To have a stronger understanding of the ways in which race intersects with other identities to shape experiences and views of racism among Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and White faculty and students; 2) To understand how your own biases, positionality, and identities impact your awareness of the learning needs of your BIPOC students and your comfort and skill in addressing them; 3) To expand and utilize knowledge, resources, and approaches to antiracist pedagogy in action; 4) To analyze your unique challenges and responsibilities for antiracist work in the classroom and in the School, as White and BIPOC faculty; and 5) To reflect on gaps in knowledge, awareness, and skills in antiracist pedagogy and develop a personal teaching and learning plan.
Goal: Revise the admissions application to further examine prospective students’ values with respect to equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Point Person(s)/Committee: Ad hoc Admissions Subcommittee
Timeline: Changes implemented for the 2019-20 admissions cycle
Update and Next Steps: The revisions to the MSW Admissions application were successfully implemented by fall 2019, and were intended to better assess prospective students' values with respect to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and their understanding of core social work principles. The application changes include updates to the essay questions and to the guidelines for reference writers.
Goal: Develop and host new mandatory day-long antiracism seminar during new student orientation in August 2019.
Point Person(s)/Committee: Office of Inclusive Engagement and Student Life, MSW Program Committee, and MSW Program Director
Timeline: Fall 2019, Spring 2020, and Fall 2020 Orientation completed
Update and Next Steps: The committee organized and implemented another series of anti-racism seminars for all of our incoming MSW students at Fall 2020 Virtual Orientation. The program began with a panel of faculty and alums: "Movement, not a Moment," exploring questions such as what does it mean to sustain a movement beyond this summer as we begin this journey as social workers? The panel also addressed individual accountability and building collective futures together as a community. After the panel, students continued to participate in racial caucus.
Silver Climate Support
Goal: Implement bias response protocol for students experiencing racial bias and discrimination in class and in field placements.
Point Person(s)/Committee: Silver Climate Support Team
Update and Next Steps: Building on the work of the Bias Response Protocol workgroup, a proposal for a Silver Climate Support Protocol was drafted in collaboration with the NYU Office of Equal Opportunity over the summer and fall semesters 2020. The proposal has been endorsed by Dean Guterman, with distribution to the NYU Silver community pending final approval by the School's Social Justice Praxis Committee. Central to the protocol is the establishment of 1) A Silver Climate Support Team (SCST) as a support system for members of the Silver community who have experienced harm based on their identity. The SCST would serve as neither an investigative nor oversight body and would be comprised of key administrators who are responsible for repairing harm, developing alternative resolutions, and helping to reintegrate affected individuals back into the Silver community. 2) A cohort of Silver Peer Advocates who, in consultation with the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, assist individuals in navigating the NYU Bias Protocol process and NYU Silver resolution agreements. 3) A Silver Climate Advisory Group, charged by the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to monitor bias patterns, review policies and procedures, and make recommendations to improve the overall climate support at Silver through intentional practices that ensure responsiveness, transparency, and accountability.
Goal: Institutionalize ongoing socioemotional support for students of color.
Point Person(s)/Committee: Socioemotional Support Working Group
Update and Next Steps: In response to the proposal submitted by the Socioemotional Supports for Students of Color Work Group in March 2020, Dean Guterman partnered with NYU’s Student Health Center to increase the number of Social Worker II positions in the University's Counseling and Wellness Program for Academic Year 20-21. Searches for three new Social Worker positions are ongoing, with one primarily dedicated to serving NYU Silver students. While the position is to be based at the Washington Square Campus and will be virtual for the Fall 2020 semester, it will serve all three of NYU Silver's New York State campuses.
- Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Goal: Hire an administrative leader on matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the School.
Point Person(s)/Committee: Silver Dean, Chief of Staff, and Social Justice Praxis Committee Subcommittee
- Timeline: Search and hire completed in November 2019
Update and Next Steps: The School’s inaugural Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Richeleen Dashield, started her appointment at Silver in early January. Along with Professor and Associate Dean, Research, Marya Gwadz, Mrs. Dashield has taken up the role of co-chair of the School’s Social Justice Praxis Committee and has begun working collaboratively with the Dean, other School leaders, and the AAR working groups to help guide our community.
- Contact: email@example.com
Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Goal: Hire a senior leader to provide ongoing attention and advance progress on matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the School.
Point Person(s)/Committee: Faculty Search and New Appointments Committee and Silver Dean's Office
- Timeline: Ongoing and continuing into 2020-21 academic year
Update and Next Steps: The Faculty Search and New Appointments Committee (FSNAC) and Silver Dean’s Office is revising a position announcement in October 2020 for the job to be posted. Dean Guterman received a special exception to the University-wide hiring hiring freeze this year from the Provost’s Office to proceed with a search.
- Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Goal: Identify ongoing additional areas for future improvement related to diversity, equity, and inclusion at the Silver School.
Point Person(s)/Committee: Community Conversations on Antiracism Working Group
Timeline: Initiated work in Fall 2019 and continued throughout academic year 2019-2020; Community presentation and ongoing conversations planned for academic year 2020-21
Update and Next Steps: The School contracted Dr. Kenneth V. Hardy to carry out the organizational assessment that spanned much of the Fall 2019 semester. Dr. Hardy and his team completed data collection in January 2020. Given public health guidance on meetings in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in consultation with Dr. Hardy, his presentation of findings and recommendations for the Silver community was temporarily postponed. We are pleased to welcome Dr. Hardy back to Silver this fall for the launch of a series of NYU Silver Community Conversations on Anti-Racism, which will begin with an event featuring reflections on his observations and recommendations on race and racism at Silver, along with perspectives from Silver faculty, staff, and student panelists. The event will provide an important venue to consider and to discuss where the School is currently, and where we should go next on our anti-racism work.
- Contact: email@example.com
Inclusive Leadership Development
Goal: To help shift leadership practices and decision-making to foster inclusion, equity, and diversity throughout the School, the School’s Senior Leadership Team (Deans and Directors) will participate in NYU’s Global Inclusive Leadership Management Institute (GILMI).
Point Person(s)/Committee: Inclusive Leadership Development Working Group
Timeline: Ongoing, with aim of holding GILMI sessions for Senior Leadership Team in February 2021
Update and Next Steps: Dean Guterman charged each Senior Leadership Team member with submitting a strategic memo in advance of the August 2020 annual retreat, addressing how School-level commitments and initiatives in support of strengthening an antiracist agenda intersected with their purviews in general and in particular how their top strategic priorities strengthened the School’s distinctive core. Monroe France attended the annual retreat, and will reconvene with the SSLT in November to continue planning and best tailor GILMI for Silver.
- Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org