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NYU Silver Celebrates Social Justice and Diversity Month

April 9, 2014

April marks Social Justice and Diversity Month at the NYU Silver School of Social Work as the School hosts student-designed programs addressing some of the most pressing social justice issues faced by social workers. The programs and events are all co-sponsored by student groups and funded by the Social Justice and Diversity Grant Challenge, which was created by the Office of Student Affairs last year to broaden students’ perspectives on issues related to social justice and diversity.

Recipients of this year’s grants are:

  • Phi Alpha National Honor Society and the Student Collective for Global Social Work for Promoting Human Rights in Conflict Zones;
  • Chinese Student Support Group for Images and Talks: The Social Climate among Diverse LGBTQ Populations in NYC;
  • Students of Color Collective for Gentrification: How Well Do You Know Your Neighbors?; and
  • Latino Student Social Work Organization for Voices of the Bronx.

The Social Justice and Diversity Grant—open to NYU Silver students, organizations, faculty and staff members—is designed to support and encourage the production of events that lead to awareness of diverse populations, encourage a commitment to cultural competence and social diversity, facilitate the review of personal values and beliefs that may influence decision-making, and promote self-awareness to eliminate biases in professional practice. This year’s Selection Committee was comprised of Clinical Instructor Marcella Runell Hall, Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow Crystal Williams, Professor Liliana Goldín, and students Amanda Mays, MSW ’15, and Andrea MacFarlane, MSW ’14.

Mays said, “These proposals displayed the rich and comprehensive work that members of our Silver community are involved with and reflected the progressive efforts by the next generation of social workers.”

Gentrification: How Well Do You Know Your Neighbors?, sponsored by the Social Work Students of Color Collective is a multi-day event started on Tuesday, April 8, with a film screening and discussion. The film My Brooklyn tackles the double-edged sword of gentrification in its role as both a positive and negative neighborhood-shaping force. The film explores the gentrification experience through the eyes of a “gentrifier,” and is designed to promote a dialogue on how citizens can work to fix a broken urban planning process. The event continues on Friday, April 11, with a corresponding half-day seminar on The Effects of Gentrification on Housing, Urban Planning and Policy, Race & Poverty. Attendees will participate in lectures and small group discussions with policy experts and residents of changing neighborhoods to examine the current and long-term impacts of gentrification in New York City.

The Latino Student Social Work Organization received a grant for their event, titled Voices of the Bronx, which will take place on Saturday, April 26 from 9am-2pm in Palladium Hall. The event will highlight the chronically underserved populations of the Bronx through panels and small group discussions on the litany of systemic issues faced by adolescents, and encourage participants to become more involved with social work in the vibrant and underserved neighborhoods of the Bronx. The event will also feature a spoken word performance by high school students from the borough. For more information about this event, contact

The Social Justice and Diversity Committee have also placed an interactive question board in the NYU Silver Student Lounge, where students can respond to a new question each week during Social Diversity Month. The questions are designed to encourage both dialogue and action to further the spread of social justice and diversity in the Silver School and beyond.

Learn more about the Grant Challenge and upcoming events.

By Penelope Yates, MSW ‘15

Type: Article