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 work groups 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 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. In December 2020, the T-FSC and Full-Time Continuing Contact Faculty Senators Council approved a new joint resolution on antiracist education.
The information below is updated as of November 2020, and will continue to be updated to reflect additional progress. Full work group listings are linked in each action below but may also be accessed at the work group 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): MSW Program 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): Pedagogy Supports Work Group
Update and Next Steps: The Pedagogy Supports Work Group launched the NYU 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. Former Associate Dean, Academic Affairs, Robert Hawkins worked with faculty program leads Linda Lausell Bryant and Doris Chang to establish the faculty antiracism seminar and pedagogy supports program as a permanent aspect of the Academic Affairs Office.
Goal: Revise the admissions application to further examine prospective students’ values with respect to equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Point Person(s): 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 orientations for BS, MSW, and Doctoral students.
Point Person(s): Antiracism Seminar for Staff Working Group
Timeline: Fall 2019, Spring 2020, and Fall 2020 Orientation completed
Update and Next Steps: The committee organized and implemented another series of antiracism 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 conversations. Angie Kim is now looking for students, staff, and faculty to join a new work group to plan for future new student orientations.
Silver Climate Support
Goal: Implement bias response protocol for members of the Silver community experiencing racial bias and discrimination.
Point Person(s): 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 2020 semesters. The proposal was endorsed by former Dean Guterman and 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 (which NYU's Office of Equal Opportunity does) 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): 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, former 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 time being, it will serve all three of NYU Silver's New York State campuses.
- Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
DEI Strategic Planning (formerly Search for Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion)
Goal: In order to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels at Silver, the School is developing a strategic plan that builds upon the Action Against Racism steps and aims to expand structures for accountability and engagement.
Point Person(s): Richeleen Dashield
- Timeline: Ongoing, with work group recruitment initiating in January 2021
Update and Next Steps: The School’s inaugural Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Richeleen Dashield, started her appointment at Silver in January 2020. Along with Professor and Associate Dean, Research, Marya Gwadz, Dr. 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: Richeleen Dashield
Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Goal: Hire a tenured professor who leader will provide intellectual and strategic leadership for the School’s efforts to advance DEI within the School, as well as collaborate on DEI initiatives at the university level and national level.
Point Person(s): Faculty Search and New Appointments Committee and Silver Dean's Office
- Timeline: Ongoing and continuing into the Spring 2023 semester
Update and Next Steps: The postion has been posted and a national advertising effort is planned.
- Contact: email@example.com
Goal: Identify ongoing additional areas for future improvement related to diversity, equity, and inclusion at NYU Silver.
Point Person(s): 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 were pleased to welcome Dr. Hardy back to Silver in October 2020 to share his insights and recommendations on the challenges of race and racism at Silver, along with perspectives shared by a panel of students, faculty, staff, and University leadership representatives. Follow-up discussions on where we should go next on our antiracism work continue and are ongoing via recently established affinity groups, white accountability groups, and School team meetings.
- Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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). There will also be antiracism seminars developed and offered specifically for all staff and administrators to complement and enhance these efforts.
Point Person(s): Inclusive Leadership Development Working Group
Timeline: Ongoing, with aim of holding GILMI sessions for Senior Leadership Team in February 2021
Update and Next Steps: Former 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 of NYU OGI attended the annual retreat, and will reconvene with the SSLT to continue planning and best tailor GILMI for Silver.
- Contact: email@example.com