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 anti-racism 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 anti-racism practices.
The information below is updated as of April 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 2019-2020 academic year
Update and Next Steps: The Committee has identified general learning goals for each curriculum area and the ways in which the theories listed above should impact them. The Committee also generated a list of questions that should guide the review and revision of each course syllabus. With that conceptual framework completed, the Chairs are now working with faculty and students to review and propose revisions to each required course syllabus. The Committee aims to present one revised syllabus from each curriculum area at a curriculum discussion with faculty later in the Spring semester.
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: In December 2019, the Pedagogy Support Working Group convened its inaugural event, a Silver Pedagogy Talk titled “Creating an Inclusive Community in Your Classroom” featuring Professors Ernest Gonzales, Robert Hawkins, and Amanda Mays, who discussed their pedagogical approaches and followed by small breakout groups to share and troubleshoot challenges. The event was well-attended by full-time and adjunct faculty and the breakout groups helped to foster a sense of community and support among faculty. Evaluations were positive with a request for more of this type of support. The Workgroup developed the Peer Consultation Program format, collected faculty surveys on topics and interested faculty peer consultants. Students are being surveyed as well. This semester, the Working Group will pilot the Peer Consultation Program to support increased skill and comfort in addressing issues of racism and diversity in the classroom. The Peer Consultation Program will provide faculty with structured opportunities to consult with faculty peers on approaches to navigating classroom challenges and creating stronger classroom environments; opportunities for in-classroom coaching or observation and feedback; Lunch and learn discussion groups. The Working Group is also working on plans for an anti-racism seminar for faculty to anchor our pedagogy in shared frameworks.
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, and they were completed in time for the 2019-20 admissions cycle.
Goal: Develop and host new mandatory day-long anti-racism 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 and Spring 2020 Orientation completed
Update and Next Steps: The committee organized and implemented a new anti-racism seminar for all of our incoming MSW students at both Fall and Spring Orientation during the 2019-20 academic year. Based on the feedback received by the incoming cohort of students and faculty members who taught first year students, the committee is working on planning for the Fall 2020 orientation. The committee is also brainstorming ways to continue engaging students in anti-racism work beyond orientation and DROP (Diversity Racism Oppression and Privilege) class throughout the year.
Bias Response Protocol
Goal: Implement bias response protocol for students experiencing racial bias and discrimination in class and in field placements.
Point Person(s)/Committee: Bias Response Working Group
Update and Next Steps: The Working Group submitted a proposal in December 2019 for review by Dean Guterman and Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Richeleen Dashield. In concert with NYU’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Office of General Counsel, the School is aiming to fully implement all recommendations through Spring and Fall semesters 2020. In the interim, Mrs. Dashield will serve as a resource to students, faculty, and staff, providing them support and guidance as they navigate situations in which racial bias and discrimination are an issue.
Goal: Institutionalize ongoing socioemotional support for students of color.
Point Person(s)/Committee: Socioemotional Support Working Group
Update and Next Steps: After surveying former and current students of color at Silver, the committee drafted a definition of socioemotional support and outlined areas where Silver could institutionalize socioemotional support for students of color. Using students' responses, the committee submitted a proposal to Dean Guterman in March 2020. The proposal highlights students' urgent priority of hiring at least one full-time social worker of color.
- Contact: email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 2019-20 academic year
Update and Next Steps: The Faculty Search and New Appointments Committee (FSNAC) and Silver Dean’s Office developed a position announcement in September 2019 and the job was posted shortly thereafter. FSNAC is reviewing applications and will begin interviewing candidates in early 2020.
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Goal: Identify ongoing additional areas for future improvement related to diversity, equity, and inclusion at the Silver School.
Point Person(s)/Committee: Silver Dean, Executive Committee of the Faculty, and Social Justice Praxis Committee
Timeline: Initiate work in Fall 2019 and continue throughout academic year 2019-2020
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 has been postponed until the resumption of in-person University operations.
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