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Albritton appointed assistant dean of diversity, equity and inclusion

Travis Albritton, Ph.D., has been appointed to the newly created position of assistant dean of diversity, equity and inclusion at the UNC School of Social Work. Albritton serves as a clinical assistant professor and director of the School’s Triangle Distance Education MSW Program; he will assume his new role Aug. 1. 
Albritton will be responsible for helping to further develop and guide the School’s strategic plan to strengthen racial equity and inclusive excellence within every function of the School, including in student recruitment and admissions; recruitment, hiring and retention of faculty and staff; curriculum and co-curriculum development; and in administrative structures and practices within the School.
“Dr. Albritton will provide leadership in the School’s efforts to be consistently supportive of both inclusive participation and learning for social justice and will help to ensure a free and open exchange of thoughts and ideas,” said Dean Gary L. Bowen. “This includes working in full partnership with members of the School’s community to create and sustain an accepting and socially just environment for faculty, full- and part-time adjunct faculty, and for students and staff.”
The new leadership position was created with approval from the University following recommendations earlier this year from the School’s Diversity Committee. The recommendations resulted from the committee’s work over nine months to develop the School’s overall strategic plan to end oppression, discrimination, and other forms of social injustice that are internal and external to the School of Social Work, Bowen said. Albritton will help to develop and put into place resources and other initiatives to meet the goals of this plan by working closely with leaders within UNC’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, with the School’s Diversity Committee, with faculty, students and staff and with community partners, Bowen added.
Albritton said he’s committed to the School’s success and to developing and strengthening efforts to achieve social equity and racial justice for all students, faculty, and staff, as well as for the communities the School serves.
“It’s a critically important task,” said Albritton, who joined the School’s faculty in 2008 and also serves as the program coordinator of the dual degree program in divinity and social work. “I think that in the current climate that we live in and when you look at all that’s happening in society around issues of race, around issues of gender, around issues of immigration and how we talk about or don’t talk about issues of class, it’s all connected to what we do in social work. So I think it’s exciting to be the first in this position and to help set the tone for how we address diversity, equity and inclusion.”
Albritton’s ability to promote difficult conversations and his skills in helping diverse groups reach a working consensus will be vital assets in his new role, Bowen added.
“I am very pleased that Dr. Albritton has agreed to serve in this new position because he will provide critical leadership in our School of Social Work community,” he said.  
Albritton graduated from the School with his MSW in 2003 and holds degrees from Elizabeth City State University, Duke Divinity School and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he received his doctorate in educational studies, with a concentration in cultural studies. He served as chair of the School of Social Work’s Diversity Committee from 2009 to 2015.