Within UNC-Chapel Hill, our School has been on the front line for several important “firsts” in providing equal opportunities for all persons. Dean John Turner (1981-1992) was the first African American to serve as a dean of any professional school at UNC-Chapel. (Our academic home, Tate-Turner-Kuralt Building, is named in part for Dean Turner.) Hortense McClinton, who served on our faculty for 20 years (beginning in 1966), was the first African American faculty member at UNC-Chapel Hill.
In the 21st century, our School has renewed its commitment to creating an educational community where we value the individual differences and perspectives of each person, we recognize traits as treasures, and we respect and honor the lived experiences within our community. We understand that our differences are among our greatest assets in our ability to learn, teach, and grow as social work professionals.
We are committed to continual improvement as we work to ensure that our School is an inclusive community. As part of our commitment, we have created programs and activities to support inclusion, including these:
- Our Diversity Committee meets monthly to plan and coordinate strategic initiatives that foster inclusion throughout our School.
- Students and faculty members work together, through the Social Justice Action Collaborative, to host guest speakers and panel discussions on relevant topics.
- Our annual Harambee Celebration brings our students, faculty, and staff together to share our cultures through food, music, dance, storytelling, and art.
- Our Field Education team has developed training materials for field faculty to help build their understanding and support of students who identify as Trans* and Non-Binary.
- In April 2019, our School held its first faculty-staff Diversity Retreat to examine how we can foster a more diverse, inclusive, and accessible environment for our students, faculty, staff, and visitors.
- SoWoSo, our student organization, offers many learning opportunities through its caucuses.
Each of us is responsible for reaffirming our commitment to inclusion every day, both as individuals and as a community. Please join us as we work together to make our School an academic home where every person feels welcome and supported.
Travis J. Albritton, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, 919-962-6432