Provides Supportive Learning for All
rofessor Lorraine Gutiérrez begins 2017 as the inaugural director of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) at the U-M School of Social Work. As a national leader in diversity and social justice, Gutiérrez joins other prominent DEI leaders across campus to lead this important initiative, which was introduced last fall by U-M President Mark S. Schlissel. The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategic Plan is a collective vision for change created through a campuswide, grassroots process. With Gutiérrez at the helm to implement the strategic plan, SSW continues to build on U-M’s heritage of diversity, equity and inclusion, with the understanding that we can make our greatest contribution to knowledge by building an environment in which all our community members can flourish.
2 · University of Michigan School of Social Work
Implementing a five-year strategic plan sounds like an enormous undertaking. Why is this important now? This is part of an overall University effort, and the resources and the energy come from an external force led by President Schlissel. As a School we’ve looked at these issues historically, but we can do more. As the top-ranked social work school, we’re doing a good job, but that doesn’t mean we couldn’t do a better job. Issues emerge over
time that we need to address, such as increased intolerance toward Muslims since 9/11, or more awareness of gender and gender identity. As social workers, we understand the need to learn and teach diversity, equity and inclusion to our students, staff and faculty. It is our responsibility to be sure every individual has the opportunity to be heard, to contribute and to excel.
Published biannually by the University of Michigan School of Social Work.