June 10, 2020

Dear School of Social Work Community:

We hope this message finds you and your loved ones as well as can be during this time. This is a time of global response to historic and systemic racism, police brutality and injustice as Black Lives Matter protests and demonstrations are occurring across the nation and the world.

We wanted to let you know that SSW will be observing #ShutDownStem and #ShutDownAcademia on Wednesday, June 10. The leaders of these movements have called for academics to set aside this day to step away from business as usual, “to educate themselves and advocate for change in their communities.” We encourage supervisors to allow staff who plan to work on Wednesday to instead use this time to engage in professional development training around anti-racism, if they wish.

In addition, the Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County chapter is calling for a statewide general strike, silent march and a day of action on Friday, June 12, in support of all Black lives. They are calling on all of us in Washington to attend a march or hold one in your own community.

In solidarity with these groups, SSW will suspend our administrative meetings (but not necessarily finals or student presentations) on both Wednesday, June 10 and Friday, June 12. If you are a student and require an accommodation on either of these days, please contact your instructor directly. We ask that instructors remain flexible in accommodating students. We are also asking supervisors to be supportive of individuals who want to take either or both days off to participate in the day of action and/or march because Black Lives Matter. Employees who wish to take time off should refer to the UW Human Resources time-off policy and speak with their supervisors.

The leaders of BLM Seattle King County recognize that not all people can participate in a march due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and will be releasing ways for people to participate if they are unable to attend a march. For more information about current advocacy with the mayor and the details of the June 12 strike, you can view the online message here.

For more information, visit Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County.

All our best,

Eddie Uehara, Dean
Tessa Evans-Campbell, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Kalei Kanuha, Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Related Articles

Stolen breaths, the silent march and general strike for Black lives on June 12—UW School of Social Work Faculty & Staff News