Monday, September 14, 2020

Mark your calendars: The annual retreat for School of Social Work faculty and staff is next Thursday, Sept. 24, from 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. This year, the retreat will be held online; a Zoom link will be sent out next week. 

This year’s theme is Exposure, Reflection, Action: Our ERA of Racial Justice. The agenda reflects our nation’s current events and the critical role taken by the School and by social work to end racial disparities, discrimination and violence. 

“The fall retreat is the beginning of a committed, strategic, action-based set of aspirations for all of us to dedicate ourselves to,” said Val Kalei Kanuha, Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “The retreat is the first in a series of gatherings which will include mini-retreats and other activities held throughout the 2020-2021 academic year and beyond. We also plan to incorporate outcomes from the retreat into our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan.”

The retreat includes a set of structured activities for the entire School community, followed by  post-retreat optional activities open to all. 

The main agenda, which takes place from 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., includes: 

  • Video clip and brief presentations on anti-racist practice as defined by Ibram X. Kendi in his book How to be an Anti-Racist, this year’s Health Sciences Common Book selection;
  • Reflection and small group break-out sessions on anti-racist practice and implications for the School;
  • Small group exercise dealing with our own personal histories and pathways; and
  • Discussion of our hopes and dreams for continuing racial justice work at SSW. 

The optional post-retreat agenda, which takes place from 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., offers affinity group and caucus meetings; discussion groups on the Kendi book or other topics; and reflection and wellness conversations. A more detailed agenda for the day will be sent out before the retreat.

Take the time now to confirm your attendance to Nagem at Please RSVP no later than Monday, September 21.

We hope that the entire School will join with open minds, hearts and spirits as we come together individually and as a community committed to pursuing racial justice and equity for everyone.