This is a sampling of SSW student groups which have been active over the last several years.  We support students in forming groups which they feel would be engaging, fun and community-building.  Student groups ebb and flow based upon student interest each year.  More information and contact information on currently active student groups.

BASW Organization of Student Social Workers (OSSW)
We are a group of undergraduate students. We have different committees, ranging from curriculum, practicum, social events, community service and fundraising activities. We provide BASW student representation to the Student Advisory Council in the School. Our goal is to get the undergrad students connected as a cohort as well as involved in the SSW and local communities.

PhD Social Justice Committee

The University of Washington School of Social Work Doctoral Program Steering Committee commissioned a Social Justice Subcommittee in 2009 as a response to student efforts to focus on the alignment of stated social justice priorities with the curriculum, practices, and culture of the doctoral program. This permanent subcommittee, composed of both PhD student and faculty members, is charged with coordinating and maintaining a focus on issues of social justice in the doctoral program and allying with similar efforts in the larger school of social work and UW communities.

Student Advisory Council

The School of Social Work Student Advisory Council consists of elected student leaders who strive to create and build an ongoing relationship with the School administration and faculty to uphold our mission and our values of promoting social and economic justice, both within the School and the broader community. The SAC achieves this by facilitating communication between the student body and the School faculty and administration through advocacy, active engagement and support.

Representatives are elected from the bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs. 

Student Affinity Groups

The following is a list of current and past student affiinity groups. All students are welcome to start new groups based on their interests (Faculty or Staff sponsor from the School of Social Work required). Contact Student Services for more information on how to do this. There are also many student-run clubs at the University of Washington operated through the Student Activities Office

The Anti-Racism & White Allyship Group (ARWAG)
We are a democratic collective at the School of Social Work that serves as a supportive space and resource for all students, faculty, and staff (regardless of racial identity) seeking to analyze racism and white privilege in an effort to make classroom space more productive for all. Our primary goal is to understand how white folks can and should be working to address racism today. Meeting notes:

The Association of Black Social Work Students (ABSWS)
ABSWS is committed to enhancing the quality of life and empowering people of African ancestry through advocacy, human services, and research. Our purpose is to provide a structure and forum through which student members can exchange ideas, offer support, and develop programs in the interest of the Black student body and the Black community.

Colectiva de Latin American Social Workers
The purpose of Colectiva de Latin American Social Workers is to serve as a collective space for students and faculty that are of Latin American descent. Our mission is to provide opportunities for community building, opportunities for professional growth, and culturally-specific education and networking opportunities. In the process of undertaking this work we also understand the way that colonialism and colorism is devastating our peoples and has inflicted deep spiritual wounds and historical trauma that are often replicated in our communities. It is in the spirit of healing and decolonization of our Social Work practices, that we actively work to center the needs of our Indigenous and Afro-Latinx kin who are systematically excluded in general discourse around community needs.

Environmental Justice Group
The Environmental Justice Group is a student led group working on environmental justice related topics. This group is open to any SSW students, faculty and staff.

Gerontology Social Work Group
The Gerontology Social Work Group (the "Gero-Group") is led by undergraduate and graduate social work students committed to research and/or practice with older adults. In collaboration with faculty and staff from the School of Social Work, as well as students and faculty from other disciplines across campus, the group advocates for a vibrant gerontology social work curriculum and sponsors special events such as panels and workshops to offer educational opportunities to students, faculty, and community members. The group promotes socially just social work practice with older adults, and it meets regularly to coordinate these efforts and provide networking opportunities.
If you are interesting in being added to the Gero-Group Listserv, you can do so through this link:

National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
Only national organization serving needs of social work profession. Offers a wide range of professional services, benefits, and opportunities. Reduced rates for students, by degree level.
State chapter: 522 N 85th St. Suite B100, Seattle, WA 98103

Native Circle Alliance (NCA)
The Native Circle Alliance (NCA) is a group dedicated to holding space for Native American and Indigenous Social Work students. Our purpose is to come together and provide support, encouragement, and community for Native American students. We strive to facilitate decolonizing dialogue within our group that centers Indigenous discourse, methodology, and frameworks. This organization will also serve as a way to collectively organize and build our presence as Native American social workers.

Sizeism and Weightism Advocacy Group (SWAG)
As a group we strive to create intentional allyship for men and women of size, and men and women struggling with issues of weight, food, and body image. We are a group of allies and students who deal directly with these issues. We seek to educate the social work community about the oppressions of sizeism and weightism, reduce discrimination, and promote size and body acceptance within our greater community.

The QT Group is housed in UW's School of Social Work and serves as a networking, social, advocacy, and support resource for trans and queer students. Connect with other trans and queer social work students either online ( or at one of the groups events.

Student, Staff, and Faculty of Color Affinity Group
We welcome anyone that self-identifies as a person of color (POC), including bi-racial/multi-racial individuals, at the School of Social Work to join us in building community, engaging in critical dialogues, and creating a space for support and honoring.

While our focus is to develop support and community for students, staff, and faculty of color broadly and collectively, we acknowledge the diversity within our group. We recognize that while we may share some commonalities as POC, we honor, respect, and encourage our uniqueness as well other identities, visible or invisible, that we may hold. We strive to uphold the values of social justice, committed to dialoguing and promoting social justice values as defined by the group through our work, events, relationships, actions. We hope to transform awareness into action and affirm our collective wisdom.\

Social Work Asian & Pacific Islanders (SWAPI) is a student led group offering support, mentorship and community building to Asian Pacific Islander identified Social Work BASW, MSW and PhD students. SWAPI has participation and support from API Faculty and Staff in the UW School of Social Work.

Transracial Adoptee Group (TAG)
The Transracial Adoptee Group is a student-led group offering affinity, support, and community building to transracial adoptees in the Social Work BASW, MSW and PhD programs. Along with providing adoptees with an inclusive space to share stories, TAG is committed to increase efforts to amplify the voices of adoptees in the classroom and greater Social Work community. TAG has participation and solidarity from Facutly and Staff in the UW School of Social Work.

UW SSW Diversability Collective
We are a group of students, faculty, and alumni - both persons with disabilities and allies - who endeavor to:

  1. Create a space, physically and virtually, for students with any health and/or sensing challenges to find support and solidarity
  2. Partner students and faculty to address disability issues that arise in social work practice and/or in the School of Social Work itself
  3. Connect with other disability groups on campus to increase awareness of disability justice at the UW and in the larger community
  4. Promote education on disability topics within the School of Social Work, in order to change the social understanding of disability and to introduce the disability justice paradigm at the school and beyond
  5. Create a collective where Social Work students can bring disability topics both personal and professional
  6. Acknowledge and celebrate the various ways that people with health and/or sensing challenges meet those challenges to accomplish our own goals, personally and professionally, individually and in groups

Christian Social Workers
The Christian Social Workers Club is a diverse group of students interested in discussing how the work of Jesus and the study and practice of Social Work intersect. We seek to encourage one another in our faith and welcome all individuals interested in exploring the role of faith in social justice work. We meet bi-monthly and have times of encouragement, discussion, meals and guest lectures which work to build Christian community in the School of Social Work and in our daily lives.

How to Embrace Recovery in the School of Social Work
We are a diverse collective of students, faculty, staff, community and family members with multiple intersecting identities that serves as a safe supportive space for all people recovering by any pathway from addiction in any form and their allies.

There are dual purposes of this group. One is to create a space of ongoing discussion and analysis of the experience of privilege and oppression around the issue of recovery. The other purpose is to create an environment that is sensitive to and accepting of issues of recovery from addiction and to facilitate social change in our curriculum, school activities, student body and social work practice.

Interfaith Alliance
This student group convened to address the concerns, contributions, and perspectives of people of faith at the School of Social Work. The SSW Interfaith Alliance’s mission is to promote a supportive environment for people of faith at the School of Social Work through conversation, organizing and advocacy on behalf of the voices, concerns and contributions of people of faith at the school and in the profession. This group welcomed people of any faith tradition or with any interest in examining the intersection of faith and social work.

International Social Work Club
The focus of the International Social Work Club is to combine the efforts of University of Washington MSW and BSW students, faculty, and community members to explore poverty, inequality, and injustice on a global scale. One goal of this club is to develop a comprehensive list of resources for employment contacts, practicum, and short-term international service projects. This group is also working on including courses focusing on international social welfare policy and plausible means to end poverty in the current MSW curriculum.

Jewish Social Workers
The Jewish Social Workers Club is a diverse group of individuals consisting of students, faculty, and staff who are interested in creating a space for Jews and friends in the school of Social Work. We welcome all individuals interested in exploring Jewish identity and social work (including religious Jews, secular Jews, questioning Jews, and friends). We meet quarterly and hold both secular and religious events which work to build Jewish community both inside the School of Social Work and in the larger University of Washington Community.

SSW Mindfulness Meditation Group
We are a group of students and instructors interested in cultivating mindfulness practice in our personal lives and community. We meet regularly to practice mindfulness, stress reduction, meditation, and gentle movement. We will use our time to practice together and share ideas about incorporating mindfulness into our self-care practices and the care of the individuals we work with and those we serve. Mindfulness Meditation Group is open to people of all levels of experience and interest.

Multicultural Social Work Club
The Multicultural Social Work Club (MCSWC) is a student group led by and for students at the UW School of Social Work. The club focuses on providing BASW and MSW students’ opportunities to explore international practicum placements outside of the United States. The goal is to raise money for scholarships to be given to qualified students who are interested in doing an international practicum. The second focus of the club is to provide educational opportunities for students to learn about careers and social issues having to do with international social work.

Muslim Students of Social Work (MSSW)
The MSSW is dedicated to educating students, faculty, staff and neighboring communities about the Islamic faith; addressing global issues of human rights and social injustice; and to proving that Islam advocates for the eradication of injustice all over the world.

Poverty Law and Social Services
This student organization will form a partnership between M.S.W., M.P.H., M.P.A., and J.D. candidates, permitting participation by undergraduates and all other interested students, focusing on social service disparities, unmet legal needs, and Access to Justice (ATJ) barriers for low-income residents of Washington. Our proposed RSO will have a cutting-edge multidisciplinary research focus that actively engages in solving problems for the nonprofit, public legal assistance, and civil legal aid sectors in Seattle. This will be an excellent opportunity to contribute to research and potentially publication, while being part of a student group with funding for conferences and snacks at meetings.

Radical Social Work Forum
The Radical Social Work Forum provides a place for the exchange of ideas and formulation of action toward social change. We are dedicated to the pursuit of a just and equitable society as defined by its members and by other groups involved in mutual struggles. We are not satisfied, as is common in mainstream social work, to simply address the symptoms of problems but rather attempt to seize problems at their roots. We strive to be a dynamic and organic group whose goals are subject to revision as the interests, environment, and philosophies of its members change. We try to cultivate our collective wisdom to identify the problems and develop courage to act toward their resolution.

Social Justice Art Collective

Looking to explore creative means of expressing topics in social justice that you care about? The Social Justice Art Collective provides a space to consider systemic oppression and liberation within our unjust society. Students and community members are welcome to drop in and express themselves through collage, drawing, painting, creative writing, or another artistic modality. Participants may contribute to a collaborative zine to be printed and showcased at an open mic at the end of the quarter. Whether you feel like working on your own project or collaborating with others, whether you're artistically inclined or never picked up a paintbrush, come drop by and make some art! The collective meets in Parnassus Cafe & Gallery (located in the UW Art Building) on Mondays from 5-7pm.

School of Social Work Disability Collective

We are a group of students, faculty, and alumni - both persons with disabilities and allies - who endeavor to:

  • Partner students and faculty to address disability issues that arise in social work practice
  • Connect with other disability groups on campus to increase awareness of disability justice at the UW and in the larger community
  • Promote education on disability topics within the School of Social Work, in order to change the social understanding of disability and to introduce the disability justice paradigm at the school and beyond
  • Create a collective where social work students can bring disability topics both personal and professional

Social Work Immigration Alliance at UW
We are a collaboration of allied students, faculty, and community members engaged in fostering constructive, impactful dialogues about immigrant rights and immigration reform. In keeping with the mission of the School of Social Work, we seek to promote dialogues and partnerships that emphasize social justice, equity and human rights for all. Our activities for 2012-2013 include lobby days, organizing events to promote awareness and dialogue about immigration issues, fundraising to raise scholarship money for HB 1079 students, and working in partnership with other organizations on campus and in the Seattle area working on immigration issues.
Check out our Facebook & Blog

Social Workers Against Institutional Racism
Social Workers Against Institutional Racism (SWAIR) was initially born out of the experiences of students and faculty in the UW School of Social Work who had gone through The People's Institute Undoing Institutionalized Racism (UIR) training and saw a need to address issues of institutional racism within the school and university environment. Still a work in progress, SWAIR is a multi-racial group committed to engaging students of the SSW in dialogue on racism and involvement in school and community efforts to end racism.

Social Workers Involved in Native American Communities (SWINAC)
SWINAC's mission is to educate both native and non-native students about the services and programs available in the Seattle area for the Native American and Alaskan Natives (NA/AN) population. Membership is open to currently enrolled BASW and MSW students. Membership is not limited to Native American students, but an interest in working with the Native American population or learning more about the Native American community is a must.

School of Social Work UNDO (United in Negating Disability Oppression)
We are a group of SSW students, faculty and staff who will be focusing on disability rights and access to services, on-campus and in the local community. Through this group we will provide a place for students to come together and advocate for equal rights for people with disabilities. We are interested in looking into ADA, IDEA, and The Rehabilitation Act to get a clear picture of what ADA Civil Rights are, how they are used, who benefits, who does not, and what can be done to promote Disability Civil Rights. This Group is for people interested in working with people within the Disability Community, those who have a disability, and allies who would like to advocate for disability rights.  

School of Social Work Women's Group
We are a group of self-identified women and/or female individuals in the graduate School of Social Work, motivated by a desire to interrogate traditional models of feminism in order to understand our role in the movement to end gender discrimination and oppression. Our hope is to foster a community discussion for women, by women, about exactly what it means to be a woman here and now.

SSW Anti-Racist Mixed Race Group

This group is open to anyone at the School of Social Work who identifies as mixed race and is interested in exploring their racial identity in the context of anti-racism and anti-oppression. This includes but is not limited to anyone who is multiracial, multiethnic, transracially adopted, or who identifies outside the race binary. This group may participate in member-facilitated activities and discussions, social events, resource sharing, art making, and snack eating.

Students Engaging in Reproductive Justice (SERJ)
Students Engaging in Reproductive Justice is a social justice group tackling issues of access, transparency, and education surrounding reproductive issues. These issues include, but not limited to; contraception, abortion, tubal ligation, vasectomy, and prenatal care. We believe that reproductive justice is a social justice issue requiring institutional change. Our group is highly driven by the individual interests of each member and is currently examining which area of this systematic issue to focus our attention on for the 2013-2014 academic year.

University District Street Medicine (UDSM)
SSW-UDSM is the Social Work Student group (MSW and BASW) working as part of an interdisciplinary campus-wide effort encompassing all health sciences schools (social work, nursing, medicine, physical therapy, MEDEX, public health, dentistry and pharmacy).

Social work students are involved in the planning process and implementation for a free student-run, interdisciplinary social services and medical clinic for homeless and low-income individuals in the University District, with expected opening date of April 2015.

The goals of University District Street Medicine are:  1) addressing health disparities in the homeless population of university district by identifying and working to fill gaps in current healthcare and related services; 2) providing service learning opportunities for students in the Health Sciences Schools; 3) promoting interdisciplinary care and inter-professional education opportunities for students in the Health Sciences Schools; 4) incorporating community involvement and feedback in our endeavors; and 5) designing and implementing a program that could serve as a replicable model for future expansion or duplication.

White Allies Against Racism
White Allies Against Racism is a resource group concerned with improving white social workers' ability to understand their roles as allies of people of color; cope with their own losses related to racism and white privilege; come to terms with their own deeply ingrained racist scripts; identify subtler aspects of racism, white privilege, and internalized domination, particularly as they affect the way white folks work as allies and in leadership positions; identify ways in which racism conspires with other oppressions; rediscover sources of life and esteem in their heritage; draw support from each other and overcome mistrust; and draw support from colleagues of color in an appropriate, non-burdening fashion.