Release Date: 04/17/2015
Alexandria, VA, April 17, 2015 – The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and the University of Texas at Austin are pleased to announce that Dr. Yolanda Chávez Padilla has accepted the position of director of the CSWE Center for Diversity & Social and Economic Justice. The position was created in partnership between the organization and the university to provide leadership for the center. Dr. Padilla will have a joint appointment to CSWE and to the School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin.
Dr. Padilla is a professor of social work and women’s and gender studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She received her PhD in social work and sociology from the University of Michigan, specializing in studies of poverty and social inequality, and her MSSW and BSW/BA from the University of Texas at Austin.
“It was a real honor for me personally to appoint Dr. Padilla as the inaugural director of this very important center for our field. She brings passion for the issues of diversity and social and economic justice, and she will be in the enviable position of setting the course and the priorities as well as the functioning of the Center for Diversity and Social and Economic Justice,” said Dr. Luis Zayas, dean of The University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work.
Dr. Padilla has an extensive background in the areas of racial and ethnic disparities in health and broader life chances, including critical analyses of social and economic justice and diversity issues in social work education. Her teaching has focused on organizational, policy, and community practice and on interdisciplinary education in the area of social and economic justice for non–social work undergraduate students.
Dr. Padilla has served on the CSWE Board of Directors, the Council on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression, and with the Association of Latina and Latino Social Work Educators. She is also a fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare and serves on the Academy’s Grand Challenges Initiative Executive Committee. Currently she is vice president of the Society for Social Work and Research.
“Dr. Padilla will provide the Center with strong leadership and enhance the way in which issues of diversity and social and economic justice are taught in social work programs and practiced by practitioners,” said CSWE President and CEO Dr. Darla Spence Coffey.
The Center for Diversity & Social and Economic Justice, founded in 2011, provides social work education with the opportunity and means to support greater diversity and social and economic justice in education, teaching, research, curriculum, institutional arrangements, and leadership development. The Center’s website offers links to diversity resources, current events, and learning opportunities and highlights narratives of diverse social work educators and practitioners.
The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is a national association of social work education programs and individuals that ensures and enhances the quality of social work education for a professional practice that promotes individual, family, and community well-being and social and economic justice. CSWE pursues this mission in higher education by setting and maintaining national accreditation standards for baccalaureate and master’s degree programs in social work, promoting faculty development, engaging in international collaborations, and advocating for social work education and research.