Message from the Director - Dr. Yolanda Padilla

padilla.jpgThe United States is experiencing a re-awakening to issues of social justice and diversity - issues which have always been at the forefront of social work education. The new commitment to alleviating the key causes of social inequality by leaders in a variety of sectors, the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, the renewed attention across U.S. communities to confronting deep structural foundations of racism all represent catalytic opportunities for the Center.

The timing for this new phase of the Center could not be better. The Center is the product of ten years of sustained work by social work educators who have invested a great deal of time and thought to make it happen, including the concentrated attention and commitment over the last two years by our current CSWE President, Darla Spence Coffey. It is wonderful that this gem of an idea now has the opportunity to "come to life."

We will strive to become a premier source of intellectual and practical skills for social work education for addressing issues of social inequality and injustice. The mission of the Center for Diversity and Social & Economic Justice is to advance the quality of social work education for a professional practice that promotes individual, family, and community well-being, and social and economic justice. The Center will pursue this mission through targeted projects in curriculum development, faculty development, research, and collaborative partnerships.

We are at a time in which there is an avalanche of research and new ideas from social work and across disciplines on addressing problems of diversity and social justice. The Center will be able to compile and make available this rich knowledge in a variety of forms (e.g., webinars, trainings, web resources, and others). A priority of the Center will be to not only devise new approaches to diversity and social justice education but to actively support the incorporation of this knowledge in social work programs.

I look forward to working with you to make the Center a place that will spark the imagination of faculty and students and will raise the national profile of social work education on diversity and social and economic justice.

Yolanda C. Padilla, PhD, MSSW
+1.512.471.6266 | ypadilla@cswe.org