At the Mandel School, our goals are to educate and empower our students to think beyond the possible, to gain a greater understanding of our community, and to develop new understandings of cultural, racial and social identities. We help students examine their own perceptions of diversity to become more culturally-aware and prepared for their roles as social work and nonprofit professionals.
Building an inclusive learning environment is part of who we are.
We do this through several key diversity initiatives:
- Making sure there is an infusion of anti-racist and anti-oppressive social work concepts in the explicit and implicit curriculum. Our Anti-Racist, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ADEI) working group is spearheading this initiative, as well as crafting the school's diversity statement.
Encouraging our students, faculty and staff to list their pronouns, gender identities and prefixes. Why? Identifiers such as name, gender and personal pronouns are core factors to many students’ sense of self.
Offering a variety of lectures, colloquia and workshops on topics related to equality and social justice.
As social workers, we work for peaceful yet progressive change. In response to the Black Lives Matter movement that has been sweeping the nation, the Mandel School put together a list of anti-racism resources and held an anti-racism workshop series as an attempt to provide general information and a starting point to learn about anti-oppression, inclusion and privilege. Our faculty have also written multiple peer-reviewed publications covering a range of topics.
Promoting community service events that allow students, faculty and alumni to reach out to residents in ethnic neighborhoods off campus.
Offering civic engagement opportunities with undergraduate students and campus community members.
Creating study abroad opportunities that offer students a chance to blend with cultures while pursuing social action projects.
Committing to follow the below processes when hiring candidates:
Each and every position description must be reviewed by OIDEO's Senior Director for Faculty and Institutional Diversity, Heather Burton.
All search committees must have diverse representation.
Each search committee member must have attended implicit bias training prior to sitting on a committee.
For seven straight years, Case Western Reserve University has earned the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, among the oldest and largest diversity-focused publications in higher education. Case Western Reserve has received the national diversity award annually since HEED was established in 2012.
CWRU Diversity Statement
Case Western Reserve University aspires to be an inclusive environment, believing that the creative energy and variety of insights that result from diversity are a vital component of the intellectual rigor and social fabric of the university.
As a scholarly community, Case Western Reserve is inclusive of people of all racial, ethnic, cultural, socioeconomic, national and international backgrounds, welcoming diversity of thought, pedagogy, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, political affiliation and disability.
We believe in a culture of inclusion that encourages relationships and interactions among people of different backgrounds, a culture that enhances human dignity, actively diminishes prejudice and discrimination and improves the quality of life for everyone in our community.
North Star Consortium
As part of Case Western Reserve University's ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion, the university is partnering with Black and minority serving universities to establish long-lasting, collaborative relationships regarding research, learning and teaching.
Members of the North Star Consortium are working together to share ideas and resources as a group. The consortium will create meaningful connections between institutions that will strengthen and elevate the impact of the consortium's educational missions. The consortium also seeks to develop research partnerships, teaching partnerships and other collaborations that will be of mutual value to faculty and students at all partner institutions.
In order to help realize campus-wide diversity goals, Case Western Reserve has instituted a number of initiatives at the school level.
The Mandel School's strategy to meet these initiatives is to:
- Identify the North Star Consortium partner institutions that have undergraduate social work programs and/or social science programs to become natural feeders into our MSW program.
- Work with our admissions team to create intentional engagement with our partner institutions.
- Promote the Summer Underrepresented Minority Mentorship Research Program (SUMMR) at Fisk University to our community.
Events & Opportunities
The Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity provides Case Western Reserve with support and guidance and promotes equitable and fair treatment in employment, education and other aspects of campus life. They offer several programs for the campus community throughout the year.
On Nov. 17, 2021, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center hosted a panel for Mandel School staff and faculty. On Nov. 22, 2021 the center offered our school a one-hour talk.
Hispanic Heritage Month
Research Assistant Professor Francisca García-Cobián Richter is known for fostering community at CWRU—especially through her work as an officer for the Alianza Latina/Latino Alliance, a group for Hispanic/Latino faculty and staff at the university.
During Hispanic Heritage Month 2021, Richter was most looking forward to María Hammack’s presentation about the history of the Underground Railroad to Mexico, a little-known history of solidarity shaped by Black and Latinx freedom fighters. Hammack was fittingly introduced by Provost Ben Vinson III, a scholar of Latin American history.
Events such as these, which Richter had a hand in planning, remind her of the power of a common humanity. She believes that by connecting with the “other”—by working together, experiencing art together, and learning together through history and literature—we can fight for social justice.
In Fall 2021, the Mandel School came together to promote understanding and to build relationships as staff and faculty via four sessions of Sustained Dialogue. The idea was that while we are from the same school, our faculty and staff largely work independently from one another to the point that people feel disconnected. Working in different content areas and across different buildings limits informal interaction. And this has only been exacerbated by working remotely as a result of the pandemic.
The creation of a Sustained Dialogue process explored ways for faculty and staff to get to know one another better and offered mutual support for doing jobs and contributing to the school.
Summer Underrepresented Internship
This internship is currently gathering funding from Think Big Pathway 4 initiative, Shape the Agora. More details to come.
Mandel School Diversity Liaisons
On Aug. 29, 2022, Dawn Ellis and Kimberly McFarlin were appointed interim co-assistant deans of diversity and inclusion at the Mandel School. Adrianne Fletcher, permanent assistant dean of diversity and inclusion, was appointed to the Ohio Supreme Court as their inaugural director of diversity, equity and inclusion in April 2022—she will be on a leave of absence until May 2023.