Rutgers School of Social Work’s Office of Student Affairs leaders Natalie Bembry, Marian Diksies, and Charles Chear partnered with the School of Social Work’s Graduate Student Association (SSWGSA) and the National Association of Social Workers New Jersey (NASW-NJ) to host a series of events on diversity and inclusion in honor of Social Work Month. This year’s events focused on the theme of joining against hate, drawing in audiences of social work students and practicing social workers throughout New Jersey.
The series kicked off on February 27th in New Brunswick with a panel on developing effective community partnerships. Panelists included Renee Koubiadis (Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey), Brian Lozano (Wind of the Spirit and NJ Alliance for Immigrant Justice), and Jaymie Santiago (New Brunswick Tomorrow) with moderation from Marian Diksies. The following week, Rutgers Camden hosted a panel on advocacy efforts in New Jersey, featuring Ronald Pierce (New Jersey Institute for Social Justice), Dr. Tyree Oredein (Garden State Equality), and Ross Wishnick (NJ Alliance Against Hate). The panel was moderated by Rutgers MSW student Gianna Irizarry. The series concluded on March 13th in Newark with a panel discussion on invisible wounds of racial trauma from Michael Ajagbe (MSW) and Kristin Miller (LCSW).
Marian Diksies, Director of Student Affairs at Rutgers School of Social Work, explains, “We are committed to providing opportunities for our students, faculty, and professional social workers to engage in conversations about promoting diversity and inclusion within professional practice. These events aimed to provide a lens through which we could better understand what hate and discrimination look like in New Jersey. It is critical that we learn how to work within a diverse community and develop effective relationships in order to build alliance.”