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Rutgers School of Social Work’s IIDEA Initiative Inspires Universitywide Resolution in Support of Students Identifying as Transgender, Nonbinary, and Other Gender Identities
December 20, 2021

By Emily Greenfield and Christine Morales

The New Brunswick Faculty Council (NBFC) developed and passed a Resolution in Support of Students Identifying as Transgender, Nonbinary, and Other Gender Identities in April of 2021. This development resulted from the Rutgers School of Social Work's Inclusion, Intersectionality, Diversity, and Equity (IIDEA) initiative. Months before the resolution's adoption, the School of Social Work had several students speak at a faculty meeting about their experiences and concerns regarding gender identities in the classroom and within the broader University. As a follow-up action to this meeting, Professor Emily Greenfield, who was then the School of Social Work Representative to the NBFC, raised the concerns discussed at the faculty meeting to the Council's Student Affairs Committee. The Committee then invited several of the students to share their perspectives with them, leading to the development of a Council resolution. Dr. Greenfield consulted with several scholarly experts on gender identity within the School of Social Work faculty, as well as the students, in drafting the resolution. The resolution emphasizes the University's responsibility to uphold human rights and dignity through mechanisms and procedures that enhance student experiences. Since its passage, Assistant Professor of Teaching Christine Morales, a current School of Social Work representative to the Council, has led efforts to help the Council continue to learn in this area. As an example, speakers from the Rutgers University Equity and Inclusion Office recently presented to the full Council, highlighting resources such as faculty training on gender identities and student support services. School of Social Work Representatives will continue to voice to the Council opportunities for more equitable and inclusive University programs, practices, and policies to benefit the greater University and society.

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