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School of Social Work Faculty, Staff & Student Awarded Diversity Innovation Grants
February 18, 2020

Rutgers University – New Brunswick's Division of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement has awarded Diversity Innovation Grants to several School of Social Work affiliates. Among the winners are Professor and Associate Director of the Center on Violence Against Women and Children Victoria Banyard, Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Laura Curran, Director of Research and Evaluation at the Institute for Families Ilona Arnold-Berkovits, and Ph.D. candidate Hsiu-Fen Lin. The grants serve as a new mechanism of program support to help achieve the goal of creating an inclusive campus culture.

The Rutgers University – New Brunswick Taskforce on Inclusion and Community Values sought proposals for projects and activities that move our community values from ideals to actions. As we invest in broader institutional efforts to advance an inclusive campus culture, Diversity Innovation Grants offer a way for creative, innovative, and grassroots efforts to join in our larger strategy. 

Below are the winning proposals from the School of Social Work affiliates.

Training in Photovoice, a Participatory Action Research Strategy
Victoria Banyard
Rutgers faculty, staff and students of the School of Social Work Center on Violence Against Women and Children and the Department of Labor Relations Center on Women and Work will receive training in Photovoice during a two-day intensive hands-on workshop during the Spring of 2020. The purpose of this training is to better position Rutgers researchers to engage with marginalized communities in inclusive research design, development of interventions and in communicating with policy makers and other stakeholders. Photovoice is a qualitative research strategy that documents voices from marginalized communities about social problems where they can express their ideas and suggest solutions.

Social Work Teaching Podcast
Laura Curran
This purpose of this project is to fund a series of podcasts focused on issues related to building and sustaining a diverse and inclusive learning environment in the social work classroom. In the podcast, we will 'interview' a series of social work faculty, field practicum instructors, and social work students about their experiences related to diversity and inclusion in the social work classroom and field education settings. The podcasts will be hosted on the RU YouTube channel and also highlighted on the SSW website and social media outlets.

K-12 Diversity Event
Ilona Arnold-Berkovits
The purpose of the event is to host a presentation and discussion around an unusual approach to promote and sustain diversity and inclusion: increasing the probability of college acceptance for students from high schools with higher proportions of economically disadvantaged students. The approach would benefit not only student opportunities and campus culture at Rutgers and other universities, but also at K-12 schools nationally. Representatives and members of applicable Rutgers University departments and groups will be invited to the two-hour event.

International Women's Group
Hsiu-Fen Lin
This project ”Honoring our Role: Women Sharing Real-Life Advice, Stories and Recipes Woven into our Souls” is to help an invisible group, International Women’s Group (IWG) at Rutgers, to publish a book with the stories of its members. The IWG is a volunteer organization that was founded in 1988 by volunteers from the Rutgers community. This project invites international women from all over the world to write down their stories in English which for many, is their second language. The book contains personal short stories, advice for their younger selves and family recipes. This project empowers women to overcome language barriers and embrace cultural differences.

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