"What are you without racism? Are you any good? Are you still strong? Still smart? Do you still like yourself? . ..If you can only be tall because someone's on their knees, then you have a serious problem."
Toni Morrison, 2015

Dear School of Social Work Community,  

My heart is heavy in the wake of the Charlottesville events and their aftermath.  I offer my condolences to the family of Heather Heyer who was killed in a violent attack by a white supremacist.  I reject the abdication of moral leadership, including the tacit support of hate, by our nation's president.  I am stunned and horrified by the undeniable presence of deep bigotry in our country.  At the same time I am heartened and I applaud the actions of caring Americans -- the peaceful vigils, rallies, and other signs of solidarity among those who reject racism, anti-semitism, and bigotry in any form.   

As the semester begins, our community will join together to show our solidarity for the basic human values that are the core of the social work profession -- social justice, respect for the dignity and worth of all persons, and the importance of human relationships.  As a first step, a list of resources for students, faculty and concerned citizens are listed below.  There is no room for bigotry and hatred in our society.  I ask you to think about how you can contribute to end of bigotry and to demand respect for all people in our community, our nation, and the world.  It is a responsibility for each and every one of us to reach out, raise hope and change society.  

With regards,  

Lynn Videka, Dean


The Dean's office will sponsor a forum for all members of the SSW community who would like to come together to discuss the incidents and what we can do to countervail bigotry and hate. You are invited to join this forum.
8/21/17, 10 AM
Educational Conference Center, 1804


Robert Ortega, Associate Professor shares his thoughts on the recent events in Charlottesville.

Vice Provost for Equity & Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, Robert Sellers Statement on the Charlottesville Incident

The Southern Poverty Law Center's guide  "The Alt-Right On Campus: What Students Need To Know?"

Letter from Tabbye Chavous, Director, National Center for Institutional Diversity, U-M

Give it. Get it. Expect Respect. Together, we can create and maintain a respectful and inclusive environment that provides the support and opportunity necessary for each member of our community to prosper and achieve. .


The University has a rich variety of resources and services that support a safe and inclusive community. The following list provides information to a number of them that are available.
  • Mediation and Conflict Resolution promotes a safe and scholarly community in which students navigate conflict in a peaceful, socially just, and self-reflexive manner.
  • Program on Intergroup Relations is a social justice education program working proactively to promote understanding of intergroup relations inside and outside of the classroom.
  • Engage in conversation and share your thoughts on SSW Twitter
  • Respond to U-M's National Center for Institutional Diversity online conversation on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion by engaging on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.
  • The Michigan National Association of Social Workers is asking social workers to contact State Representatives and Senators and join other likeminded groups.