Much like trying to define my service work, I found it challenging to parse out my work around social justice. Again, it is something that I just "do." But the goal of creating and promoting an inclusive, supportive climate in addition to supporting that type of scholarship and teaching has been a goal of mine since the start of my academic training. This pursuit, while bringing me into contact with some great educators and scholars, has sometimes been to my own detriment, for not everyone shares in these goals and sometimes see them as counter to progress and excellence. However, I refuse to ignore, hide, or be silent about matters that have great potential to negatively impact the professional growth, personal health, and overall wellbeing of students, colleagues, and members of the larger community.
I have often been told by students and colleagues alike that me speaking on such topics with boldness, transparency, and compassion gave them the strength to live out their own truths; something I strive to do daily in a manner that honors who I am but does not harm others. Standing on this foundation of authenticity, integrity, and creativity has made it possible, not so much easy, but definitely possible to address the challenges to inclusion and belonging in our classrooms, workplaces, and other communities in which we find ourselves embedded. It has also made me a resource for colleagues and those in leadership who strive to create their own inclusive learning and work environments.
I've sat on several professional (national) and university committees or councils on diversity, equity, and inclusion. I am member of the Council on Social Work Education's (CSWE) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Network. I also worked with the Director of the CSWE Center for Diversity and Social & Economic Justice, Dr. Yolanda Padilla to design a Connect Session entitled "Overcoming Resistance and Securing Partnerships for DEI Initiatives" for CSWE's 2020 APM. I just ended my term as chair of CSWE's Cultural Competence Track which began in 2018. Before that, I served as a councilor on CSWE's Council on Disabilities and Persons with Disabilities (2014 - 2017), a council I will be seeking to rejoin.
In 2019, I was appointed by the Dean of the UGA School of Social Work to create, coordinate, and chair a new committee on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). At the University level, I served on various committees around diversity, equity, and inclusion: Council of Academic Diversity Leaders (2021-2022), Diversity Advisory Council (2019-2022), UGA Office of Institutional Diversity search committee for an Associate Director of Faculty and Staff Initiatives (2022).
Although most of these committees were focused on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, I saw my role as incorporating elements of social justice and belonging to our work and pushing the agendas toward action.
I try to write about social justice, particularly in the areas of social work and/or mental health. Below, is a piece I wrote with colleagues Dr. Quenette Walton (University of Houston) and Dr. Joan Blakey (University of Minnesota).
I was also invited to write the following pieces:
In addition to being asked to write on topics related to social justice, I have been asked to speak on them locally, nationally, and globally. At UGA, I gave talks on racism in healthcare; gender-based violence faced by women of color; working towards health equity; intersectionality; race and the criminal justice system; self-care practices in the current social-political climate; and anti-blackness. Nationally, I gave a talk on addressing the needs of students with invisible disabilities in social work. And on the international stage, I joined one of my social work students, Jarrett Daniels, for a presentation entitled "Voices Unheard: The Experiences of Black Male Social Work Students" at the 2018 International Colloquium on Black Males in Education in Dublin, Ireland.
If you would like me write, speak, or present on social justice for you class, meeting, or event, please contact me.
Copyright © 2023 Rosalyn Denise Campbell, PhD, LMSW - All Rights Reserved.
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