Racial justice initiatives

A screenshot from Zoom of members of the School's Racial Justice Task Force meeting

Members of the school's Radical Alliance for Anti-Racism, Change and Equity (RAACE) meet on Zoom.

Radical Alliance for Anti-Racism, Change and Equity (RAACE)

The School of Social Work's Radical Alliance for Anti-Racism, Change and Equity (RAACE) was formed in 2020 to address racial injustice – past and present – in social work. The group is engaged in an iterative process that is assessing various parts of the school and is developing recommendations for cultural and structural shifts with a focus on racial justice and healing. This body includes representation from staff, faculty, students, alumni and adjunct instructors.

Membership

Student Fellows

  • Rebecca Davidson - B.S.W. student
  • Oscar Kemp - ABSW representative
  • Meghan Mallampati - M.S.W. student
  • Jen Murphy - Ph.D. student
  • Francesca Spencer - M.S.W. student
  • Ruth Tiguh - B.S.W. student

Learn more about our six student fellows and why they applied to participate

Faculty and staff

  • Jill Butler, online M.S.W. field coordinator and assistant professor in teaching
  • Nicole Corley, assistant professor
  • Kimberly S. Compton, instructor
  • Daryl Fraser (co-chair), associate professor in teaching
  • Katelynn Jarrells, B.S.W. student success advisor
  • Youngmi Kim, associate professor
  • Miriam Kuttikat, associate professor
  • Nicole L. O-Pries, associate professor in teaching
  • Alex Wagaman (co-chair), associate professor
  • Madison Woodroof, M.S.W. student success advisor

Alumni and adjunct faculty

  • Cortney Calixte
  • Taylor Davis
  • Will Kerner 
  • Kristin Lennox
  • Kristen Pritchard
  • Alethia Watford

Goals

The group’s work will be centered in the following principles:

  • Decentralizing traditional structures of power and privilege
  • Collective work and responsibility
  • Trickle-up social justice
  • Emergence
  • Anti-racist practice
  • Building community through an ethic of care

Curriculum Work Group

The VCU School of Social Work curriculum work group is composed of faculty, students and academic administrators in the School of Social Work. The work group is charged by the school programs committee to consider how the school prepares students to address racial equity and racial justice within the explicit curriculum across all programs, and provide recommendations for models to guide our efforts to better incorporate racial equity and justice into our curriculum. As such, the work group is composed of students and faculty representing the B.S.W., M.S.W. and Ph.D. programs and is led by the associate dean for academic and student affairs. The curriculum work group is tasked with the following:

  • Examining existing models for structuring pedagogy around racial equity 
  • Making recommendations to program committees for global examinations of their curriculum
  • Serving as a resource to the B.S.W., M.S.W. and Ph.D. program committees as they evaluate their curriculum
  • Providing recommendations for potential internal and external resources to support the curriculum evaluation process

Membership

  • Martha Abera, M.S.W. student
  • Leah M. Bouchard, Ph.D. student
  • Jillian Carpenter, assistant professor in teaching
  • Cameron Carter, assistant director of field educatino and associate professor in teaching
  • Stevara Clark, assistant director, online M.S.W. Program, and assistant professor in teaching
  • Kimberly S. Compton, instructor
  • Rebecca Gomez, associate dean for academic and student affairs and associate professor
  • Jennifer Murphy, Ph.D. student
  • Stephanie Grady Odera, director of field education and associate professor in teaching
  • Sarah Kye Price, associate dean for faculty development and professor
  • Ashley Staton, M.S.W. student
  • Traci Wike, associate professor

Student Climate Work Group

The School of Social Work is committed to ensuring an environment in which all students can thrive. The school has annually evaluated the student climate for several years. During the 2020-2021 school year, the SSW initiated the Student Climate Work Group to evaluate and make recommendations regarding this process. The work group is composed of faculty, students and staff who work collaboratively to develop, assess and implement the school’s comprehensive strategy to ensure a student climate that is inclusive and equitable. 

Membership

  • Leslie A.C. Aitken, Ph.D. Program coordinator
  • Rebecca Gomez, associate dean for academic and student affairs and associate professor
  • Abigail D. Kinnebrew, associate professor in teaching
  • Shelby E. McDonald, associate professor
  • Camie Tomlinson, Ph.D. student
  • Madison Woodroof, M.S.W. student success advisor