Equity and Inclusion

The Office of the Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion (ADEI) is dedicated to fostering a diverse and inclusive school environment and community that is founded on mutual respect, an appreciation of differences, and the dismantling of systems of privilege and oppression. In working towards equity and inclusion, we recognize that:

  • institutional policies and practices reinforce differential outcomes for historically underrepresented faculty, staff, students, and communities;
  • the advancement of our social work mission calls for the presence of diversity in all its forms and specifically from underrepresented groups; and
  • we intentionally and steadfastly commit to anti-racism and anti-oppression in our practice, scholarship, teaching, and service.



We stand for social justice for individuals and communities facing oppression on the basis of race, ethnicity, nationality, class, religion, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, and/or (dis)ability. We reject all forms of hate, marginalization, discrimination, and violence.


Who We Are

Professor Esther Calzada, Ph.D., serves as the inaugural Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion for the Steve Hicks School of Social Work.

“The field of social work is committed to promoting social and economic justice, alleviating critical social problems, and enhancing human well-being. We are guided by this mission as we become more intentional in our work to promote inclusion and equity in our school community and beyond. The creation of the Office of the ADEI recognizes that this requires a formal and strategic commitment at all levels of our school, from the deans to the faculty, staff and students.”

Calzada works closely with the Committee for Diversity and Inclusion, a group of faculty, staff and student representatives who help shape priorities and carry out programs.


Current Landscape

A number of strategic initiatives have been launched, including faculty and staff trainings on institutional racism; enhancement of our curriculum with more in-depth exploration of Critical Race Theory; more comprehensive mentorship for junior scholars, including postdoctoral fellows and assistant professors; and more comprehensive supports for students from underrepresented groups to boost recruitment and retention in our BSW, MSSW, and PhD programs.


Vision Forward

In our ongoing efforts, we will continue to work towards equity and inclusion, with an emphasis on the following goals.

GOAL 1. Provide meaningful and ongoing equity and inclusion trainings for faculty and staff.

GOAL 2. Provide opportunities for enriching equity and inclusion in (and out of) the classroom. 

GOAL 3. Provide comprehensive mentorship to ensure equity for faculty, staff and students.

GOAL 4. Create a strong sense of community founded in equity and inclusion.

GOAL 5. Apply metrics for measuring the effectiveness of our initiatives.

GOAL 6. Ensure alignment of our initiatives with existing school policies and practices.



Please join us in our efforts. We welcome your ideas, your participation and your feedback. Please contact Monica Rosario, mrosario@utexas.edu, or Esther Calzada, Esther.Calzada@austin.utexas.edu