The Office of the Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion fosters a diverse and inclusive environment 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.
  • 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.


Professor Esther Calzada, Ph.D., is the inaugural Associate Dean of Equity and Inclusion for the Steve Hicks School of Social Work. Calzada works closely with the Committee for Diversity and Inclusion, which is a group of faculty, staff and student representatives who help shape priorities and carry out programs.

Please join us in our efforts

We welcome your ideas, your participation and your feedback. Please contact Nicholette Maraccini, or Esther Calzada,

Esther Calzada

Esther Calzada Ph.D.


We have launched several strategic initiatives, 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 undergraduate and graduate programs.


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

  • Provide meaningful and ongoing equity and inclusion trainings for faculty and staff.
  • Provide opportunities for enriching equity and inclusion in (and out of) the classroom
  • Provide comprehensive mentorship to ensure equity for faculty, staff and students.
  • Apply metrics for measuring the effectiveness of our initiatives.
  • Ensure alignment of our initiatives with existing school policies and practices.


Keep up-to-date with what we are doing through our newsletter, It’s Time, launched in September 2020.

We also support a-loud, an anti-racist, anti-colonial student-run newsletter that shares work by BIPOC voices within the Steve Hicks School of Social Work.

The Allies and Accomplices initiative givees our community members the opportunity to identify faculty and staff who pledge to use their power and privilege to confront and interrupt oppression. This initiative serves to 1) Support students who are marginalized through authentic and trusting relationships with an ally or accomplice; 2) Support students with privilege in becoming effective allies by working with an ally or accomplice; 3) Grow the presence of allies and accomplices within our school community.

The Office of the Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion has curated a list of resources for the Steve Hicks School community. These resources represent a sampling of those available for social workers who are learning about, confronting and combatting oppression and are not meant to be exhaustive. We encourage you to explore this library as a starting point to fulfilling your commitment to social justice.