Statement from the Silberman School of Social Work Community and Hunter College on Violence Against Asian Americans

The Silberman School of Social Work community stands in solidarity with people across the USA and globally in mourning the Atlanta Spa murders of eight people, six being Asian American women. We voice our strong support to all those affected deeply by these heinous and tragic acts in Atlanta.

As Michelle Alexander notes, racism is highly adaptable in the United States. The rules and reasons the political system employs to enforce relations of any kind, including racial hierarchy, evolve and change as they are challenged.

A Message from the Dean

Dear Silberman Community,

At a time when so many of our democratic ideals are yet again being violently desecrated, a global pandemic has taken nearly two million lives, and the need for racial justice is far too long overdue, we, as Social Workers, remain steadfast in our resolve to defend the values and ideals of our profession. As we begin the New Year with hope, we recommit ourselves to our core values in confronting social injustice, and respecting and valuing the dignity and worth of all individuals.

Identifying and Disrupting Ideologies of Dominance Committee


The Silberman Committee for Identifying and Disrupting Ideologies of Dominance (IOD) is committed to developing actions steps to identify and disrupt practices that uphold domination and subjugation of people in our school and practice communities. This initiative invites faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community partners to join in dialogues to explore how the Silberman Community can eradicate the impact of ideologies of dominance in our curriculum, student support efforts, public programming, and research, scholarship, and practice.

To the New Year Ahead…

Dear Silberman Community,

As the end of 2020 draws near, I want to take a moment to give thanks for all that you have done to forge ahead so bravely through the extraordinary challenges of this year. It has not been an easy road to follow, as you endured unprecedented obstacles in your personal, social, academic, and professional lives. Feelings of pain, fear, and loss were far too common an experience for so many throughout our Silberman community.

Facing What Needs To Be Changed: Moving Forward

Dear Colleagues and Students,

I am writing to update you on the actions we have undertaken as we hold ourselves accountable as an institution, and as a community, in creating a learning environment that fully integrates a just practice framework across our curriculum, field experiences, and community partnerships.

In June, we convened two faculty and staff meetings dedicated to this necessary work. These meetings were extraordinarily well-attended.

Facing What Needs To Be Changed

The members of the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College stand in solidarity with people throughout the United States and around the world in mourning the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Atatiana Jefferson. This senseless loss of life at a time when the official COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. has reached 100,000 defies our understanding.

Social workers must speak out against injustice and at the same time be self-aware to ensure that residuals of systemic racism as well as other ‘isms‘ that live in all of us are identified and addressed.

A Follow-up Message From Dean Cavanaugh on Solidarity and Commitment

This has been a time of much pain, anger, rage, and increased trauma as many thousands across the nation demand change and an end to institutions and practices that have for too long dehumanized individuals and communities of color. I want to take a moment to pause and honor the pain and trauma that you feel and your commitment to social justice.I would like, as well, to follow-up with you and to let you know of continuing actions being undertaken as we move forward together in ensuring that our programs and curricula here at Silberman are embedded in a social justice analysis, so that we fully teach the ethics of our profession as social workers.