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.

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.

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.

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.

Message from the Dean

Through this ever evolving public health crisis, we have been sending you many emails updating you about changes to your instruction and field learning. We have written to you to ensure you have the necessary hardware and software tools you needed to enter your virtual classrooms fully armed to be successful. Our goal was to be sure you had all the information you needed to be fully prepared as we moved ahead. As social work educators, the quality of your learning is of extraordinary importance to us.It would not be an understatement to say that we have worked tirelessly to ensure that your education remains of the same high quality. And through all of this, we have carried you with us every day through these turbulent times.