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.

Matthew Caron – Weekday Grants Manager, Weekend Healthcare Hero

Five days a week, Matthew Caron administers Silberman ten million dollar portfolio of externally funded grants and contracts. But every weekend, he puts on his paramedic uniform and joins the thousands of healthcare workers who provide lifesaving assistance to the city’s citizens. This work has become even more challenging as the city struggles to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. We asked Matthew to tell us about his weekend job.

Update Regarding COVID-19

(Updated May 1, 2020)

The Silberman building is currently closed.

Throughout this public health emergency, we remain committed to our students successfully completing the spring semester and to supporting our faculty’s ongoing teaching, scholarship, and research. All in-person classes and field placements have been suspended and ongoing instruction will use remote methods.We continue to focus on the transition to remote learning and are confident that we can continue to deliver the high-quality instruction that meets our professional standards.

Field Placement Update

In light of the extraordinary public health emergency, we have requested approval from the State to temporarily reduce the field practicum hours required for successful completion of MSW requirements for all students eligible for such a reduction. So far, we have received approval to reduce the number of hours for the two year MSW timeframe graduating students.We are aware that CSWE recently announced a further potential reduction in the minimum required field hours. However, this has not been approved by NYSED. We will provide further information as it becomes available.

Field Education updates for students and community partners —>