Published on : November 17, 2022
The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is eager to share an update regarding the organization’s response to the report of harassment during the 2022 Annual Program Meeting (APM) with attendees and CSWE members.
On the morning of November 12, two individuals reported to a CSWE senior staff leader that they had received persistent and unwanted text messaging communication from another attendee that made them feel extremely uncomfortable and was determined to constitute harassment.
CSWE followed steps defined in the Conference Safety and Inclusiveness Policy, which was developed in 2017 by the CSWE Commission on Membership and Professional Development and adopted by the Board of Directors.
- The CSWE leader took note of the complaints, recommended that the individuals employ the “block” function to prevent further unwanted communication, provided contact information to report further contact, and encouraged the individuals to report the harassing behavior to their institution's Title IX office.
- Within an hour of the complaint, this information was shared with other senior CSWE staff (including a vice president, the president & CEO, and the director of human resources). Hotel security was promptly informed of the complaint at that time.
- The individual responsible for the unwanted communication was issued a notice to “cease and desist” these actions by CSWE. That individual acknowledged receipt of the notice and agreed to comply.
We will continue to review our policy, update it as needed, and develop accompanying action items and procedures. Particular attention will be paid to ensuring that the reporting procedures are clear and keep those who have reported concerns safe and informed throughout the process. We will be sure to engage an expert consultant to advise us in best practices. We will disseminate updates to our policy and our new procedures to members and attendees when they are ready.
Thank you to those that had the courage to speak to us and challenge us about these and other conference issues. CSWE values the safety and well-being of all members of our community. CSWE will accept nothing less than a safe and supportive environment within all of our programs, meetings, and other affiliated activities. Those who attend and participate will be held accountable for behaviors that are not in line with the values and ethics of the profession. We are committed to always working with our membership for continuous improvement.
If there is anyone who needs to speak with a Board member about their experiences or concerns, please contact Dr. Hilary Weaver, board chair, [email protected], and Dr. Lori Messinger, board vice chair, at [email protected].