FAU College of Social Work & Criminal Justice Commemorates Its 1-Year Anniversary

Published on : October 6, 2021

Launched on July 1, 2020, the Florida Atlantic University (FAU) College of Social Work & Criminal Justice celebrated its 1-year anniversary and developed a report to highlight its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

“Our college leadership team understands the importance of creating opportunities for our colleagues and students to meet and discuss issues pertaining to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Even though such conversations may be difficult, we have created a safe space to do so,” said Naelys Luna, FAU founding dean of the College of Social Work & Criminal Justice and professor of the Phyllis & Harvey Sandler School of Social Work, sister school to the School of Criminology & Criminal Justice. “Such efforts are crucial toward cultivating inclusivity and cultural diversity in our local communities and beyond.”

The report emphasizes the college’s commitment to DEI and highlights the following initiatives already underway:

  • Eliciting feedback from Black faculty and staff members: All Black faculty and staff members were invited to come together and initiate meaningful conversations on issues related to diversity, inclusion, and racial justice. The aim was to create a safe space where faculty and staff members could share their thoughts and experiences and to elicit feedback regarding the climate within the university, and more specifically, the college.
  • Auditing the college website: After receiving feedback from Black faculty and staff members about the importance of equal representation, the college conducted a comprehensive audit of college and school websites to ensure that all written and visual communications were consistent with DEI values.
  • Proactively creating a college DEI committee: In fall 2020, the Faculty Assembly developed and voted on College By-Laws, which included establishing a college-level advisory committee to assist with DEI initiatives, act as a consultative body, and advise the dean on DEI issues as they relate to the faculty, staff members, and students. Taking this important step supplemented the DEI efforts already underway in the Sandler School of Social Work, such as its previously established Justice Diversity and Inclusion (JDEI) Action committee.

The college’s commitments to DEI are also being honored in recent faculty publications such as: 

The mission of the FAU College of Social Work & Criminal Justice is to inspire and prepare criminal justice and social work leaders, scholars, practitioners, clinicians, and policymakers to enact positive change. Faculty members focus on integrating theory with community-centered, evidence-based practice to help develop ethical, culturally competent, and innovative professionals. Students are empowered to analyze, implement, and evaluate social welfare policies, practices, and technologies; address discriminatory systems and processes; provide direct services to vulnerable and marginalized populations; and promote justice and equitable outcomes for individuals, families, and communities in South Florida and beyond. | Learn More (fau.edu)