The Initiative for Transformative Social Work (ITSW) seeks to create an equitable and inclusive campus climate within CSW for students who identify as people of color, LGBTQIA, first generation, immigrants, refugees, and/or other minoritized populations at the University of Utah. Each year, ITSW funds social work student experiential scholars who define ITSW through the implementation of the Initiative’s mission, vision, and values.
The Initiative was founded in the spring of 2015 when students, faculty, and staff organized to respond in coalition with the Black Lives Matter movement. ITSW’s founding director, Dr. Christina Gringeri, worked with the experiential scholars, faculty, and staff, to lay the foundation of the student-driven and student-informed intiative during the 2015-2016 academic year. At its founding, ITSW sought to make community building, student support, and student-led social justice initiatives central to its implementation plan.
In its first year, ITSW organized a panel discussion, wrote blog posts for the College of Social Work, advocated for policy change with local commissioners, facilitated community dialogues and art initiatives, coordinated to create dialogue surrounding discoure and social change in the College, and conducted a study on the College climate.
The Initiative’s leadership includes ITSW’s director and experiential scholars, a faculty and staff advisory board, and a community advisory member.