School of Social Work (SSW) Equity Planning Committee

We are pleased to provide an update to the activities of the Equity Planning Committee toward developing a more just and equitable community at the School.

On February 8th, 2017, results of the 2016 equity survey were presented at an Equity Forum. Students, faculty, staff, and field instructors in attendance then participated in breakout groups to discuss the findings and generate additional action steps for addressing equity-related challenges. Posters illustrating key findings were posted in the hallway of the School’s main office. A written report is now being finalized and will be ready for dissemination by the Fall. In the meanwhile, we are posting an executive summary of the survey results.

In response to the needs expressed by students in the survey, several efforts are now underway:

  1. Members of the Equity Planning Committee sought and received support for establishing a formal Equity Committee at the SSW. Membership recruitment will commence in the Fall. Students interested in joining should contact Dr. Sara Kahn at sara.kahn [at] for further information.
  2. Shanice Yarde from McGill’s Social Equity and Diversity Education Office (SEDE) has been invited to work closely with SSW students, faculty, staff, and field instructors beginning in the Fall of 2017.  Shanice Yarde will be on-site at Wilson Hall 2 half-days per week to provide confidential one-on-one support to students who have equity and diversity-related concerns or experience challenges in the classroom, the field, or elsewhere in the SSW community. She’ll also be providing ongoing trainings and consultations to faculty, staff, and field instructors on issues related to creating and sustaining safer spaces for engaging with diversity and equity in the classroom, at the School, and in the field. In addition, Shanice will consult with the SSW to help the Equity Planning group transition into an Equity Committee. The initial focus will be on developing an equitable structure and membership. The priorities for the Committee have been developed from the recommendations of students participating in the Equity Survey and the Equity Forum. Details can be found in the Executive Summary of the survey findings available on this webpage.
  3. Several efforts were hatched from the SSW’s Equity Forum this winter, including Conversations with Muslims and the Community Incubator Project. For more information about how you can become involved, please contact Dr. Kate Maurer  katherine.maurer [at]
  4. Drs. Tamara Sussman and Shadi Martin are engaged in efforts to strengthen peer mentorship opportunities for incoming students in the BSW, QY, and MSW programs.


For more information about how you can become involved in the newly forming Equity Committee or to share feedback, please contact Dr. Sara Kahn at sara.kahn [at]

For more information about the work of SEDE, please visit

To contact Shanice Yarde directly for any questions or feedback, please email shanice.yarde [at]

For Equity & Diversity Survey 2016 Highlights, click here.

Who to contact about an Equity-related Issue, click here.