The IU School of Social Work is pleased to welcome Myranda Warden, MSW, LSW, lecturer, as the Diversity Committee’s new co-chair. Warden works with queer and transgender populations in their private practice and teaches classes on mental health and addiction at IUPUI. Their passion for social justice and experience supporting LGBTQ+ youth made them a natural fit for the role of co-chair.
Warden said the Diversity Committee wants to create opportunities for underrepresented student populations to share their experiences and have a voice in the school’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
As someone who is queer and trans, I’ve had a lot of students come to me and say, ‘I have this issue in this class, or I’m being treated this way at my practicum,’ but faculty don’t have a clear pathway for what to do with that,” Warden said.
One goal of the Diversity Committee will be to create a path for students when they have an issue, they can bring it to the Diversity Committee.
The IU School of Social Work Diversity Committee is an established group working within the school for over a decade and passed a diversity plan in 2018. This plan has been added to the schools soon to be released strategic plan and will help incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion into the structure of all initiatives and programming. The committee brings in guest speakers, facilitates discussions among students, faculty, staff, and partners with key organizations such as the Indiana Disproportionality Committee.
In the summer of 2020, under former Co-Chair Charla Yearwood, LMSW, and current Co-Chair Devina Jani, MSW, LSW, the diversity committee hosted a book club and invited all faculty and staff members from the School of Social Work to read White Fragility and participate in small group discussions. The committee would like to continue to facilitate events like this to help create a space to continue having these difficult conversations.
Jani, Director of Career Services, said the committee aims to be inclusive.
While we are the co-chairs, we are a collective voice. The Diversity Committee is a working group, and we have a lot of work to do. We are here to facilitate and make sure initiatives keep moving, but it is a collective voice,” Jani said. “We help with what is important to us as a school and how it impacts our community.”
The next diversity committee meeting is on November 20th from 11:30 am-12:30 pm. To get involved and learn more about the Diversity Committee, email firstname.lastname@example.org.