Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day

From the Office of Dean Heller

Dear Colleagues,

On Monday, January 16, we recognize Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. For four decades, this holiday has provided an opportunity to celebrate the life and contributions of this legendary civil rights leader. At UConn School of Social Work, we also take this moment to reaffirm our commitment to Dr. King’s Dream and the ongoing struggle for racial justice.

The goal of achieving racial, social, and economic justice is central to our School’s mission and a major focus of Social Work for Impact: Our Five-Year Strategic Plan. Our faculty and staff are deeply committed to continuing to engage in meaningful dialogue about diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism in our community and in our work. We also pledge to hold ourselves accountable and to take action to advance racial justice.

As part of this commitment, we recently published our School’s definition of anti-racism in order to clarify our purpose and goals moving forward. It states that anti-racism is “collective and individual actions designed to ensure that all members of our community experience, in equal measure over time and place, belonging, power, esteem, success, and wellness.” As a community of social work students, faculty and staff, we know that our mission can only be realized when justice is achieved for those who have long been excluded, especially racially oppressed people in our community and world.

On MLK Day, I encourage you to participate in events organized at UConn and in our community. These include the MLK Living Legacy Convocation and the MLK Day of Service.  For information about these events and other events across the state, please visit UConn’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice website.


In solidarity,

Nina Rovinelli Heller, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor
Zachs Chair in Social Work