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A message from Dean Charmaine Williams to the FIFSW community about recent student action at U of T


Dear FIFSW students, alumni, faculty, staff, and collaborators,

In recent weeks, I have heard from many about the fifsw4ceasefire Calls to Action letter being circulated by students in our Faculty and the student-led U of T Occupy for Palestine encampment at our university. To those who have reached out, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and concerns. I encourage people to read President Meric Gertler’s letter addressing the demands from Occupy for Palestine. His letter shares the University of Toronto’s position on issues that are also raised in the Calls to Action from fifsw4ceasefire. The University’s discussions with the students representing the encampment are ongoing and updates are shared regularly. As always, we remain in dialogue with our students.

At this time, I am reflecting on our social work values and ethics. These principles direct us to respect the inherent dignity and worth of all people and the right for all to live with expectations of safety, equality, and equity. Our values guide us to engage ethically with each other, respecting a diversity of perspectives, and rejecting discourse or action that promotes hate or discrimination.

We are committed to continuing, as a community, to work together and through our differences in hope of finding paths to peace and social justice. In all of this, sustaining and caring for relationships with our students, alumni, faculty, staff, and collaborators remains central to fulfilling the Faculty’s mission and living our social work values.

For those seeking more information or resources, I would like to share the following:

I hope that you will find this information helpful, and I thank all of you for your enduring commitment to this Faculty and to the goals and values of social work.

Charmaine Williams
Dean & Professor
Sandra Rotman Chair in Social Work
Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work
University of Toronto