Racial and Social Justice Collaborative

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Racial and Social Justice Collaborative logo The Racial and Social Justice Collaborative, is an initiative of the School of Social Work Director, in conjunction with the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee. This Collaborative is composed of all members of the School of Social Work Community. It will function as a facilitating entity that every member of the School has access to as we strive to make sure our work, communities, and selves are anti-racist and operate in the benefit of racial and social justice.

There are two Co-Facilitators who will serve as points of contact. However, this Collaborative belongs to everyone in the School of Social Work Community and we intend for it to be a place for fellowship, resource sharing, team building, and discourse.

We will cultivate spaces for students, faculty, and staff to share ideas and insights for the School, as well as regular spaces to share their own experiences. We understand that racial and social justice work is very difficult and will work to ensure that we employ truly inclusive decision making. We will operate through shared power among all interested and invested parties, and we will use group problem solving input methods. Working from shared goals, we will always welcome emotions and differing world views in the interest of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

We invite the MSU community to self-enroll in our Racial and Social Justice D2L course for the latest resources and events.

Mission Statement

The MSU SSW Racial and Social Justice Collaborative works to highlight and enhance systemic investment in racial and social justice through engagement of all school members, including faculty, staff, students, and community members. This group builds a collaborative framework to implement the SSW’s focus on racial and social justice.


To support the MSU SSW in understanding, valuing, supporting, and protecting every member of our School on issues of racial and social justice, while maintaining the highest quality education, research, and service to the greater community.


  • Collaborate with programs within the School to cultivate internal trainers/speakers and invite external leaders to share their expertise on racial and social justice matters
  • Explore developing collaborative work through a Michigan Racial Justice Consortium with other universities in Michigan
  • Engage in student, staff, and faculty recruitment and retention process to ensure opportunities for racial diversity are fully implemented
  • Engage current students in regular town halls to ensure their voice and experiences relating to racial and social justice matters are shared widely across all campuses and program options
  • Partner with current SSW student groups to amplify student voice and opportunities to engage in various School processes in the interest of racial and social justice
  • Host interns and student workers to assist with events, research projects, and other work to advance the mission of the Collaborative
  • Work with the Administrative Team to support inclusive School communication on sensitive topics
  • Publish blogs based on current events and work happening around the School to highlight and our School as a prominent voice in the University and among peer institutions doing racial and social justice and equity work
  • Develop and plan process and outcome evaluation of the Collaborative

Our remaining objectives are led by the work that everyone around the school is doing, therefore we look forward to hearing about everyone’s current projects and investment.


Daniel Vélez Ortiz
Daniel Vélez Ortiz, MSW, PhD
Gina Tremonti Gembel
Gina Tremonti Gembel, MSW