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“We can certainly talk about having folks at the table, but once they’re at the table, are we making sure that their voices are heard? Are we making sure that we hear where they’re coming from?”

Dean Keith A. Alford

The United States is a diverse place. It is imperative for us to create spaces where everyone feels like they belong, to be mindful of patterns of injustice and to support the needs of those of us with diverging abilities. All of these aspirations have a long history in our society and especially in the field of social work.

The COVID-19 pandemic, the disparate violence and deaths experienced by people of color and the awareness of inequities in health care, opportunity and education have coalesced in making issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) topics of increased interest in our country and around the world.

In this episode, we speak with a long-standing expert about his professional and personal experience advocating and leading efforts to promote an understanding and application of DEIA values and perspectives.

Keith A. Alford, dean and professor in the University at Buffalo School of Social Work, offers listeners a conversation that provides an introduction to DEIA efforts and a critical examination of the way ahead. A resolute foot soldier and proud social work professional and academic, Alford offers a leader’s perspective on this complex area.

Keith Alford

Keith A. Alford, PhD, ACSW, is dean of the University at Buffalo School of Social Work. Under Alford’s leadership, the school has embedded the principles of DEIA across its five-year strategic plan and has begun integrating racial trauma into the school’s established trauma-informed and human rights framework. Alford joined UB from Syracuse University, where he served as professor and director of the School of Social Work and as the university’s first chief diversity and inclusion officer. Alford’s research has appeared in numerous social work journals and has been funded by grants from the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, National Science Foundation, and New York State Office of Mental Health. He also has authored book chapters and contributed columns on issues associated with diversity and human services.

Show Notes

Cite this podcast – Sobota, P. (Host). (2024, May 21). The DEIA Landscape: Promise, Peril and the Way Forward (No. 327)[Audio podcast episode]. In inSocialWork. University at Buffalo School of Social Work.

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