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UMSSW Climate Assessment Focus Group Times and Locations Announced

The University of Maryland, Baltimore is in the process of launching a new climate research study with the goal of gathering some important information about the lived experiences of students, faculty, and staff within the School of Social Work. The study is being designed in such a way that students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community partners from the School of Social Work can engage with this process, having opportunities to provide constructive feedback and recommendations regarding the School’s ongoing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

The first part of this process will begin with a series of formal focus groups. These focus groups will take place on April 23 – 25 and will be held on the various University of Maryland, Baltimore campuses. All students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend these various focus group sessions which will all be customized to feature a discussion led from the perspective of a specific population within the School of Social Work. Please see your campus email account for a list of days, times and locations for your specific list of either student-focused, faculty-focused, staff-focused or specialty focused sessions. 49 sessions are being held in all. If you did not receive this information in your campus email, please email us from your campus email account and send a message to

For those that are unable to attend any of the focus group sessions due to schedule constraints, you will have another opportunity to offer your feedback byway of completing a simple web-based survey ( The questions on this survey will directly align with the questions posed during the focus group sessions. The survey, which should take less than 15 minutes to complete, offers the opportunity to make your voice heard and to help the School of Social Work, and the University at large, create a more inclusive campus environment.

While this is not a formal campus climate survey – which would collect more extensive data – the data collected in the survey in combination with the data collected during the focus groups will allow us to a get a better understanding of the overall culture within UMB’s School of Social Work. Dr. Damon A. Williams, who is a nationally recognized diversity expert, along with a team of researchers, is working with the University to conduct this study. His team will use the data collected from the focus groups and the survey to draft a report with pointed recommendations about how we can create an even more inclusive environment within the School of Social Work.

We understand that this is a very busy time of year and we appreciate your consideration in participating in these upcoming focus groups and offering your support to this study in general.

  • Although we will be audio-recording these sessions, all feedback will remain anonymous. These recordings will be transcribed and shared only with the research team. No one employed or enrolled at UMB, UMBC, or USG will receive or have access to these recordings.

  • If you can only participate in a portion of the focus group, that is fine.

  • For those that are unable to participate in any of the scheduled in-person focus groups, please consider completing this brief open-ended assessment by clicking here.

  • This assessment is being done for institutional improvement purposes; findings from this assessment will not be published in any form beyond the final report.

  • All information that you provide via this online assessment will remain anonymous and confidential and will only be shared with the research team.

  • If you have questions regarding this process, please feel free to reach out to the Center for Strategic Diversity Leadership & Social Innovation (CSDLSI) via email at

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