Students at Berkeley Social Welfare represent a core of diverse leaders practicing social justice, advocacy, leadership, and scholarship.
The Asian and Pacific Islander Social Worker Caucus is a group of MSW students at UC Berkeley who self-identify as Asian and/or Pacific Islander (API). The purpose of the group is to promote networking and connection amongst emerging social workers of API backgrounds, as social services catered to the broad API community are so sparse and limited. API Caucus was also formed to create a safe holding space for API folks to build community with each other and reflect about their experiences in and out of the MSW program.
The Cal Anti-Racism Collaborative (Cal ARC) creates non-academic spaces for UC Berkeley Social Welfare students, faculty, and alumni to discuss topics of power, privilege, and oppression within the field of social work. This student-led initiative seeks to empower members of the School of Social Welfare community with tools to bring an anti-racist and anti-oppressive lens to their practice in order to advance the movement to end structural racism.
Caucus for International Affairs (CIA)
The Caucus for International Awareness (CIA) is a group for social welfare students who are interested in international issues related to social work. The CIA’s primary mission is to practice a multi-cultural, internationally-informed brand of Social Work, both domestically and abroad, in order to promote Social Justice, enhance international collaboration and utilize international insight to improve existing social welfare institutions. As a group, we advocate for increased international-related content for students in the UCB School of Social Welfare; we share resources with each other about international opportunities, both in the Bay Area and abroad; and each year the group members decide what issues and activities they wish to engage in for the coming year. In order to promote the understanding of International Social Work and share the experiences of our classmates each fall we host the CIA Showcase where students with international experience are invited to share their insight about working abroad and discuss International Social Work at a School-wide level.
Indigenous Student Caucus
(RE)generation: Indigenous Social Welfare Caucus is a first of its kind inter-tribal graduate student group within the UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare. Developed by Indigenous social welfare graduate students and supported by the faculty and staff of the School of Social Welfare and the American Indian Graduate Program (AIGP). We acknowledge the harm that has been inflicted on the ability of many Indigenous Peoples to maintain wellness in the face of colonization and oppression. We believe in the regeneration of Indigenous Peoples and their ability to rise past adversity by recognizing the historical trauma effects on individuals, families and communities. We rise purposefully to create opportunities for future generations to carry on this well-being and heal what was once broken by: Creating spaces and events for inter-tribal cultural exchange and collaboration between (RE)generation members, working to develop inter-cultural relationships with students, faculty and staff within the School of Social Welfare and the University at large by utilizing individual student member skills and strengths through organizing around civic engagement and community service.
The purpose of Latin@ Caucus of Social Welfare is to support Latino/a, Chicano/a students and faculty to advocate for the retention and recruitment of students and faculty, and to become politically involved in issues that affect the Latino@ community. The purpose of the Caucus is to unite the efforts of social welfare students who desire and are committed to working towards the improvement of the quality of life of Latino@ people and their communities.
The social welfare caucus is a space for Latin@ students to work together to fill the gaps in social work education while looking into the community needs and bring forth advocacy of what is missing on the UC Berkeley campus;
Empower Latino/a, Chicano/a students to find avenues for change within the community;
Create partnerships with faculty, students, and social work professionals to bring Latino/a, Chicano/a voices into the classrooms and curriculum;
To enrich the Social Work education of Latin@ students’ and non Latin@ students’ who are committed to serving the Latin@ community.
To support the profession and advocate on behalf of clients and programs, NASW holds their annual Lobby Days in Sacramento each spring semester. This two-day event gives social work professionals, and students at the undergraduate and graduate levels from across the state, the chance to convene in Sacramento to meet each other, learn skills related to lobbying and advocacy, and meet with legislators to discuss issues related to social work policy, research and practice. Each year, undergraduate and graduate students from Berkeley Social Welfare mobilize to learn about and engage in the process of advocacy, lobbying and legislative action.
See Lobby Days page for more information.
PRO (Privilege, Racism and Oppression) Dialogue is an intentional space for students who benefit from white privilege to learn about and take action against white supremacy. PRO holds a commitment to continuous education around how privilege, racism, and oppression impacts and intersects with our personal lives, professional social work practice, and the communities we serve. Personal growth, accountability and accomplice-ship is promoted through dialogue and skills training.
Social Justice Symposium
The Social Justice Symposium (SJS), now in its 11th year, grew out of student organizing and a desire for a stronger social justice focus within the MSW program experience. Planned around the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, this free event now serves 300-500 students and community members each year. Through keynote speakers and performers, dozens of workshops, and a resource fair during the free lunch, this event aims to educate and inspire while building social justice consciousness and community.
Social Welfare Graduate Assembly (SWGA)
All UC Berkeley MSW students are automatically part of the Social Welfare Graduate Assembly (SWGA), an organization that seeks to empower students and support other student groups. SWGA members sit on various committees and task forces of the School of Social Welfare, providing the student voice to faculty and administration. SWGA also receives funding through the Graduate Assembly, which it then distributes through an application process to other groups. SWGA meets once a month.
Students of Under-Represented Cultures and Ethnicities (S.O.U.R.C.E)
Students Of Underrepresented Races, Cultures & Ethnicities is intended to serve as a support platform for School of Social Welfare students who identify with an underrepresented race, culture, or ethnicity at UC Berkeley’s School of Social Welfare. SOURCE is an inclusive entity that will includes UC Berkeley graduate students and faculty/staff. The group provides a space for School of Social Welfare students to promote racial justice and community. By centering our conversations on narratives outside of mainstream dialogs, we heal each other and uncover the intersecting oppressions we share.
Social Workers in Classrooms (SWIC)
Social Workers In Classrooms (SWIC) provides a service-learning opportunity for MSW students to gain knowledge about the public-school system and inner workings of classroom settings while allowing them to offer their help and personal strengths to the community. SWIC is unique amongst other Berkeley organizations as it is the only master’s level volunteer organization in the School of Social Welfare that facilitates classroom placement. We provide an opportunity to gain classroom language and experience necessary to better collaborate and facilitate mental health care for school-age clients.
Therapy Role Play Group
The Therapy Role-Play Group provides trainings and role play opportunities for students to practice clinical skills that can be used in diverse social work settings. Our monthly trainings occur on Monday evenings when most students are out of class, and typically last for about 2 hours. Topics covered in the past have included Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectic Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, Trauma-Informed care, groupwork, and more! Our sessions contain a teaching component, followed by our favorite part: supervised role play, guided by the instructor! As we like to put it, we like to practice our clinical techniques in a safe space before trying them out with our clients. Check out our club anytime, and let us know if you'd like to take part!