A message from the Dean

May 16, 2022

We began this year excited to welcome students back in person and reconnect with each other. We navigated a few twists and turns in the road — omicron! changing public health guidance! — but we came through together as a community.

This May, we are proud to celebrate the Latinx Center of Excellence in Behavioral Health (LCOEBH). Founded in 2017 thanks to a grant from HRSA, the LCOEBH has helped our program more than double the number of Latinx-identified MSW students: from 17.6% in 2016 17 to 36% today. Progress like this aligns with UC Berkeley's goal of becoming a federally-designated Hispanic Serving Institution. In a state that is 40% Latinx — with that number poised to grow — it is vital that we take a leadership role in training social workers who are well-versed in the languages and cultures of the communities they serve.

It is equally vital we keep striving to recruit and support students and faculty who reflect the diversity of our state. With the LCOEBH's five-year grant from HRSA drawing to a close, for our next round of funding we have applied for a HRSA Center of Excellence grant that would expand the mission of the Center to support underrepresented minority students and faculty working in behavioral health. In this and myriad other ways, we continue our ongoing efforts towards full equity and inclusion

Meanwhile, our faculty's scholarship continues to be groundbreaking. In this issue, we highlight the research of Assistant Professor Yu-Ling Chang and Associate Professor Emmeline Chuang. Both of them examine the social safety net, identifying strengths and areas for improvement in the systems of care that serve the most vulnerable among us,

I am proud of our students and alums as a force for change and justice. Doctoral candidate Douglas Epps examines the insidious effects of immigrant othering and advocates for alternatives to immigrant detention. And alum Dylan Nicole de Kervor (MSW/JD '09) has built a career with the federal government, advocating for the rights of marginalized communities at the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services.

These are only a few examples of the inspiring work that grows from Berkeley Social Welfare. Together, we are working to advance the common good and build a more equitable world.

In solidarity and gratitude,

Linda M. Burton
Dean and Professor
Eugene and Rose Kleiner Chair of Aging