Dear GSS Community,
This morning members of the Fordham Graduate of Social Service community awoke to a new President and a newly organized Congress. Over the long months leading to this day thousands of Americans engaged in the democratic electoral process through heated debate and many by knocking on doors, making phone calls, attending rallies and writing checks. There were exhaustive efforts on both sides to convince voters that their particular candidate would best protect their interests. And so on this new day many will celebrate while others will face it with feelings ranging from uncertainty to despair. I think it’s safe to say that the latter is the more likely reaction for those of us who work with, and on behalf of, vulnerable individuals, families and communities.
The mission at GSS is to educate students to promote human rights and social justice. We strive to improve the well-being of people and communities through teaching culturally responsive, evidence-informed practice and engaging in research, public advocacy, and community partnership. The importance of our mission is reinforced by today’s larger national events rather than diminished.
Although we are facing the future with uncertainty I encourage each of you to remember that individually and together we remain a powerful resource for change. To each other and the communities we serve it’s important that we continue to be a source of support and hope. I realize that I’m calling on all of us, faculty, students, staff and alumni, to muster a sense of courage that may not come easily. Nevertheless I do so because I believe that the oppressed, the marginalized, the vulnerable need us more than ever. And I do so because I am confident that social workers possess the knowledge, skills and values that are the critical tools for promoting and supporting an inclusive society.
Today we continue our mission together and I am grateful for each and every one of you.
Debra M. McPhee, PhD