Mission, Vision & Values


Our mission is to create and advance social work knowledge and prepare a diverse student body for social work practice that promotes social justice, with a particular focus on urban communities. 


We develop social work practitioners, conduct research, and foster community engagement focused on urban communities. This commitment results in quality teaching and research that benefits the community, encourages cultural humility, and pays attention to social, economic and environmental justice. 


Detroit and southeast Michigan have a distinct history and set of challenges and opportunities that offer lessons and insights for social work practice in agencies and organizations in diverse urban environments. The urban context provides rich and compelling experiences that aid in developing professional competence and prepare students to uphold the core values of the social work profession and the following Social Work Warrior values: 

Advocacy Creativity Humanitarianism
Accessibility Diversity Innovation
Aspiration Ethical Leadership

Our Commitment

We strive to create an atmosphere that promotes respect for self-determination, fosters strength and resilience, and encourages clear and honest communication that will help us in problem solving. We are committed to our urban mission through the following:

  • Eliminating social inequities and modeling social and environmental justice
  • Preparing enthusiastic and compassionate social work students
  • Creating the next generation of leaders
  • Facilitating a culture of data driven decision-making to promote research engagement and reduce social and structural inequities.
  • Fostering an openness to all facets of SW practice; integrating micro/macro perspectives
  • Collaborating with university colleagues, community members, and those with valuable and diverse lived experience
  • Supporting personal and professional growth of faculty, staff and students

We believe in socially just and sustainable cities. We have a responsibility and opportunity to engage, build trust, and partner with the community on the creation of new knowledge that benefits the community. The co-production of knowledge embraces the role of community and strengthens the capacity of communities to address current and future challenges.