DEI Resources

School of Social Work’s Race, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Video Playlist

King of the World Podcast

King of the World Podcast

A seven-part podcast series about a Pakistani American Muslim teenager who comes of age post-9/11

Tools for Social Workers

  1. Profession: A Systematic Review of the Literature on Antigay Bias, Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services Jill M. Chonody & Kenneth Scott Smith(2013)The State of the Social Work,25:3,326-361,DOI

  2. Equity vs. Invisibility: Sexual Orientation Issues in Social Work Ethics and Curricula Standards, Social Work Education. Nick J. Mulé(2006).25:6,608-622,DOI

  3. The Role of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work Practice: Views and Experiences of Social Workers and Students. Gilligan, P. (2005). British Journal of Social Work,36(4), 617-637. doi

Strategies & Tools for the Classroom and Institutions of Higher Education

    1. CSWE Educator Resources
    2. Disability-Competent Care Resources
    3. How One School is taking action against racism in academic

    4. Exploring faculty and staff development of cultural competence through communicative learning in an online diversity course.

    5. Making diversity “everyone’s business”: A discourse analysis of institutional responses to student activism for equity and inclusion.
    6. Be Anti-Racist in Academic. Here are some ideas:
    7. Harvard Business Review: Academia is not a safe place for conversations about race

Research Publications

  • Structural Racism in Schools: A View through the Lens of the National School Social Work Practice Model
    [Crutchfield, Jandel, Phillippo, Kate L, Frey, Andy]. Children & Schools. 1-7. "National Association of Social Workers".

  • Depression and suicide risk at the cross-section of sexual orientation and gender identity for high school youth
    [Guz, Samantha, Kattari, Shanna K, Atteberry-Ash, Brittanie, Klemmer, Carey, Call, Jarrod, Kattari, Leo]. Journal of Adolescent Health: Official Publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine. Advance online publication, DOI
  • “What I ended up doing with the feelings was just bottling them up:” Qualitatively examining the impact of microaggressions on racial/ethnic minorities
    [Speer, Rachel, Atteberry-Ash, Brittanie, Kattari, Shanna K, Gupta, R]. Perspective on Social Work. 15(2), 16-29.
  • At the intersection of culture: Ethnically diverse dementia caregivers’ service use
    [Richardson, VE, Fields, NL, Won, S, Bradley, E, Gibson, A, Rivera, G, Holmes, S]. Dementia. 18(5), 1790–1809. DOI:

  • Advocacy Practice for Social Justice (4th edition)
    [Hoefer, Richard]. Book. (4th ed), 250. New York, New York: "Oxford University Press".
  • Adverse childhood experiences and mental and physical health disparities: The moderating effect of race and implications for social work
    [LaBrenz, CatherineA, O'Gara, JaimieL, Panisch, LisaS, Larkin, Heather, ]. Social Work in Health Care. DOI

  • Supports and gaps in federal policy for addressing racial and ethnic disparities among long-term care facility residents
    [Mauldin, Rebecca, Lee, Kathy, Tang, Weizhou, Herrera, Sarah, Williams, Antwan C]. Journal of Gerontological Social Work.

  • The Ableist Privilege Activity: An Active Learning Classroom Exercise
    [Bowers, P.H., Boyas, J.F., Mitschke, Diane B]. Research & Reviews: Journal of Social Sciences.

  • Predictors of graduation and criminal recidivism: Findings from a drug court that primarily serves African Americans
    [Gallagher, J.R., Wahler, E.A., Nordberg, Anne Elizabeth]. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work.

  • African diasporan experiences of U.S. police violence: An exploration of identity and counter-narratives
    [Nordberg, A., Meshesha, B.]. The British Journal of Social Work.

  • African American participants’ suggestions on eliminating racial disparities in graduation rates: Implications for drug court practice
    [Gallagher, J. R., Nordberg, A.]. Journal for Advancing Justice. 1(1), 89-108.
  • Kulkarni, S. (2018). Intersectional trauma-informed intimate partner violence (IPV) services: Narrowing the gap between IPV service delivery and survivor needs. Journal of Family Violence, 34(1), 55-64. 
    • Abstract: Over the past 50 years, programs serving intimate partner violence (IPV) survivors have expanded nationally. However, despite IPV program growth service gaps remain, particularly for the most marginalized and vulnerable survivor populations. Emerging practice models call for reimagining current IPV service delivery within an intersectional feminist, trauma-informed framework. An overview of intersectional (e.g. survivor-centered, full-frame, culturally specific) and trauma-informed IPV service approaches will be presented highlighting their shared emphasis on power sharing, authentic survivor-advocate relationships, individualized services, and robust systems advocacy. These approaches have the potential to transform IPV services and narrow service gaps if organizations can embed key elements into program design, implementation and evaluation processes. Recommendations for moving the IPV field forward include: 1) expanding survivors’ roles/input; 2) strengthening funding streams and organizational commitment to anti-oppressive, survivor-defined, trauma-informed services; 3) forging cross-sector advocacy relationships; and 4) building knowledge through research and evaluation.


  • Serrata, J., V., Rodriguez, R., Castro, J., E., & Hernandez-Martinez, M. (2020). Well-being of Latina survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual assault receiving trauma-informed and culturally-specific services. Journal of Family Violence, 35(2), 169-180. 
    • Abstract: The purpose of the current study was to examine the well-being of Latina survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual assault receiving services from community based, Latina-serving organizations. Despite the critical role that culturally-specific organizations play in supporting Latina survivors from healing, there is a gap in the academic literature base on the impact of these services on Latina survivors. Using a cross-sectional survey design, the current study attempts to fill this gap by exploring the influence of trauma-informed practices and culturally-specific work on outcomes for Latina survivors of intimate partner violence. Study participants included 175 Latinas from five Latina-serving organizations across the United States. Findings indicate that culturally-specific practice accounted for unique variation over and above trauma-informed practice in promoting well-being and trauma-informed outcomes among participants in this study. This study is an important contribution to bridging practice-based knowledge into the academic field by documenting the impact of trauma-informed and culturally-specific services on Latina survivors in the context of community based, Latina-serving organizations.


  • Schuman, D. L., Buchanan, S., Boehler, J., & Flaherty, C. (2021). The suicide of Private Danny Chen: An interpersonal theory perspective. Death Studies, 1-10. 
    • Abstract: Despite considerable prevention and intervention efforts, military suicide rates have increased. Although most research on active-duty military suicide has focused on combat exposure, evidence shows that bullying, hazing, and race are understudied risk factors for military suicide. According to the interpersonal theory of suicide, thwarted belongingness, perceived burdensomeness, and acquired capability are necessary components for enacting a suicide death. In this theoretically-based interpersonal case analysis of the suicide death of Private Danny Chen, an American soldier of Chinese descent, we explore how bullying, hazing, and race may have intersected with other vulnerabilities to result in his death.


  • Fantus, S., & Newman, P. A. (2021). Promoting a positive school climate for sexual and gender minority youth through a systems approach: A theory-informed qualitative study. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 91(1), 9–19.
    • Abstract: Pervasive bias-based bullying of sexual and gender minority youth amid often hostile school climates signals the importance of systems approaches to effect change. Nevertheless, most research on bullying victimization tends to adopt either lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT)-specific approaches or broader approaches that omit mention of LGBT youth. We conducted a qualitative study, with the systems view of school climate as an organizing analytical framework, to explore determinants of school climate for LGBT youth and strategies for intervention. In-depth, semi structured interviews with 16 key informants, including teachers, school staff, administrators, frontline community providers, and experts on bullying victimization of LGBT youth, illustrate reciprocal and multilevel factors that produce school climates, which in turn foster or prevent bullying of LGBT youth. Not only do distal factors (e.g., LGBT affirmative legislation, targeted resource allocation for LGBT programming) impact school microsystems, but proximal factors in the microsystem, including enacted homophobia and transphobia through multilateral interpersonal interactions, also influence meso- and macrolevel phenomena, such as the values and mission of the school. Participants recommended multilateral interventions and training that address both proximal and distal contexts of school social ecologies, including teacher-student, peer-to-peer (e.g., gay-straight alliances), and teacher-administrator interactions; behavioral health professional roles and responsibilities; school curricula and libraries; school-board engagement with individual schools; LGBT inclusive policies; targeted resource allocation; and systemwide accountability. Positive school climates for LGBT youth are promoted through multilevel and reciprocal interventions that support social, psychological, and physical safety not just for LGBT students but for all students.


  • Fantus, S. (2021). Experiences of gestational surrogacy for gay men in Canada. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 23(10), 1361-1374,
    • abstract: This paper reports on findings from a qualitative study that examined how Canada's socio-political context influenced gestational surrogacy for same-sex male couples. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with gay fathers and gestational surrogates to investigate supports and barriers of pursuing surrogacy. Questions explored publicly available information, policies and practices of fertility clinics and hospitals, post-birth resources and cultural attitudes regarding same-sex parenthood. Findings suggest that in Canada, a global leader in LGBT rights and inclusive same-sex parenting legislation, participants encountered inadequate same-sex inclusive resources and insufficient provider competencies. The aim of this study was to inform individual and institutional recommendations to counteract biases in fertility care and post-birth services. Following interview analysis, five key strategies were identified: (1) more accessible information on paths to same-sex parenthood; (2) more inclusive fertility clinic and hospital practices; (3) recognition of same-sex fatherhood in formal documentation; (4) post-birth resources such as formula feeding, play groups and first aid courses intended for same-sex parent families; and (5) shifts in cultural attitudes of same-sex parenthood and, specifically, gay fatherhood. Approaches that subvert heteronormative discourses embedded in fertility and reproduction are required to legitimise and support same-sex parent families.


  • Fantus, S. (2021). Two men and a surrogate: A qualitative study of surrogacy relationships in Canada. Family Relations, 70(1), 246-263.
    • abstract: Objective To retrospectively explore how gay fathers and gestational surrogates in Canada perceived their relationship at three distinct time points: prepregnancy, during pregnancy, and postbirth. Background Canada has witnessed an increased number of gay men seeking fatherhood through surrogacy. However, there is limited empirical research on the experiences and perspectives of surrogacy for gay men, both in Canada and worldwide. Method Qualitative in‐depth interviews (60–120 minutes) were conducted with (a) gestational surrogates implanted with one or more embryos from a donated egg and gay fathers' sperm, (b) gay men who pursued gestational surrogacy to have a biological child, and (c) single or partnered gay men and their paired surrogate. Participants who agreed to participate, who were willing to contact their third party, and whose matched party agreed resulted in a surrogate triad in which the intended parents and surrogate all participated. Interviews (n = 21) were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using interpretive phenomenological analysis. Results Findings from the present study draw attention to the intricacies of surrogacy relationships and demonstrate the variability of how gay men and surrogates identify and address their procreative roles and responsibilities through pregnancy and postbirth. Conclusion Participant narratives challenge heteronormative experiences of pregnancy and childbirth, extending the two‐parent family paradigm to include families of choice and a close network of individuals and communities. Implications Allied health professionals ought to provide competent, inclusive care that actively confronts a priori biases and assumptions regarding same‐sex parent families and surrogacy.


  • Fantus, S. & Newman, P.A. (2019). Motivations to pursue surrogacy for gay fathers in Canada: A qualitative investigation. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 15(4), 342-356. Https://
    • abstract: In Canada, the evolution of gay rights and surrogacy legislation present a unique sociopolitical context in which gay men consider parenthood. This study explored the motivations of gay men and gestational surrogates to pursue surrogacy in Canada. Interviews were conducted with (a) gestational surrogates who had been implanted with one or more embryos from a donated egg and gay fathers’ sperm and (b) gay men who completed gestational surrogacy to have a biological child. Data were analyzed through interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA) strategies. Findings are framed within ecological systems theory (EST) to demonstrate how both proximal and distal contexts have either facilitated or hindered the decision to pursue surrogacy for gay men. A new theoretical interpretation of surrogacy shows that reproductive decision-making is situated across a complex continuum, from acts of resistance that challenge heteronormative parenthood and kinship practices to re-enactments of traditional family systems and hegemonic gender norms.


  • Souleymanov, R., Fantus, S., Lachowsky, N., Brennan, D.J. & Ceranto, A. (2018). How bisexual-identified men use the internet to seek sex with other men in Ontario: Factors associated with HIV/STI testing and condom use. Journal of Bisexuality, 18(4), 497-515.
    • abstract: Although seeking sex on the Internet may be associated with HIV risk for some men who have sex with men (MSM), little is specifically known about bisexual-identified MSM. Data were drawn from a community-based online survey of 1,830 MSM in Ontario. Among these MSM, 24.0% (n = 438) self-identified as bisexual. The authors examined (1) demographic, testing, and behavioral differences between bisexual- and other-identified MSM using chi-squared and logistic regression tests, and (2) among bisexual men, factors associated with condom use during last male anal sex using logistic regression. Bisexual men were less likely to have received sexual health information online and to have recently tested for STIs but more likely to report condom use during their last male anal sex. Among bisexual men, the only significant predictor of condom nonuse at last male anal sex was substance use. Service providers and researchers should pay attention to the differences in the risk profiles of bisexual-identified men who use the Internet to seek sex with other men to engage these men in HIV prevention efforts.


  • Newman, P., Fantus, S., Woodford, M.R., & Rwigema, M.J. (2018). “Pray That God Will Change You”: the religious social ecology of bias-based bullying targeting sexual and gender minority youth—a qualitative study of service providers and educators. Journal of Adolescent Research, 33(5), 523-548.
    • abstract: The bullying of sexual and gender minority youth (SGMY) is pervasive, with documented negative impacts on health. We explored the social ecology of bullying of SGMY, with a focus on religion as a source or context of bullying. Semi structured interviews with service providers, educators, and administrators in Toronto, Canada, who work with SGMY explored perspectives on the bullying of SGMY, focusing on religiously based bullying and strategies for intervention. Interviews (45-60 minutes) were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using thematic content analysis. The data revealed religiously based homophobic discourse that permeates religious (places of worship, faith-based schools) and secular microsystems (public schools, families) across SGMY’s social ecology. The language and ideology of “sin” and “conversion” were evidenced in direct religiously based bullying of SGMY in schools, and victimization in places of worship and family microsystems, as well as serving as a rationale for bullying and nonintervention by teachers, school staff, administrators, and family members. Multisectoral and multilevel influences of religiously based sexual prejudice on the bullying of SGMY suggest that existing individual-level and microsystem-level responses in schools should be augmented with institutional, policy, and legal interventions in SGMY’s more distal social ecology in order to effectively prevent religiously based homophobic bullying.


  • Fantus, S., Souleymanov, R., Lachowsky, N.J., & Brennan, D. J. (2017). The emergence of ethical issues in the provision of online sexual health outreach for gay, bisexual, two-spirit and other men who have sex with men: Perspectives of online outreach workers. BMC Medical Ethics 18(1), 59-70.
    • abstract: Mobile applications and socio-sexual networking websites are used by outreach workers to respond synchronously to questions and provide information, resources, and referrals on sexual health and STI/HIV prevention, testing, and care to gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GB2M). This exploratory study examined ethical issues identified by online outreach workers who conduct online sexual health outreach for GB2M. Semi-structured individual interviews were conducted between November 2013 and April 2014 with online providers and managers (n = 22) to explore the benefits, challenges, and ethical implications of delivering online outreach services in Ontario, Canada. Interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed verbatim. Thematic analyses were conducted, and member-checking, analyses by multiple coders, and peer debriefing supported validity and reliability. Four themes emerged on the ethical queries of providing online sexual health outreach for GB2M: (a) managing personal and professional boundaries with clients; (b) disclosing personal or identifiable information to clients; (c) maintaining client confidentiality and anonymity; and (d) security and data storage measures of online information. Participants illustrated familiarity with potential ethical challenges, and discussed ways in which they seek to mitigate and prevent ethical conflict.


  • Fantus, S., Gupta, A.A., Lorenzo, A.J., Brownstone, D., Maloney, A.M., & Zlotnik Shaul, R.J. (2015). Addressing fertility preservation for lesbian, gay, and bisexual adolescents and young adults with cancer. Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology, 4(4), 152-156.
    • abstract: Adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer are informed of their risk of sub-fertility and options for fertility preservation (FP) with the intention that, if possible, they are able to consider having biologically-related children after treatment. Previous research indicates that assumptions of heterosexuality are a prevalent experience in healthcare among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) populations.1,2 Accordingly, the widespread heterosexual bias among providers may frame conversations on reproduction among AYAs with cancer, implying that fertility is only possible within a heteronormative cisgender (a person who identifies with their assigned sex at birth) opposite-sex relationship.3 The purpose of this paper is to address the subpopulation of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) AYAs with cancer. The authors have intentionally chosen to focus on cisgender LGBs. Access to healthcare can be more stigmatizing and discriminatory for transgender populations than for cisgender sexual minorities;4 including transgender AYAs may indirectly promote comparisons to a cisgender norm. Thus, the unique experiences of the transgender community should be recognized independently. This paper will address issues of disclosure among LGB AYAs in healthcare and consider how providers can deliver informative FP options that are inclusive and respectful of LGB AYAs with cancer. The authors will draw on implications for healthcare practice and policy and recommend strategies to enhance the applicability of educational materials and promote open and comprehensive practice.


  • Newman, P.A. & Fantus, S. (2015). A social ecology of bias-based bullying of sexual and gender minority youth: Toward a conceptualization of conversion bullying. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services, 27(1), 46-63.
    • abstract: Homophobic bullying is pervasive and deleterious, and a source of extensive health and mental health disparities affecting sexual and gender minority youth (SGMY). Investigations conducted over the past two decades across the social ecology of SGMY indicate individual (e.g., gender), microsystem (e.g., schools), and exosystem level (e.g., community norms) factors associated with homophobic bullying. Emerging evidence at the macrosystem level demonstrates the powerful influence of laws, policies, and ideologies on the population health of sexual minority adults. Based on social ecological theory and emerging evidence at the macrosystem level, we advance a conceptualization of the religious social ecology of homophobic bullying and articulate the construct of conversion bullying, a form of bias-based bullying that may be unique to SGMY. Conversion bullying is manifested in the invocation of religious rhetoric and rationalizations in repeated acts of peer aggression against SGMY that cause harm, based on the premise that same-sex attractions and behaviors are immoral or unnatural and with implicit or explicit communication that one should change one's sexuality to conform to heteronormative ideals. We describe implications of conversion bullying for social work practice, education, social policy, and research.