A Message from Dean Sarah Gehlert on Upholding Our Values

Dear USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work Community,

As we close the Fall 2020 semester, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge your dedication over the past few months that have been unusual and challenging. We have endured a number of distractions – a worldwide health crisis, civil unrest, a contentious election – yet you have persevered in service to our school, professions, and those whom we serve. I appreciate your hard work and commitment to advancing social good. It has not gone unnoticed.

While the events of this year have tested our resilience as individuals and as a nation, they have also served to spotlight our values. As a school, we believe in equality and justice for all, and these values have been called into play many times during the course of 2020. We encourage self-expression, yet maintain that it must not infringe on the safety and well-being of others. We deem that the rights of all people be respected and upheld regardless of color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. And we understand that while these values will be tested, this affords us the opportunity renew our commitment to the values in which we believe.

As social workers and nurses we live by our professional and personal values and ethics. The two are evident in our compassion toward others, desire to strengthen communities, and drive to find empirical solutions to the most critical problems that we face. While our chosen professions present challenges, we must persist and be resolute in our belief that we can make a difference. And it is our core values that sustain us, and make it possible for us to forge ahead despite all obstacles.

I encourage you to stay strong during this complex time of change and transition in our country, and do what you must to keep yourselves and your families safe and healthy. Let us all stay committed to our values, and to each other as fellow citizens of the world.


Dean Gehlert Signature


Sarah Gehlert



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