Dorothy Day Social Work Program | University of Portland

Dorothy Day Social Work Program


Building on the University of Portland’s mission to “prepare people who respond to the needs of the world and its human family,” the Dorothy Day Social Work Program educates students for generalist social work practice with individuals, families, organizations, and communities. Using an intersectional justice lens, we teach students to recognize and dismantle oppressive systems and advance social change that supports human flourishing and liberation.  


As a profession, Social Work embraces the values of service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, the importance of human relationships, integrity, competence, human rights, and scientific inquiry.  

Building on these core values, the UP Dorothy Day Social Work Program prioritizes 

  • Critical inquiry, including critical theory and knowledge development focused on elevating the subjugated knowledge and lived experiences of historically oppressed and currently marginalized groups and people. 
  • Anti-racism and Critical Race Theory (CRT), which names the impact of historical racism on modern life and is grounded in uplifting the race-conscious experiences of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) in order to radically shift dominant narratives which often obscure and constrain BIPOC expressions and insights. 
  • Anti-Oppressive Practice (AOP), which examines how the broader social context and structural inequalities inform social work’s interactions with individuals, organizations, and communities 
  • Globalism and a commitment to de-centering U.S.-American experiences, knowledge, and contexts for practice.   
  • Environmental justice as a core component of social and economic justice. Addressing ongoing climate disasters and environmental injustices as essential to social work practice.