Why Choose Social Work?

Gain knowledge and experience in how to help individuals, families and communities, and promote policy to provide a better environment in which to live. The School of Social Work's vision is a commitment to building a socially just society, defined as one that upholds and validates the values of equality, diversity, inclusiveness, democracy and concern for human welfare. We manifest and advance curricula, scholarship and school culture that are congruent with those values. Learn more about the profession of Social Work.

Read more about some of Social Work's graduands and the important work they have been doing.

School of Social Work Anti-Black Racism Statement

The Dalhousie University School of Social Work recognizes the historical and contemporary role social work, as a profession and as an educational entity, has played in the oppression and marginalization of people of African Descent. We stand against anti-Black racism in all its manifestations. We acknowledge and take responsibility for the intergenerational trauma and institutional racism we have participated in and perpetuated, such as the removal and institutionalization of African Nova Scotian children. We seek to build and repair relationships with African Nova Scotia communities. As a way to address these harms, as a School we are committed to ongoing processes of decolonization, reparations and anti-racism work aimed at redressing burdens of colonialisms and slavery. Our commitment also means denouncing police, state, and structural violence toward people of African Descent and aligning with and supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
Download the statement.

School of Social Work Indigenous Statement

Mourning the Children

At the School of Social Work we share in the grief and join with the country in mourning the beloved children recently discovered buried in unmarked  graves at the site of the Kamloops Residential School. 

We stand with Indigenous colleagues, students, and communities through this horrendous time. Our profession must continue to grapple with the complexities of our role in the harms of residential schools and contemporary child welfare practices with Indigenous peoples. As a School, we are committed to the work necessary to educate social workers to be able to work in relationship with Indigenous peoples and build a profession that is accountable to our historic and contemporary wrongdoing.  

We continue to take guidance from the advocacy of the First Nations Caring Society and their calls to concrete action that we can advance as citizens and as representatives of the profession (fncaringsociety.com). 

Statement Regarding Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

The School of Social Work calls for an “Immediate” ceasefire and an end to violence in the Israel-Palestine political crisis. We condemn the violence committed by Hamas and mourn the tragic loss of life among the citizens of Israel following the October 7 attack on Israeli citizens.

We equally mourn the tragic loss of life in Gaza, a region where 50% of the population is comprised of children and whereas 70% of casualties have been comprised of women, children and the elderly.

We also oppose blocking access to fuel, electricity, water and food to people in Palestine, which will result in lack of access to medical aid.

We also oppose the evacuation order of 1 million Palestinians from northern Gaza, within the context where Israel does not recognize their right to return. We join with the UN's call for a humanitarian pause in the war on Gaza.

As a School of Social Work we join in condemning both Antisemitism and Anti-Palestinian racism.

We also join with others to recognize the need for ongoing critical analysis of the social, political, and historic complexity in the region that includes decades-long occupation of Palestine and the deprivation of people from the land.  

We join with all Israelis and Palestinians who are calling for peace.

Faculty & Research

Our professors engage and challenge students to develop their skills, emphasizing social policy, professional values, theoretical perspectives, and practice methods. Learn more about our faculty and their research specializations.

Celebrating the Contributions of Dr. Dorothy Emma Moore to the School of Social Work, Dalhousie University

The School of Social Work, Dalhousie University would like to pay tribute to the significant contributions of Dr. Dorothy Emma Moore who had a long career as a  Professor at the school formerly called the Maritime School of Social Work.  During her time at the school her work was informed by her deeply held values with respect to human rights and  
social justice.  As noted in her obituary, Dorothy taught the course, Social History of the Atlantic Provinces, for many years. She treasured her relationships with many members of the African Nova Scotian, Indigenous, and Acadian communities and worked as an ally with local pioneers in anti-racist education and affirmative action.  She was thrilled to see the changes in these communities over the years but realized that there was more progress needed to achieve a fair and just society.  Dorothy was a long-time supporter of the New Democratic Party and a consistent contributor to many charities.  She was recruited to the National Board of Schools of Social Work and assisted with distance education programs for social workers.

The three tributes below from the current Director of the School of Social Work, Dr. Judy MacDonald and two previous Directors, Senator Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard and Brenda Richard attest to her significant and lasting impact at the school and to her commitment to social justice.

Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard writes: As a lifelong advocate for human rights and social justice, Dr Dorothy Moore was one of the first forces in the school of social work to identify the need for systemic changes in the school if true system changes were to be made. She led the efforts to create pathways to change for Mi’kmaq, Acadian and Black Nova Scotians.  She also became a strong ally with many of the informal leaders from each of those communities, and lifelong friendships were formed.  Her advocacy and allyship were critical to my professional growth and development as a social worker and later as a social work educator.  From her leadership in creating Affirmative Action in Admissions, to building a more critical and culturally responsive pedagogy, Dr Moore was a person who led the changes she wanted to see.

It was Dr Dorothy Moore who invited me to co-present a paper with her and Lydia Lucas- White at the first national conference for social work educators that I attended.  We later published two versions of that presentation as articles, on the theme of the intersection of gender and race oppression. She was also instrumental in having both Lydia and I teach as Sessional Instructors at the school of social work for the first time, in the summer of 1987.   Two years later, Dorothy encouraged me to apply for the full-time faculty position that was open at the School.  The position was established as a designated hiring which was open to the three groups who were included in the School’s AA policy, as noted above.  I was the successful candidate and joined the Faculty in January 1990. Dorothy’s support for my career continued when she became my on-site supervisor when I started at the joint location PhD program at the University of Sheffield, in Sheffield England, in September 1992.  There are numerous examples of Dorothy’s influence in changing social work in Atlantic Canada and beyond, but I would suggest that many of the social justice work initiatives that we engage in today, in the social work field, have their roots in the courageous, unassuming leadership of Dr. Dorothy Moore. The Honourable Wanda Thomas Bernard, PhD, Independent Senator for Nova Scotia, Professor Emeritus and former Director of the School of Social Work, Dalhousie University.

Dr. Judy MacDonald writes: I first met Dr. Dorothy Moore at the Canadian Schools of Social Work conference and meetings. She was an impressive force within the Women’s Caucus standing up for women’s rights at a pivotal time in social work education. The group of women, including Dr. Moore, from the Maritime School of Social Work had a rememberable presence as they welcomed and supported young female academics to this critically important caucus. At the time, I had just begun teaching at St. Thomas University. Dr. Judy MacDonald, Director of the School of Social Work, Dalhousie University.

Brenda Richard recalls her recollections of Dorothy as a long-time colleague, were of her dedication to the persons and causes of those most disenfranchised in the world we inhabit, the high standards she set for herself and others, and her commitment and determination  that the goals of the School of Social Work be rooted always in the principles of social justice, no matter how lonely and fraught the path to realizing them might be .Dorothy was never one to give up on these essential beliefs and she stood on solid ground. Brenda Richard, former Director of the School of Social Work, Dalhousie University.

In our tumultuous world today, it is important to remember and celebrate the heroic efforts of those who have gone before us to keep fast our commitment as a School to work towards a better world.  So, we honour the contributions of Dr. Dorothy Emma Moore. 







The International ‘Conversations’ Conference offers an opportunity for critical conversations between scholars, students, researchers, members of historically and contemporary equity seeking communities, policy makers, and organizational leaders from across the globe. See website for more details.

To register for the conference please click here

Abstracts with a maximum word limit of 250 words are invited from social work practitioners, students, and academics of social work and related disciplines, community, and policy makers. Abstracts must be received through the submission portal by 11:59pm on Sunday, August 18, 2024. To submit your abstract please click here for concise instructions and the submission template.

Abstracts that address the conference theme of ‘Intentional Erasures’ and its Sub-themes are particularly welcome:


  • Indigeneity, nationhood, and sovereignty  
  • Colonial and postcolonial harms 
  • Rigidity, white fragility, and institutional dominance 
  • Reinforcers of erasures and remediation strategies (policies, programs, and practices)  
  • Dangers of discursive myths, ideological priorities, and dark chapters of national histories 
  • Community and collectivism as resistance  
  • Accountability in the age of alt-right populism 
  • Anti-racist, anti-colonial discourse and/or frameworks, resistance, or insubordination

For questions or information about the conference, please send an email to converse@dal.ca

The International ‘Conversations’ Conference is the first hosted by the Diversity and Equity Committee of the School of Social Work, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.  



The School of Social Work is located on the third floor of the Mona Campbell Building which is situated on the corner of Coburg Road and LeMarchant Street.

Mailing address:

School of Social Work

Dalhousie University

1459 LeMarchant Street, Suite 3201
PO Box 15000

Halifax, NS  B3H 4R2
Courier address:

School of Social Work

Dalhousie University

1459 LeMarchant Street, Suite 3201
Halifax, NS  B3H 4R2
Main Office: 902-494-3760

Fax: (902) 494-6709

General inquiries: social.work@dal.ca