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YU News

Dr. Mildred “Mit” Joyner, a Social Work Pioneer

By Kimberly Moore, Director
Care Café, Wurzweiler School of Social Work

Greetings from Care Cafe!

Dr. Mildred “Mit” Joyner

This week, we spotlight the life and work of Dr. Mildred “Mit” Joyner, DPS, MSW, LCSW, President of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), a Social Work Pioneer!

With over 30 years of reflection and engagement, social work educator, researcher, community organizer, and social justice advocate, Dr. Joyner currently oversees 55 chapters of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) throughout the United States.

Her early professional practice experiences included work with at-risk children and families as a child protective services specialist which later advanced to roles of leadership in this specialization. Her community organizing work in food justice focused on educating community stakeholders about the elements of equity and fiscal equality to ignite policy change.

With later appointments in academia, Dr. Joyner’s life’s work continues as she promotes education around issues of multiculturalism and diversity in social work education and community organization.

Dr. Joyner has been recognized for her diversified professional experiences and leadership. She is noted to be the first and “only” African American woman elected to serve on the board of community bank DNBFIRST. At her alma mater, Joyner was inducted into Ohio’s Central State University Hall of Fame as a Distinguished Alumni. She also received many other specialized awards, including but not limited to the Gerontology Leadership Award, Living Beyond Breast Cancer Founders Award, the Inaugural Distinguished John E. and Barbara S. Jacob Professor at the Howard University School of Social Work and the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Lifetime Service and Leadership Award.

We celebrate and reflect proudly on Dr. Joyner’s contributions to the social work profession.

Get more information on social work pioneers, log on to:

A very special thanks to Care Café Intern, Tina Thompson, MSW Student, for this week’s written contribution to Black History Month programming.

To learn more about Care Café, contact Kimberly Moore, Director of Care Café at

To All, Be Well!