Professor Anna Ortega-Williams Receives Award from Council on Racial, Ethnic, and Cultural Diversity (CRECD)

The Council on Racial, Ethnic, and Cultural Diversity (CRECD) established this award to recognize doctoral students and junior faculty members with outstanding scholarship in the areas of racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity in social work education. An award will be given to a doctoral student and a junior faculty member during the CSWE Annual Program Meeting.

Professor Anna Ortega-Williams is a social work scholar, practitioner, researcher, and organizer who is inspired by the healing alchemy of social action, youth development, and well-being.

Dr. Saundra Starks, CSWE Board Chair (left) Professor Anna Ortega-Williams (right)

As an assistant professor at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College and as a social work educator, she is committed to uncovering trauma recovery interventions that push the boundary of where micro-level clinical practice ends and macro-level practice begins. Her approach to social work centers cultural humility, anti-racist, intersectional, and anti-oppressive frameworks. Dr. Ortega-Williams’ area of research focuses on historical trauma, posttraumatic growth, and social action in trauma recovery. Her scholarship, research, and teaching are grounded in her 20-year journey as a social worker providing individual, group, and family counseling, in addition to working as a director, program developer, capacity builder, and evaluator. She is deeply inspired by local, national, and global social justice movements; in particular, Black youth-led responses to interrupting systemic violence. She received her bachelor’s degree from the City University of New York, Hunter College; master’s degree from the State University of New York, Stony Brook; and PhD in social work from Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Service. As a Black queer mom, activist, organizer, and poet born and raised in public housing in the Bronx, she believes social work practice can promote joy, healing, imagination, and hope when rooted in transforming social and economic justice and protecting human rights.