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From the Director

This February marks a Black History Month unlike any other. The Black Lives Matter movement and COVID pandemic have shined a light on stark, damaging mistreatment of Black Americans by police and society. Social work programs have adopted strong language embracing anti-Black racism, and many have pledged to take steps to undo the oppressive structures that have marginalized Black and non-Black people of color. Nationally, many find hope in Kamala Harris’ election as vice president. 

This month’s MFP Connect builds on these ideas through the lens of CSWE MFP’s fellows and alumni. Current doctoral fellow Justin Harty compiled Black contributions to social work and social welfare. Our Associate Director, Spencer L. Middleton, shares his reflections on the Black national anthem. Finally, Kyaien Conner (MFP doctoral ’08) adds her perspective on seeing a Black sorority sister as vice president and what it can mean for mental health practice and policy.

Regardless of our racial and ethnic identities, Black History Month means something to each of us. We encourage you to use our CSWE Spark community to engage with each other on these topics. Through conversation and discourse, we can ensure that the meaning of Black History Month extends throughout the year and over the course of our careers.

In Fellowship, 
Duy Nguyen, PhD
Director, Minority Fellowship Program



Kyaien O. Conner, PhD, LSW, MPH, on This Monumental Moment in History

MFP alumnus Kyaien O. Conner exudes optimism and hope as she reflects on the inauguration of Vice President Kamala Harris and what she and this administration mean for social workers, Black mental health, and the Black community. This optimism extends to her efforts to dismantle stigma around mental Illness in the Black community through storytelling. Listen to learn more!


Justin Harty on Black Contributions to Social Work History

Current doctoral fellow Justin Harty emphasizes that Black social work history is social work history, as he shares what inspired his efforts to compile a bibliography of more than 100 articles and books on Black contributions to mutual aid, social welfare, and social work history. He shares next steps toward centering these contributions in social work education.


The Black National Anthem and the MFP

By Spencer L. Middleton, MSW, MFP Associate Director

In celebrating Black History Month, the MFP would like to bring attention to the Black national anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” and its significance in shepherding scholarships and other educational opportunities such as the MFP. “Lift Every Voice and Sing” was drafted as a poem by James Weldon Johnson and set to music by his brother, John Rosamond Johnson, in 1899. 

James Weldon Johnson, a graduate of Atlanta University (now known as Clark Atlanta University), was a beloved brother of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., civil rights activist, educator, lawyer, and writer. Johnson’s most revered post in the United States was serving as executive director at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, an organization dedicated to eliminating race-based discrimination and ensuring the health and well-being of all persons, particularly African Americans.

The Black national anthem was written during a time when Black communities were forming their own institutions in response to legalized discrimination, Jim Crowe laws, and efforts to undo protections afforded to Black Americans in the Reconstruction Era. The MFP and similar educational opportunities exist, in part, because of the resilience the Black community displayed during such trying times. It is this resilience that James Weldon Johnson captured in the lyrics to the Black national anthem. James Weldon Johnson’s hope was that one day all African Americans would escape the harsh reality of institutionalized racism and have full participation in American democracy.


2021–2022 Doctoral Fellowship Application Period Open

MFP is pleased to announce the opening of our 2021–2022 doctoral fellowship application period. Information on how to apply can be found here. The deadline for submissions is March 16, 2021, at 5:00 pm EDT. The MFP team will be available to answer questions regarding the fellowship program, eligibility criteria, and the application process during scheduled Zoom Q&A sessions. To receive a link to attend, please contact us about the session you are interested in joining.

Annual Program Meeting 2021

CSWE invites proposals for the 67th Annual Program Meeting (APM) in Orlando, FL, November 4–7, 2021. The conference theme—Leading Critical Conversations: Racial, Economic, & Environmental Justice—builds on the theme of the 2020 APM, which focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion and challenged us to prepare the next generation of social workers to be explicitly antiracist. Submission deadline: Wednesday, February 24, 2021, 11:59 pm EST.

CSWE is also accepting applications for reviewers for the 67th APM. Reviews will take place from March 9–March 26, 2021. Prospective reviewers are asked to review a list of 40 Tracks and select up to three that align with their areas of expertise. The only requirements are to understand written English and to have expertise in the topical areas.



Job Announcements

The Department of Social Work at Western Kentucky University is seeking applicants for an Instructor (9-month appointment) beginning August 15, 2021. This will be a renewable appointment, non-tenure track and revenue-dependent position. Salary will be $48,000 per year with a full benefits package. For complete information, see the “Job Announcements” thread in the MFP Community on CSWE Spark.

The Institute on Aging is seeking a care manager for the Home and Community-Based Assistance (HCBA) Waiver Program. The care manager will conduct comprehensive health and psychosocial assessments of participants' medical needs, functional and cognitive abilities and environmental and social needs to determine which service(s) are required to meet participants' needs and preferences in the community. The HCBA Waiver program is also seeking a casual status (i.e., per diem) care manager II ("CMII"). This is a casual, per diem position and temporarily remote first work model. Find more information, or apply here.

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Social Work is seeking applications for the following positions: a senior, full-time, tenured/tenure track associate or full professor to serve as associate dean of research and faculty development, beginning fall 2021; two full-time, tenured/tenure track positions at the assistant, associate, or full professor rank, beginning fall 2021. See full posting on CSWE Spark. Contact John Gonzalez (doctoral MFP alum '05) for more information.

Professional Development
MFP funds may be available to cover some or all of the costs associated with professional development activities for current MFP fellows. Submit a request to access these funds by e-mailing MFP with a brief overview of the activity and estimated funds required to participate.

The Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University is now offering a free-standing Post-Graduate CASAC training program designed to meet the credentialing requirements for practicing in the field of addiction, including alcohol, opioid, and other substance dependence. Learn more, request further information, or apply here.

The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research is excited to announce the 2021 Diversity Scholarships. These scholarships provide funds to support training in statistics and quantitative methods for graduate students from underrepresented groups in any academic discipline, with the objective of improving their academic performance and optimizing their professional advancement. To apply for an ICPSR scholarship, you must fill out the application form and submit all required materials through their online application manager. Scholarship applications will be accepted the week of February 15, 2021, through March 29, 2021.

The College of Education and Human Ecology (EHE) and the EHE Office of Research, Innovation, Collaboration at Ohio State University are sponsoring a virtual, 3-day, advanced methods institute titled “Advancing Culturally Responsive Research and Researchers.” The virtual event will be held starting at noon on June 2, 2021, and ending after lunch on June 4, 2021. Find more information here.

CSWE Diversity Center’s February Educator|Resource
Visit CSWE’s Center for Diversity and Social & Economic Justice to view the February Educator|Resource.

CSWE Spark

Keep the conversation going on CSWE Spark! The Spark platform offers endless opportunities for connection, collaboration, and sharing in the MFP community. To join, navigate to the Spark home page and create an account. Within a few days, your account should be approved, and you’ll be able to search the Spark Directory for connections. Start by adding Ameera Bhanji (MFP program associate) as a connection. When this connection is established, you’ll be given full access to the MFP Community and can engage with existing threads or create your own. Now more than ever, we encourage you to make the most of CSWE Spark as the virtual home for the MFP family.



Department of Social Work, Western Kentucky University
Instructor (9 months)

Institute on Aging
Care Manager, Home and Community-Based Assistance (HCBA) Waiver Program

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Social Work
Associate Dean of Research and Faculty Development

MFP Connect Alumni Spotlight

We want to feature your work in MFP ConnectTell us about your current work with underserved racial/ethnic communities. We are especially interested in examples that build and foster connections between current fellows and alumni.