Award: Service and Leadership in Social Work Education Award
Emerita Director and Professor, West Chester University
The Service and Leadership in Social Work Education Award is presented to Mildred "Mit" Joyner. Throughout her professional career, equality and justice for all has been Joyner’s core mission, best exemplified in her leadership and service to advance social work education.
Joyner began teaching in 1978 at West Chester University of Pennsylvania (WCU), becoming director/chair of the department in 1981, and taught social work courses for more than 29 years. In her leadership role as director, she was the catalyst in the development of the MSW program, the first accredited MSW program in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
Currently, Joyner serves as vice president of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). She is the immediate past board chair of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and concurrently served on the board of the International Association for Schools of Social Work. Previously, she was president of the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors (BPD) and was appointed by the governor of Pennsylvania to the State Board of Social Work Licensure.
Joyner is the first and only African American and the first woman elected to serve on the board of the community bank DNBFIRST. She also is a board member of the Chester County Food Bank and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute’s SoulMates Advisory Board in Boston, MA.
The Mit Joyner Gerontology Leadership Award was named in her honor in 2005 by AGE-SW for her leadership for inclusion of gerontology in baccalaureate education. In 2011 she received the BPD Lifetime Achievement Award and the Living Beyond Breast Cancer Founders Award for excellence in leadership and stewardship. In 2012 Howard University honored Joyner with the Dr. Inabel Burns Lindsay Award for her leadership and commitment to social justice. In March 2013 Central State University inducted her into the Hall of Fame as a Distinguished Alumna, and in that same year Joyner was named an NASW Social Work Pioneer.
Joyner co-authored two books, Critical Multicultural Social Work (2008) and Caregivers for Persons Living With HIV/AIDS in Kenya: An Ecological Perspective (2011), and has delivered hundreds of presentations around the globe. Her most recent scholarly contribution is a co-authored paper related to the Grand Challenges in Social Work Initiatives, "Increasing Success of African American Children and Youths" (with Martell Teasley, Ruth McRoy, Marilyn Amour, Ruby Gourdine, Sandra Crewe, Michael Kelly, Cynthia Franklin, Macheo Payne, John Jackson, Jr., and Rowena Fong).