From the Director


July is here! For many, it is one of those months when people “take off” for vacations, reunions, family travel, and fun. While I am a supporter of those self-care and personal maintenance activities, ongoing national tragedies, policy shifts, and recent articles in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Daily Brief” call for us to consider putting a proverbial pause on our celebratory programming. 

The historic and ongoing oppression of people of color and women continues to leave an intergenerational gaping wound in those communities. In recognition of such trauma, the Biden administration has recently provided a detailed initiative to address the existing mental health needs. Among other components, this plan calls for training “more diverse behavioral and mental health professionals.” The implementation of this plan necessitates having a cadre of scholars who are prepared to transmit anti-oppressive, data-driven mental health solutions on behalf of those who are minimized and marginalized. 

However, based on recent articles published by The Chronicle of Higher Education, there is a mass exodus of academics from higher education. Of greater concern is the voluntary and involuntary departure of doctors of color from the academic space. This exodus and absence could lead to an educational crisis of epic proportion. More specifically, it could garner a deluge of ill-considered policies and malpractices that emanate from and are linked to miseducated people who cause further harm when serving people in communities of color because they have not been trained by and have not used resources produced by a diverse pool of scholars. This miseducation could cause greater harm than good and could very well counter the basic premise of the government’s well-intended agenda. 

In recognition of the burgeoning crisis, I am using my voice and this space to call on CSWE MFP alumni who will join forces with us to ensure that our MFP fellows are (1) prepared to operate within such challenging systems, (2) able to identify challenges within the systems, (3) capable of conducting and facilitating data-driven change within the systems, and (4) fit to create alternative systemic approaches that are anti-oppressive and anti-racist. Such initiatives will support the holistic well-being of those living in communities of color, specifically those facing mental health and substance abuse challenges. There is always a need for you to serve. Should you wish to learn more about how you can contribute to the next generation of CSWE MFP scholars, please email me. 

Kesslyn Brade Stennis 

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Kesslyn Brade Stennis, PhD 
Director, Minority Fellowship Program 


BIPOC Mental Health Month: Beyond the Numbers

July is BIPOC Mental Health Month, formally designated by Congress as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. There couldn’t be a monthly observance better aligned with the MFP purpose. Fellows and alumni alike embody this year’s theme, #BeyondTheNumbers, by working within the nuances and uniqueness of their communities and those they serve. 

Interested in looking further #BeyondTheNumbers? Mental Health America has developed a public education campaign dedicated to addressing the mental health needs of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and recognizing that BIPOC have rich histories that cannot be captured by statistics alone. Join the celebration by downloading a tool kit that includes actionable ways to support BIPOC communities and honor the legacy of Bebe Moore Campbell, the pioneer whose advocacy and visionary work led to July’s formal dedication to the needs of BIPOC communities in mental health. 

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Visit Mental Health America's website for more information.

Register for CSWE's Annual Program Meeting

This year, the Annual Program Meeting (APM) is focusing on “Leading Critical Conversations: Human Rights Are Global Rights.” Educational sessions will explore topics addressing human rights in the United States and internationally and raise critical issues about practices, policies, and structures that hinder or advance human rights. The event will also feature opportunities to connect and build lasting partnerships with thousands of social work educators, and it will offer hundreds of educational sessions (encompassing 40 tracks), specialized training institutes to develop your skills and expertise, and much more! Register today

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Note: Current doctoral fellows intending to attend APM are asked to wait on registering for the conference at this time, as MFP staff will be coordinating registration internally. More to come. 

Update Your Contact Information 

Have you changed jobs in the last few years? Changed your primary email address? The MFP relies on current contact information for our internal database, which we use to contact alumni and help us prepare our reports for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Please use this link to share your updated contact information. Additionally, you are encouraged to reach out to MFP alumni you are connected with and request that they share their updated information too. Thank you in advance for supporting MFP staff efforts to enhance connectedness in the MFP community.  


Job Announcements

The Department of Social Work at California State University, Fullerton, invites applications for a tenureā€track assistant professor position with the appointment to begin fall 2023. The department is particularly interested in a candidate with expertise that will facilitate the development of the aging concentration. Learn more and apply here. 

The Department of Social Work and Family Studies at St. Olaf College invites applications for a full-time, tenure-track position in social work and family studies at the assistant or associate professor level to begin August 2023. Find the full posting and application instructions here

The School of Social Work (SSW) at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, invites applications for three positions that will yield candidates who add to the diverse, collaborative, and supportive environment within the SSW. All postings will remain open until July 20, 2022, but interviewing will begin July 11, 2022. Positions will be filled by mid-August so that the successful candidate will be in place at the beginning of the fall 2022 term. 

  • Assistant professor of teaching (non-tenure stream faculty). Wayne State is looking for a dynamic teacher who has experience teaching MSW students and holds an advanced degree (i.e., DSW, PhD). To apply, see Posting #046556 on Wayne State's jobs portal. Please contact Rebecca Ballinger with additional questions if needed. 
  • Director of field education. The SSW needs a dynamic individual to manage placements of our BSW and MSW students in over 400 agencies across Michigan. To apply, see Posting #046540 on Wayne State's jobs portal. Please contact Diane Kennedy with additional questions if needed. 
  • Coordinator of interprofessional education (IPE). As the SSW moves more purposefully into IPE, the school seeks a licensed MSW who has a minimum of 3 years of practice experience in integrated models of health care delivery who can coordinate and implement new and existing IPE initiatives for the SSW. To apply, see Posting #046548 on Wayne State's jobs portal. Please contact Dorrian McGhee if there are additional questions.
Thank you to MFP alumni for sharing the above job announcement(s) with the broader MFP community. For other opportunities, please visit the   CSWE Career Center

Professional Development

On Wednesday, July 20, Maureen Cavanagh, licensed alcohol and drug counselor, will lead a complimentary online seminar titled “Collateral Damage: The Family Experience of Substance Use Disorder.” 
Attendees will learn about the impact that substance use disorder has on families, the trauma it causes, and how education and support can be a great resource for those with substance use disorder. The webinar will be recorded and available on demand for all registrants. 
Funding for the Providers Clinical Support System initiative was made possible (in part) by grant no. 1H79TI081968 from SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. government. More information is available here
Register now for this free webinar.