From the MFP Team 

Happy Spring, Social Work Month, and Women’s History Month!

Cherry blossom season is upon us here in the D.C. Metro area. Similar to our accomplishments and paths toward goals that are taking shape, it often feels like we only take the time to celebrate, praise, and admire the incredible results of that final bloom for a short window of time. As we venture into spring, a time filled with graduation celebrations and wrapping up the academic year, we challenge you to reflect on the blossoming that has already been growing. This blooming is the direct result of the consistency, care and consideration taken this far to ensure spectacular growth and awe-inspiring results in each of our lives. Just like the cherry blossom trees, although they're only admired during small blooming windows, your legacy, radiance and perseverance within the social work profession and MFP will be admired and applauded for generations to come! We hope everyone is able to celebrate their flourishing before, during, and after “peak” season. 

With gratitude,
The MFP Team

Fellow Spotlight

MFP fellows impact their immediate communities and the world in many ways through their dedication and service in the mental health and substance use sectors of the profession. They are consistently working towards the goals of the program’s funder, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), by improving behavioral health outcomes for racial and ethnic populations through direct practice, research, teaching, learning, and advocacy measures. Learn more about one remarkable doctoral-level MFP fellow below.

Ashleigh Washington   is a social worker dedicated to liberation for communities of color. Since 2005 her advocacy has made an impact in community-based services, public education, and social work education. Originally from Killeen, TX, Ashleigh began her career in Houston as a counselor for mothers mandated to drug treatment. Beginning in 2008, she became a nonprofit leader in New York City, serving families affected by HIV, violence, and family separation. In 2017 Ashleigh joined Safe Horizon, the nation’s leading victim service agency, assuming her role as Senior Director of Learning and leading practice for more than 900 anti-violence advocates. Ashleigh holds a BSW from Prairie View A&M University, an MSW from Columbia University, and she is currently a social welfare PhD candidate at the City University of New York. Her research explores data, technology, and racialized surveillance in the U.S. child welfare system.

When asked “what does social work mean to you,” Ashleigh responded, “to me, social work means pursuing the liberation of all people.”

Celebrating MFP’s Legacy

Did you know that 2024 will mark 50 years since CSWE’s MFP was awarded a grant by the National Institute of Mental Health to increase the number of minority doctoral students majoring in mental health research? This first award was the catalyst for the program we celebrate today. Please take time to acknowledge those who paved the way with our ongoing MFP Legacy section highlighting those fellows who first were awarded fellowship. Find information on all 15 of the 1975–1976 cohort of MFP doctoral fellows here. Below is one fellow’s biographical profile from when they were a fellow.

“Gladys E. Drummond, initially a teacher in Puerto Rico and the United States, received her MSW from Florida State University. She will be on educational leave from the Psychiatric Institute at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami while pursuing her doctoral studies at Florida State.”

Social Work Month Activities

The annual Social Work Month campaign in March is a time to inform the public, policymakers, legislators, and employers about how social workers support and empower millions of people every day, helping them to overcome life’s hurdles and live to their full potential. 

This year's theme, "Empowering Social Workers: Inspiring Action, Leading Change," is a call to support social workers so that they can fulfill their mission to enhance human well-being. For CSWE, this call also means supporting those who are teaching or studying in social work programs across the United States. CSWE’s has accredited more than 900 social work programs that offer the pathway to this rewarding career. 

Join CSWE in celebrating Social Work Month! Find a listing of select Social Work Month activities at CSWE member institutions.

2024–2025 MSW Application Open

Since its inception in 1974, the Council on Social Work Education's (CSWE) Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) has been steadfast in its commitment to shaping the future of social work professionals, nurturing their skills and knowledge. As we embark on another impactful year, we are delighted to announce the launch of the 2024–2025 Master of Social Work (MSW) MFP application cycle!

Applications are open and will be accepted until Friday, May 24, 2024, at 11:59 PM (ET). Apply to become an MFP MSW Fellow today by visiting the application link!

MFP has produced a list of Frequently Asked Questions along with an Application Guidebook to assist with your application process.

We are offering two interactive, virtual sessions designed to provide valuable insights and details about the program. Whether you are seeking comprehensive program information, or eager to participate in an interactive Q&A session with MFP staff, these sessions are tailored for all interested applicants. Registration is free; please find details on each session below:

Information Session
Date: Tuesday, April 2, 2024 
Time: 12:30 PM–2:00 PM (ET)
Location: Zoom

Q&A Session With MFP Staff
Date: Wednesday, May 8, 2024
Time: 2:30 PM–3:30 PM (ET)
Location: Zoom


Call for Research Participants

InfluenceofSocietalDiscourse_screenshot.pngMFP Doctoral Fellows are completing important and thought-provoking research as many undertake the dissertation phase of their doctoral degree. This is a lift that our MFP community can assist with by participating and gathering necessary data when called to action. Please review a letter below and read the recruitment flyer from current MFP fellow and PhD student Kortney Carr from the University of Kansas.


My name is Kortney Carr, and I am a PhD student at the University of Kansas in the School of Social Welfare. I am reaching out to invite social workers (i.e., individuals holding a BSW, MSW and/or PhD/DSW degree/s) to participate in this research study exploring how social workers’ practice with Black men is impacted by larger societal narratives. The findings from this study may help inform more culturally effective policy development and social work practice with Black men. 

Participation in this study involves completing a demographics questionnaire and an individual interview. All interviews will: occur via Zoom, be recorded, and last approximately 60 to 120 minutes.  No identifiable information will be collected, and the interview will only be available to me and possibly my faculty supervisor. 

In order to participate in this study, you must be 18 years of age or older, live and work in America, and have completed a degree in social work (BSW, MSW, DSW, PhD). Those who may be currently enrolled in a social work program, but who have not yet completed a social work degree will be excluded from this study. 

There are no personal benefits to participating in this study and no compensation. The information collected will be utilized to further develop social work services and the social work field by providing knowledge that could impact policy development and culturally effective social work practice. The anticipated risk due to participation in this study is minimal. Participation in this study is voluntary, and you can refuse to answer any question asked as well as end the interview at any time. As a participant in this study, you will receive a gift card in the amount of $50 for your time. Thank you for taking the time to consider participating in this study. If you have any questions, or are interested in participating in this study, please contact Kortney Carr at (913) 897-8789 or [email protected]. If you have any questions about your rights as a research participant, you may call the Human Subjects Protection Office at (785) 864-7429 or email [email protected].


Kortney A. Carr, LCSW, LSCSW

We Need You! Volunteer With CSWE-MFP

There are many opportunities to volunteer with CSWE’s MFP this upcoming fellowship year. You do not have to be an MFP alumnus or social work educator to volunteer! Volunteering for the MFP is not time consuming, you get back what you give, and the time to apply is now. Here’s how you can help:

1.    Mentor a master’s or doctoral student: Support the academic and career development of a student passionate about meeting the needs of BIPOC communities.
2.    Be a guest speaker: Share your subject matter expertise by speaking on one of the topics, requested by incoming students (see below). Alternatively, if there’s a topic you believe to be of value to this group, please reach out to discuss it with our team.

  • Abolitionist social work
  • Disability-centered social work practice
  • Grants 101
  • Grief
  • Inclusive sex therapy
  • Innovative research methods
  • Innovative treatment modalities
  • LGBTQ youth mental health
  • Narrative therapy
  • Pathways to clinical licensure
  • Postgraduation trials and tribulations
  • Program evaluation
  • Role of social work in reentry
  • Social work and the arts
  • Strengths-based approaches to working with BIPOC communities
  • Supporting international students

3.    Join our advisory committee: Put your great ideas to great use—steer the program and provide input on key areas, including programming, alumni engagement, and applicant recruitment.
4.    Become an application reader: Support the selection of the next cohort of master’s and doctoral MFP fellows!

Find more information about getting involved and apply today!

Update Your Contact Information

Have you changed jobs in the last few years? Changed your primary email address? The CSWE’s 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.

External Resources


Register for the National Council for Mental Wellbeing’s NatCon24
Join the National Council for Mental Wellbeing and 5,000+ health care professionals at NatCon24! NatCon, one of the largest conferences in mental health and substance use treatment, will take place at the America's Center Convention Complex in St. Louis, MO, April 15–17, 2024. 

Learn more: Registration Open (

2024 First Generation Student Career and Leadership Experience
Over 3 days in Miami, FL, First Generation Students will not only be empowered to attain career success in college and beyond, but they will be able to build their career readiness and awareness,  network with other First Generation Students, participate in financial literacy sessions, develop their leadership skills, engage in different excursions and activities within South Florida, and have a life changing experience at a national conference specifically designed for them. This event will occur April 12–14, 2024.

Learn more:

2024 Financial Empowerment Virtual Experience
The Financial Empowerment Virtual Experience is an interactive, engaging, and transformational virtual financial conference that has been designed specifically for college students who not only desire to develop their financial skills, learn how to budget, manage, save their money more effectively, and create more economic opportunities through investment, real-estate, and other wealth building strategies, but it’s an experience that has been created to answer randomly selected financial questions, highlight amazing entrepreneurs who are thriving financially, and teach college students the principles and mindset that will help them position themselves for financial success in college and beyond. This event will occur April 27, 2024.

Learn more: 


22 CE Eligible Substance Use Disorder Training Courses Provided by the Providers Clinical Support System (PCSS)
PCSS-MOUD clinical experts Michelle Lofwall, MD, Larissa Mooney, MD, and Kenneth Morford, MD, who have extensive training and knowledge in addictions, led a team of multidisciplinary professionals in a substantial overhaul of the Substance Use Disorder 101 Core Curriculum for Healthcare Professionals. With the addition of two new module topics, the 23 modules in this 2023 curriculum provide an overview of evidence-based practices in the prevention, identification, and treatment of substance use disorders and co-occurring medical and psychiatric conditions for a variety of populations. Healthcare professionals who complete this curriculum should see an increase in their competence and confidence as they treat patients who are diagnosed with a substance use disorder.

Learn more:

Learning Opportunity

ChatGPT in Practice: Large Language Models, What Every Social Worker Should Know
Large Language Models, such as ChatGPT, have captured attention of the country as their ability to write jokes, poetry, and prose—in seconds and for free bedazzles anyone who works with the written word. Educators have seen that it can write realistic student papers, including citations and personal anecdotes. Professionals have seen that it can generate realistic work-related writing such as progress notes, grant proposals and organizational newsletters. What are the implications for social workers and social work practice? In this webinar, social workers are invited to learn about large language models and chatbots in mental health and human services. We will discuss our experiences, concerns, and emerging practice applications. Participants will receive a live demonstration and have the opportunity to consider how these tools can enhance their practice.   

Learn more: