Published on :
July 11, 2023
It is with profound sadness that we share the news that our sister, friend, mentor, leader, and colleague Mildred “Mit” Joyner DPS, MSW, LCSW, passed away on July 9, 2023. We celebrate her legacy of more than three decades as a champion for justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion for children and families across our communities and for social work education that prepares future generations of social workers for global citizenry and the world stage.
As a visionary and fighter for social work, Mit served extensively and generously across our social work organizations including as NASW President, CSWE Board Chair, BPD President, and so forth. Among her extensive list of accolades for excellence in leadership and stewardship and extraordinary commitment to justice were the CSWE Service and Leadership in Social Work Education Award (2017), BPD Lifetime Achievement Award (2011), Howard University Inabel Burns Lindsay Award (2012), and NASW Social Work Pioneer (2013), to name a few. In addition, AGE-SE created the Mit Joyner Gerontology Student award in 2005 in her honor for her leadership and vision of gerontology in baccalaureate social work education.
“Mit leaves a legacy that will shape the social work profession for generations to come,” said Hilary Weaver, current CSWE Board Chair. “She brought a commitment and passion to all that she did, helping each of us and the social work profession as a whole rise to fulfill our potential. She had a zest for life, bringing an elegance and exuberance to the many roles she filled. CSWE, and the social work profession, are forever changed for the better having counted Mit as one of us.”
“As one of social work’s greatest advocates of social justice, Mit’s character and caliber have affected us all in life-changing ways, and have been felt locally, nationally, and internationally,” said Halaevalu F.O. Vakalahi, CSWE President and CEO. “She is a ‘social work great,’ a vibrant and vigorous social work warrior for justice, a pioneer with substance, a social worker American hero. She was relentless about discovering ways to bridge differences as essential to fully realizing our calling in social work. With honor, resolve, and deep gratitude in our hearts, we honor Mit as a phenomenal human being, the epitome of mana wahine (powerful woman).”