Ashley Cole, Jr., better known as Ash, is a native of Far Rockaway, New York. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Queens College and his Master of Science Social Work (MSW) degree from Columbia University School of Social Work (CSSW). He is now a doctoral student at Columbia University School of Social Work. Ash is a licensed Master Social Worker Psychotherapist who works with individuals and families to help them improve their mental health. He’s a keynote speaker and was the student speaker for his MSW graduation. His dedication and passion for education, mental health, and community activism have made him a sought-after guest lecturer. He’s also a Co-Editor of the book entitled Unwritten: Stories from Behind and Beyond the Bars. He has moderated and co-moderated countless events throughout his tenure at CSSW. As a first-generation graduate student, he shares many of the lived experiences of the people he serves. He’s an advocate for criminal justice reform, fathers who the child support enforcement unit has negatively impacted, and improved mental healthcare for Black people.
His primary research interest examines the relationship between the mental health of young Black boys, improvement in physical and social well-being, and academic achievement. More specifically, Ash is interested in studying the creation and implementation of a culturally competent intervention along with supporting social technology and its usefulness. You can find him spending time with his family when he’s not engaged in his research interest or working to break the bondage of systematic oppression.