Ovita F. Williams
Action Lab Executive Director, Associate Director of Field Education
Dr. Ovita Williams is an antiracist social worker committed to justice and creating space for critical conversations across our intersecting identities.
For fifteen years, Dr. Williams has served as an Associate Director of Field Education at Columbia School of Social Work developing agency collaborations and partnerships in family and children services. During her clinical practice as a social worker, Dr. Williams worked with survivors of intimate partner violence in the forensic social work arena with ten years of experience as the Director of Clinical Services in the Counseling Services Unit at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office. Prior to this position, Dr. Williams was a therapist at the Children’s Aid Society.
Her recent collaborative book, Learning to teach, teaching to learn: A guide for social work field education, 3rd Edition (CSWE, 2019), emphasizes key tips on justice based field education for field supervisors. Dr. Williams facilitates interactive workshops on creating space for courageous dialogues around race, class, gender, sexual orientation and intersecting identities. Co-developing and co-convening the course Foundations of Social Work: Decolonizing Social Work, Dr. Williams supports continued efforts at CSSW to incorporate a power, racism, oppression, and privilege framework throughout the curriculum.
A graduate of Vassar College and Columbia University, Dr. Williams recently completed her doctoral studies at the City University of New York Graduate Center, Silberman School of Social Work. Her dissertation offered a critical perspective of worker stress, vicarious trauma and structural racism for district attorney based social workers.
The eldest of four, Dr. Williams was born in Guyana, South America and calls Brooklyn, New York home. She enjoys exploring beaches, locating lighthouses and random road trips.