Ovita Williams, LCSW, is the Associate Director of Field Education for Family, Youth and Children Services at Columbia School of Social Work (CSSW). She also served as Interim Dean and Director of the department for two years. Ms. Williams has taught the Social Work Practice and Domestic Violence course at CSSW and the Social Work Practice Lab for Liberation and Social Justice at Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter CUNY. Ms. Williams is a licensed clinical social worker specializing in intimate partner violence and forensic social work practice 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, Ms. Williams was a therapist at the Children’s Aid Society.
During her time at CSSW, Ms. Williams has taught the Seminar in Field Instruction (SIFI) for new field instructors and expanded the Advanced SIFI around holding challenging conversations in the supervisory relationship.
Ms. Williams has developed and facilitated interactive workshops for social workers, managers, and various practitioners at organizations on facilitating challenging dialogues around race, class, gender, sexual orientation and intersecting identities. At Columbia, Ms. Williams has worked with students, alum, faculty and administrators on the development of a new course Decolonizing Social Work through a power, race, oppression, and privilege framework. The course centers anti-black racism and dismantling white supremacy culture.
A graduate of Vassar College (’90) and Columbia University (’93), Ms. Williams is presently a doctoral student at Hunter College/Silberman School of Social Welfare in New York City. She is completing work on her dissertation, “Exploring Forensic Social Workers’ Experiences Counseling Intimate Partner Violence Survivors in a Criminal Justice Setting”.
Ms. Williams is co-author on the recent book Learning to teach, teaching to learn: A guide for social work field education, 3rd Edition (2019) published by the Council on Social Work Education.