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Carmen Reese Foster, DSW, LMSW, LSSW 

Founder and Executive Director

New 2022 CBSW Logo (2).png

Welcome, Black Social Work Family! 

Are you a Black social work student or professional? 

Are you someone who cares deeply about Black social workers?  Well, then, you have made it to the right place!  


The CBSW is a community of social workers who prioritize the needs and success of Black people.  We celebrate us.  We care about us.  We amplify our voices.  

The CBSW started at the University of Tennessee College of Social Work in 2018 as a way to connect Black social work students with Black social work professionals in hopes to build community, support, and empowerment.  Our organization is now a 501c3 non-profit, we have members across the country, we offer virtual trainings, a dope annual conference, opportunities for mentoring and networking, and we now have a new campus chapter at The University of Memphis. 


Join us.  We can't wait to welcome you as a member of the family. 



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History of the CBSW

The CBSW was founded in 2018 by Dr. Carmen Reese Foster, while she was an assistant professor of practice and online MSSW field coordinator at the University of Tennessee College of Social Work (UTCSW). There was a need for Black students to connect with Black professionals for the purposes of mentorship, networking, and building community. Dr. Reese Foster applied for an internal grant through UTCSW’s Social Justice Innovation Initiative Grant Program, which provided start-up funding for the CBSW to conduct several events for UT students and community social workers for the year of 2018-2019. In 2019, the CBSW became a recognized student organization on campus. 2020 brought many firsts to the CBSW, including its inaugural conference, its partnership with the NASW-TN for a five-part anti-racism workshop series and its official, federal designation of a 501c3, non-profit organization, and the transition from a task force of volunteers to a founding Board of Directors.  The CBSW remains laser-focused on its mission to “engage, connect, and empower Black social work students and professionals” by implementing the five core values of Black excellence, mentoring, training, networking, and community.  

The CBSW is headquartered in Nashville, TN, but is open to any social work student or professional who is passionate about issues that impact Black social workers. We have student chapters in Nashville and Memphis and local events in these communities. We are open to expanding to other cities and states! 

A little bit about our Executive Director...

Carmen Reese Foster, DSW, LMSW, LSSW is currently an Assistant Professor at Belmont University. Prior to joining Belmont's faculty, she was the Interim Online MSSW Program Director, an Assistant Professor of Practice, and the Director of Alumni Affairs at the University of Tennessee College of Social Work. In 2018, she created the Coalition of Black Social Workers (CBSW) as a student organization at UTCSW and it has grown into a 501c3, where she serves as the Executive Director.  The CBSW exists to engage, connect, and empower Black social work students and professionals.  She is also the co-owner of Pieces Training and Consulting conducting trainings on Anti-Racism, trauma, social emotional learning, and cross-cultural engagement for churches, non-profits, and schools.  Prior to transitioning into higher education, Dr. Reese Foster's practice experience focused on working with youth and families from marginalized communities.  She received her DSW from the University of Alabama where her research focus was assessing the impact of race-based trauma and Covid-19 on the mental health of Black social work providers.  While at Alabama, she was the 2022 winner of the 3MT (Three Minute Thesis Competition) for the University of Alabama and the Southern Region of Graduate Schools. She represented the Southern Region at the North American competition, where she competed against finalists from the US, Canada, and Mexico. Dr. Reese Foster obtained her BA from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, her MSW from the University of Maryland, Baltimore.


Dr. Reese Foster is a proud wife and mother. She and her husband of 20 years have three children (and a boxer doodle) and reside in Nashville, TN.

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