Dr. Anna Ortega-Williams is a social work scholar, practitioner, researcher, and organizer that is inspired by the healing alchemy of social action, youth development & wellbeing. Dr. Ortega-Williams is an Assistant Professor at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. As a social work educator, she is committed to uncovering trauma recovery interventions that push the boundary of where micro-level clinical practice ends and macro-level practice begins. Her approach to social work centers cultural humility, anti-racist, intersectional, and anti-oppressive frameworks. Dr. Ortega-William's area of research focuses on historical trauma, post-traumatic growth, and social action in trauma recovery. She has been a social worker since 2001 and has provided individual, group and family counseling, in addition to working as a director, program developer, capacity builder and evaluator, for 14 years at the Red Hook Initiative. Her work has been informed by local, national and global social movements; in particular, Black youth-led responses to interrupting systemic violence.
She received her Bachelor’s degree from the City University of New York, Hunter College, Master’s degree from the State University of New York, Stony Brook, and PhD in Social Work from Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Service. She is also one of the founding members of the Radical Social Work Group. As a Black queer mom, activist and organizer, born and raised in public housing in the Bronx, she believes social work practice can promote joy, healing, imagination and hope when it is rooted in transforming social and economic justice and protecting human rights.