Middle Tennessee State University's Chapter of the


History of NABSW

NABSW was created during the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement on May 8, 1968 in San Francisco, California by a group of Black Social Workers who were convened for the meeting of an established national social work organization. They disengaged from that meeting to form what has ultimately become the foremost advocacy group established to address social issues and concerns of the Black community.

The Great Seal and Emblem

The Great Seal and Emblem of the National Association of Black Social Workers shall consist of, flat-faced circular die with the words and design: The National Association of Black Social Workers, a shield with a scroll on the side representing Black knowledge and experience and on the other side a spear representing a defense of the National Association’s philosophy by any means necessary. At the bottom of the shield shall be the word “Harambee” which means togetherness.


Reb, Black, and Green


The National Association of Black Social Workers, Inc., comprised of people of African ancestry, is committed to enhancing the quality of life and empowering people of African ancestry through advocacy, human services delivery, and research. 

The National Association of Black Social Workers, Inc. will work to create a world in which people of African ancestry will live free from racial domination, economic exploitation, and cultural oppression. In collaboration with national, international, and other appropriate groups, NABSW will continue to leverage its collective expertise to strategically develop capacity of people of African ancestry to sustain and flourish.


NABSW’s vision is guided by the Principles of the Nguzo Saba, which are Unity, Self-determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith, and the Seven Cardinal Virtues of Ma’at, which are Right, Truth, Justice, Order, Reciprocity, Balance, and Harmony.

Code of Ethics

  • I regard as my primary obligation the welfare of the Black individual, Black family, and Black community and will engage in action for improving social conditions.
  • I give precedence to this mission over my personal interest.
  • I adopt the concept of a Black extended family and embrace all Black people as my brothers and sisters, making no distinction between their destiny and my own.
  • I hold myself responsible for the quality and extent of service I perform and the quality and extent of service performed by the agency or organization in which I am employed, as it relates to the Black community.
  • I accept the responsibility to protect the Black community against unethical and hypocritical practice by any individual or organizations engaged in social welfare activities.
  • I stand ready to supplement my paid or professional advocacy with voluntary service in the Black public interest.
  • I will consciously use my skills, and my whole being as an instrument for social change, with particular attention directed to the establishment of Black social institutions.

What we do

Service Projects, Fundraising, Conference trips, social outings 


  • Students do not have to major in the field of Social Work or be of African American decent to join but must have an interest in helping others. However, you must be of African American decent to hold office. 
  • Must have a cumulative G.P.A. of 2.5 and be in good academic standing
  • Pay a membership fee of $30/academic year.
  • Be able to attend meetings regularly (2 excused absences allowed per semester)
  • Participate in at least 4 events/service projects a semester.

Benefits of Membership

Members privileges will include occasions to CONNECT, LEARN, SAVE, as well as opportunities for EXPOSURE and CAREER GROWTH. By joining YOU can expect the following benefits…

  • Networking opportunities
  • Discounted full-time student membership
  • The opportunity to participate in quarterly National Steering Committee Meetings
  • Discounted pricing for State, Regional, National and International Conferences
  • NABSW Members Reward Program
  • NABSW Career Center
  • Opportunities for study in the Organization’s African Centered Social Work Academy
  • Local chapter and National Leadership opportunities
  • Access to webinars and online trainings
  • Continuing Education Units
  • NABSW Career Center
  • Sankofa Mentorship Program
  • The ability to purchase Professional Liability Insurance
  • Presenter opportunities at the NABSW Annual Conference
  • Book and Tuition Scholarships for eligible student members
  • Periodic electronic updates regarding the National Organization’s activities
  • Awards to recognize individual and chapter accomplishments
  • Access to NASW Position Papers and Position Statements
  • Website exposure for chapters and members
  • The opportunity to serve the community and help others

Regional Chapters

All NABSW affiliated chapters are divided into regions in the United States, Canada and the Bahamas. The five regions allow for chapters to receive more individualized attention from the Regional Liaisons.

Regional Map




New Mexico


North Dakota
South Dakota


*North Carolina
*South Carolina
West Virginia


District of Columbia
New Hampshire
New Jersey
*New York
Nova Scotia
Rhode Island


Faculty Advisor: Carmelita L. Dotson, carmelita.dotson@mtsu.edu