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Selma Williams, MSW
I was born in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn to a first generation immigrant from Jamaica, West Indies. My mother worked hard to put herself through nursing school and set an awesome example of what survival and thriving looks like. My mother is from Jamaica, West Indies and my father is from Grenada, West Indies. I consider myself Caribbean American.
I started my undergraduate studies at Long Island University -Brooklyn Campus and finished up at The University of Phoenix in 2013.
I graduated from Nyack College in 2019 with my Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW).
I became a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) after I graduated high school. I worked in the Nursing Department for a Social Service Agency and fell in love with the role of the social worker and how they impacted the lives of the clients they encountered.
I’ve worked primarily with children and families. As a nurse I worked for St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in Bayside, Lutheran Social Services as well as South Nassau Pediatrics. After becoming an MSW I worked for NYSTART – YAI which provides crisis intervention for individuals with Intellectual Disabilities. I became Team Supervisor after 6 months.
Black people are my people. Helping Black people recognize their full potential is very important for me. As a social worker it is also important for me to advocate and give a voice to the marginalized community. My people have been marginalized for centuries.
I have experienced the effects of colorism firsthand. I have had officers (Black and White) overlook minor offenses because I am the shade of Black that they can accept. When my husband commits the same violation (speeding for example) he is almost always given a summons. This is also something that is very prevalent in the West Indian community. I have learned to use my “light-skinned privilege” to shed light on the issue of colorism.
I utilize a Psychodynamic approach with my clients in therapy. Clients report that I make them feel comfortable and I am easy to talk to. I like to think that my calm nature allows clients to feel less anxiety when engaging with me.
I am a singer. I sing primarily Gospel music. My faith guides me. I have 7 siblings on my mother’s side.