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Madrinas "godmothers" of Social Work take an active interest and acts as a mentor, sponsor, or supporter of emerging social workers.

Anderson Torres, Ph.D., LCSW-R

Since 2014, Dr. Anderson Torres has been the President and CEO at Regional Aid for Interim Needs, Inc. (R.A.I.N.), an agency sponsor for Dr. Torres in this of Latinx/e in Social Work. Dr. Torres is also the only social worker currently serving on the New York State Public Health and Health Planning Council is Vice Chair for the Committee on Public Health. His career focused on addressing the social determinants of health and advocating for social change. Dr. Torres first employment opportunity post- graduate school was in a mental health clinic, which provided a solid foundation in the specialty of behavioral health. Founded by a nurse and nourished by a social worker, R.A.I.N. has provided a model of stewardship that aligns with the author’s ideology. The fact that this not-for-profit organization has a solid mission to provide help to the most vulnerable in our society strikes the passion and commitment that helps him remain true to his grassroots approach to care.

Dr. Torres received his bachelor’s degree with a major in sociology and minor in psychology from City College at the City University of New York and went on to secure his master’s in social work from Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. After several years, he obtained his doctoral degree from California Coast University. Dr. Torres’s area of focus has been Alzheimer’s and the Hispanic/Latino community.He has served as an adjunct professor at Fordham Graduate School of Social Service, teaching “Oppression and the Struggle for Social Change.”

Dr. Torres was invited to participate in the Latino Social Work Taskforce by Social Workers by Louis Vasquez, LMSW, and Maria Elena Girone, MSW. This grassroots movement evolved to later become the Latino Social Work Coalition and Scholarship Fund. Dr. Torres travels and speaks on a number of topics, including trauma, cuento chats. Additionally, he has a special focus on Alzheimer’s and Hispanic/Latino caregivers as a tribute to his late maternal grandmother, Julia LaPorte.


Anderson Torres, PhD, LCSW-R 


Ernest Gonzales, Ph.D., MSSW

Ernest Gonzales is an associate professor, Director of the MSW program at NYU Silver School of Social Work, and Director of the Center for Health and Aging Innovation. He is a scholar in the areas of productive aging (employment, volunteering, and caregiving), health equity, discrimination, and social policy. His research advances our understanding of the relationships between healthy aging, social determinants of health, productive activities, and intergenerational contexts. The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institute on Aging, US Social Security Administration, AARP Foundation, The Eisner Foundation, Fan Fox and Samuels Foundation, and other public and private funders have supported his research. Dr. Gonzales publishes in leading scientific journals, and he is on several editorial boards.

By invitation, Dr. Gonzales serves on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE). He has been invited to review grants for the National Institute on Aging, as well as other international federal agencies. He is the co-lead of the American Academy of Social Work & Social Welfare’s Grand Challenge on Advancing Long, Healthy, and Productive Lives. He is also a senior fellow of the NYU Aging Incubator, a university-wide initiative bringing together faculty and students from across the University from all disciplines who are involved in the study of aging and its impact on society. He is a member of the Sloan Research Network on Aging & Work, Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR), the Association for Latina/o Social Work Educators, and Gerontological Society of America.

Dr. Gonzales is a first-gen Latinx/e gerontologist. His early life experiences growing up in El Paso, Texas, with his loving maternal grandparents, parents, and uncles inspired him to study how we age in a society that aspires for justice and equity but practices systemic racism, sexism, homophobia, and ageism. Prior to coming to NYU Silver, Dr. Gonzales was an assistant professor at Boston University’s School of Social Work, where he received the Peter T. Paul Career Development Award, a highly competitive and prestigious honor given to promising tenure-track scholars. During his doctoral studies, he received the Brown School of Social Work’s Dissertation Award and the Teaching Excellence Award for Doctoral Teaching Fellows, the John A. Hartford Pre-Dissertation Fellowship and Dissertation Fellowship, and the Washington University Chancellor’s Fellowship. He received the Rosalyn Tough Award in Sociology from Hunter College while obtaining his bachelor’s degree.


Ernest Gonzales, PhD, MSSW

Virgen Thirsa Pina, MSW, LCSW

Virgen Thirsa Pina (Luce) served on the NYU Silver faculty from 2006-2022. Professor Luce has over 40 of experience educating MSW students and supervising clinicians with a focus on those specializing in HIV/AIDS, palliative care and end-of- life, Parkinson’s disease, and health care broadly.

From 2019-2022, she served as Assistant Dean for Field Learning and Community Partnerships, elevating field education in notable ways, while contributing to creating a more inclusive and equitable community for students and agency partners.

Professor Luce was Field Education Faculty Leader for NYU Silver’s Zelda Foster Studies Program in Palliative and End-of-Life Care. The Social Work Hospice and Palliative Care Network (SWHPN) honored Professor Luce in 2019 with its Award for Excellence in Professional Education. From 2018-2022, she was the director of NYU Silver’s Post Master’s Certificate Program in Clinical Supervision. She received the 2011 Social Work Leadership Award from the NASW-NYC Latino Social Work Task Force for her dedication and commitment to social work education and the great strides that she has achieved in encouraging and supporting Latino students and social workers in the community.


Virgen Thirsa Pina, MSW, LCSW

Facebook: Tilsa Pina

Dr. Leti Cavazos, LCSW

Dr. Leti Cavazos is the founder and CEO of Cannenta Center for Healing and Empowerment and the founder of Cannenta Foundation. She holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio, a Doctor of Social Work degree from the University of Tennessee with an emphasis in clinical practice and leadership, and is a licensed clinical social worker in texas. Her research study was titled “Assessing the Characteristics of Male Victims of Domestic Violence Experiencing Homelessness.” Her work has led her to create several successful programs, including building the foundation for the first male domestic violence shelter in Texas.

Dr. Leti is passionate about elevating Latinx/e clinicians to fulfill their professional aspirations and increase the number of bilingual practitioners available to service the underserved Hispanic community. She created a platform for minority social workers to dictate their earning potential and position themselves as subject matter experts in their areas of strength. Dr. Leti shares her knowledge with others through mentoring, professional development training, conference presentations, and teaching at several universities across the country. She has been recognized as one of the 2020 Top 10 Dedicated and Deserving Social Workers by Social Work Today and was selected as a finalist for the 2022 Nonprofit and Corporate Citizenship Award in Equity Leadership by D CEO Magazine.


Dr. Leti Cavazos, LCSW

Cannenta Center for Healing and Empowerment |

Cannenta Foundation, Inc. |

Yaberci Perez-Cubillan, LCSW-R, SIFI

Yaberci is a hands-on, driven executive leader with a solid track record in the behavioral health industry, possessing a rich mix of technical, financial, and operations experience. As chief program officer, she oversees Acacia Network’s primary care, behavioral health, health home and skilled nursing program portfolios, a total of 49 programs including city, state, and federal grants. In addition to leading several CEO Special Projects & Initiatives, she also provides guidance and support in the strategic development of various goals, including integration of the programs and healthcare systems to meet high standards and best practices in safety, quality, compliance, and operational efficiency. She has been on the cutting edge of service delivery and successfully led one of a few programs to become a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC). CCBHC is an outgrowth of the Federal Mental Health Excellence Act, establishing the highest standards for integrated behavioral health treatment, the foundation to the movement into value- based payment in the behavioral health field. Yaberci has become a topic expert and has participated in various panels with the National Council for Mental Well-being to highlight innovative approaches to care and the use of the CCBHC model to treat co- occurring mental health and substance-use disorders.

She is the recipient of the 2016 Leadership Award by the Latino Social Work Coalition, a 2020 recipient of Entre Nosotras Leadership Award, City Council, as well as a 2020 Sapphire Leadership Award from the National Association of Social Workers. She is a Hunter College School of Social Work graduate and a trained clinical social worker (LCSW-R, SIFI). She has completed the Post-Master’s Certificate Program in Executive Leadership at the New York University, Silver School of Social Work. Yaberci sits on the following boards: National Council for Mental Wellbeing, As-One Behavioral Health Care Collaborative, I Health, Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers of New York, New York State Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, the Coalition for Behavioral Health, and Treatment Communities of America.

She works as an adjunct professor at Adelphi University, where she teaches Human Behavior for Social Work Practice I and II, Foundations of Social Work Practice II, Social Work Assessment and Diagnosis, and Assessment and Treatment of Substance Use Disorder. Yaberci is the recipient of the 2022 Social Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Excellence in Teaching Award. Yaberci also works as an adjunct professor at New York University, where she teaches Human Behavior in The Social Environment 1.


Yaberci Perez-Cubillan LCSW-R, SIFI


Erica P. Sandoval, LCSW, SIFI

Erica Prsicilla Sandoval is an award-winning mental health practitioner, speaker, executive coach, entrepreneur, podcaster, philanthropist, and author of Latinx/e in Social Work, published in both English and Spanish. Latinx/e in Social Work Volume I received honorable mention at the 24th annual International Latino Book and Film Awards. Most recently, she is the founder and CEO of Sandoval Psychotherapy Consulting – known as Sandoval CoLab – where she oversees a team of social workers and leads diversity, equity, and inclusion work for organizations, universities, health care facilities, medical and corporate professionals. Erica began her career in the music industry before pivoting to social work, which led her spending seven years as an advocate for children and families at the New York City Hospital for Special Surgery and working at Make-A-Wish Metro and Western New York. During the pandemic, Erica opened her own private psychotherapy practice and has expanded her work as a trained Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapist. KAP is a holistic breakthrough approach to an awakened mind and healing trauma and depression.           

The recipient of many awards, Erica was recognized by Prospanica-NY with the 2021 Top Latinx Leaders, Social Justice award, and Make-A-Wish gave Erica the 2018 Diversity and Inclusion Innovation award at the national conference. She was a contributing author to Today’s Inspired Latina, Volume X and was tly named New York Socia of The Latina Empire, a personal and business development coaching program.       

In 2020, Erica became the first immigrant Latina president of the National Association of Social Workers’ New York City chapter and is now the chapter’s President Emeritus. Erica is a philanthropist and a donor to the Latino Social Work Coalition and Scholarship Fund. Erica was most recently recognized as a Latino Leader on the radar by Latino Leaders in Action. As a proud immigrant from Ecuador, her passion is fueled by supporting the community she is a part of and their children. Her greatest pride is being a single mother and raising her 22-year- old daughter, Isabella, whom she considers her biggest teacher.       

She holds an associate’s degree from the Borough of Manhattan Community College, a bachelor’s degree from Baruch College, and a master’s in social work from the New York University Silver School of Social Work.   


Erica P. Sandoval, LCSW-SIFI  

LinkedIn: Erica Priscilla Sandoval, LCSW

Olga A. Preciado, LMSW

Olga Preciado is a first-generation, bilingual and bicultural Mexican-American licensed social worker in the state of Illinois. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Illinois-Chicago and a Master of Social Work from the NYU Silver School of Social Work. Olga currently serves as the strategic relationships manager for Sandoval CoLab. Knowing firsthand the challenges and trauma that come with being a migrant child, Olga is passionate about advocating for and serving Latinx/e immigrant communities to ensure they receive culturally and linguistically relevant services. Over the past six years, Olga has worked with predominantly Spanish-speaking children and families in Oakland, California, as an education specialist for middle schoolers, in New York City as a case manager for unaccompanied minors, and most recently in Chicago as a student supports manager for children in pre-K through sixth grade.

Olga has made it her mission to operate through a social justice lens in everything she does, personally and professionally, and believes that becoming a social worker saved her life. She believes in the healing power of storytelling and community. Olga credits joining the Latino Social Work Coalition and Scholarship Fund for helping her grow as a leader and eventually leading her to join Sandoval CoLab, where she continues to serve the Latinx/e community as a macro social worker.


Olga A. Preciado, LMSW

Monika Cecil Estrada Guzman, BSW, LMSW-SIFI

Monika C. Estrada Guzman, BSW, LMSW-SIFI (she/ her/ella) is a proud Chapina/Guatemalteca. For the past five years, she has been the program director of Nido de Esperanza, a faith-based early childhood intervention program for families with perinatal women until their children are three years old in Washington Heights. Monika works with mothers to effectively address the challenges that they face during pregnancy, addressing any social, emotional, and mental health needs, and in early childhood by providing individual parenting education of developmental milestones and assisting her clients become the parents they wish to be.

Monika’s focus has been working with recent immigrant parents in the US. Her work with clients is fully in Spanish. It is trauma informed, grounded in a two-generation approach, empowerment model to foster self-efficacy, family systems, ecological systems, and resiliency among participants to better cope with stressors related to their immigration status and how it can impact them during parenthood. She also uses evidence- based parenting and group curriculum in her work. By the end of this year Monika will be rostered in Child Parent Psychotherapy and begin her training in Perinatal Parent Psychotherapy, to further provide mental health services to Spanish-speaking families.

Monika received her bachelor’s in social work from California State University Los Angeles and her master’s in social work from the NYU Silver School of Social Work. Monika’s work and excellence has been recognized with the New York University Silver School of Social Work Outstanding Student Program Award, National Association of Social Workers NYC Chapter Alex Rosen Award and Aquamarine Award the Latino Social Work Coalition Leadership Award, and the Auburn Seminary, Women of Moral Courage Award.

Monika C. Estrada Guzman, BSW, LMSW-SIFI

Nido de Esperanza | 

Sandoval Psychotherapy |

Carolyn Peguero Spencer, MA, LCSW, BC-TMH, Ph.D. (c)

Carolyn Peguero Spencer is a first-generation, Dominican- born New Yorker. After graduating high school, she was accepted into a Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) in upstate New York, which changed the trajectory of her life. She not only earned her bachelor’s, but also completed a five-year program where she graduated with a master’s degree in psychology. Shortly after graduation, she moved back to her roots in New York City. She felt a calling in advocacy and community that drove her to enroll in a social work program at Fordham University. A lifelong learner, she completed her master’s several decades ago, and she is currently completing her doctorate, which focuses on the intersecting identities of Latina single mothers, education, and economic well-being. Carolyn is dedicated and invested in the financial literacy and subjective well-being of Latina mothers. This is an area in which she plans to dedicate most of her research as an academic. Carolyn is a full-time professor at Westchester Community College. She is also a dedicated clinician at her thriving bilingual private practice.

Besides academia, Carolyn’s lifetime achievement so far is motherhood and the close relationship she has with her two college-bound, young adult children, Jordan and Noah.


Carolyn Peguero Spencer, MA, LCSW, BC-TMH, PhD (c)

Emilio Tavarez, MSW

Emilio Tavarez is a social worker, community organizer, and policy advocate featured in 40 Under 40: The Rising Stars in NYC Food Policy (Class of 2020) by the Hunter College Food Policy Center and serves as the director of Advocacy, Policy, and Research at Hunger Free America. Born in the Dominican Republic, Emilio grew up in New York City as a gay, undocumented immigrant. He attended LaGuardia High School, studied psychology at the City College of New York, and began his career in social services through nonprofit organizations like Henry Street Settlement and the LGBT Center. He eventually earned a master’s degree in social work from Lehman College and was granted legal work authorization under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program established by the Obama administration.

Emilio worked in the Bronx for many years providing case- management services to marginalized communities at Part of the Solution, including households experiencing homelessness, mental illness, substance-abuse issues, LGBT+ discrimination, and food insecurity. He has since become an award-winning policy advocate and speaker on the need to build a national movement to end domestic hunger in the United States of America, led by people with lived experience with systems of oppression. Emilio has also launched his own business, Emilio Tavarez Consulting, to provide his unique skills to individuals and organizations needing assistance with matters of diversity, equity and inclusion, career counseling, and writing and editing of creative content.


Emilio Tavarez, MSW 

@Good_Incarnate (Instagram and Twitter)

Kevin Caraballo Barrios, LMSW

Kevin Caraballo Barrios is a licensed master social worker in the state of New York. He is the creator and host of the F.A.C.T.S. podcast (Factual. Authentic. Captivating. Transformative. Stories.) with over 3000 streaming plays. The podcast is interviewed-based and periodically concludes with unique round-table discussion segments. The podcast feature notable guest speakers from various professions and walks of life. There is a strong notion of capturing Black and Brown individual experiences, allowing storytelling, and establishing a safe space.

Kevin is an Afro Latino with experience in child welfare, school social work, mental health, carceral systems, and working with immigrant families. His educational background includes a BSW from CUNY York College and a (MSW) from New York University Silver School of Social Work. In the fall of 2022, Kevin will begin working toward earning his SIFI certification and will have the privilege of superving a graduate student.

Kevin serves as a school social worker for the Department of Education at East New York Family Academy, providing mandated and at-risk counseling for students. He also spearheaded several initiatives and partnered with community agencies to support the student body. In addition, Kevin is a part-time therapist working with adults in Brooklyn, NY, where he works alongside his clients to address their mental health challenges.


Kevin Caraballo Barrios, LMSW 


Rosita L. Marinez, MS-NPL, ADV-CSW, MSW, SIFI

Rosita L. Marinez has over 20 years of experience specializing in operations management, program development, clinical supervision, and executive leadership. Her areas of focus are mental health, substance-use disorder, HIV/AIDS, and housing. The past 14 years, she has dedicated her career to the housing sector. Rosita has held senior leadership positions in well-known organizations focused on ending homelessness in New York City. Rosita has been part of several initiatives with HIV/AIDS, Single Stop, and housing. She recently opened the first housing resource center in a clubhouse model at Fountain House, where she holds a senior leadership position as the director of housing operations. Manchester’s Who’s Who recognized Rosita in 2005–2006 for exceptional work in social services. Also, Marquis Who’s Who 2021–2022 recognized Rosita as an outstanding social justice leader.

Rosita has a Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership from Fordham University and a Master of Social Work from Hunter College. She also has a postgraduate degree in advance clinical social work from Hunter College and a SIFI from Columbia University. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from ity University of New York. Other relevant academic achievements include the George and Belle Strell Executive Leadership Fellows Program and John Harford Scholars Program at Hunter College. Rosita also holds multiple certifications in housing development compliance. 


Rosita L. Marinez, MS-NPL, ADV-CSW, MSW, SIFI sifi-a1443966/

Giselle Rodriguez, LCSW

Giselle Rodriguez, LCSW, is the program coordinator for the Charla de Lupus (Lupus Chat)® program at the Hospital for Special Surgery. This national program specifically seeks to reach Latinos/Hispanics and African Americans with lupus and their families and offers support and education.Giselle began her journey as a social worker at CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College, where she received an associate’s degree in human services and graduated with honors. Giselle received her bachelor’s degree in social work and a minor in psychology at Long Island University. At LIU, she received the Dean’s Scholar Award for clinical excellence, was President of Phi Alpha Honors Society for Social Work, and graduated Cum Laude. She then received her master’s degree in social work from CUNY Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College’s Advanced Standing Program, specializing in clinical practice with individuals, families, and groups.


Before joining HSS, Giselle provided individual and group psychotherapy in the Adult Outpatient Psychiatric Clinic at Mount Sinai Hospital. Giselle’s clinical knowledge comprises various therapeutic models, including play therapy, family therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing solution- focused therapy, group therapy, and dialectical behavioral therapy.Giselle continues to support social workers in the making by speaking to the graduating classes at her alma maters whenever called on. As a Dominican Latina, it gives her a new sense of pride walking into work every day as her true authentic self and supporting our marginalized communities. She hopes that the woman she has evolved into and continues to become would have made her younger self proud.

In her free time, Giselle loves hosting her friends and family at her home while creating delicious meals, knowing how much food brings people together. Giselle loves traveling the world and experiencing different cultures and cuisines. She enjoys creating something out of nothing or repurposing things to give them new life. She loves incorporating self-care into her everyday life through the practice of mindfulness, meditation, spa days, and relaxing at home – a favorite way of spending time with her cat that she rescued in 2015. Giselle wants to be a pillar of hope for our communities to foster in the new generations of Latinx/e professionals.


Giselle Rodriguez, LCSW 

(347) 620-5535

Karen Conlon, LCSW CCATP

Karen Conlon, LCSW CCATP is the founder and clinical director of Cohesive Therapy NYC, a psychotherapy practice that focuses on treating anxiety disorders, chronic illness, trauma, and the impacts of childhood emotional neglect in adulthood.Karen is passionate about neuroscience psychology, which looks closely at the mind-body connection, helping to clarify the physiological impact of the brain on the body, and integrates techniques to help clients gain insightful knowledge, real understanding of how their triggers affect their bodies, and specific techniques to better manage and cope.She earned her Master’s of Social Work from New York University, and her passion for high standards and continued learning in the therapy space is evident from her extensive earned and ongoing certification trainings in disorders of gut brain interaction (DGBI), clinical anxiety treatment, brainspotting, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), trauma focused-CBT, and hypnotherapy. Karen has been a contributing author to academic papers and various mental health articles, and is a contributing author in Psychogastroenterology for Adults: A Handbook for Mental Health Professionals (ISBN 9780367196561 Published September 25, 2019 by Routledge, 372 pages). Karen is also the host of the “So, How’s Therapy?” podcast, which aims to destigmatize therapy for all.


Karen Conlon, LCSW CCATP 

Instagram: @cohesive_therapy_nyc

Antonio Morales, LCSW

Antonio Morales is a licensed clinical social worker and the founder of the Liberated Self Therapeutic Services, LLC, a private practice dedicated to serving the mental health needs of Black and brown folk, across communities. As a psychotherapist and seminar facilitator, Antonio’s commitment (and the mission of his private practice) is to disrupt and dismantle the psychological chaos and confusion of white supremacy, facilitating a transformative process that will allow Black and brown folk to heal from and transcend the adverse impact of white supremacy, in all areas of their lives.


Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Antonio identifies as a mixed-race Afro Boricua and honors his indigenous African and Taino ancestors through his commitment, while grappling with the dilemma of knowing that European blood runs through his veins. As a product of the European colonization of the Western Hemisphere, Antonio understands the importance of addressing the current and historical, intergenerational, complex racial trauma that exists within him, as well as the communities he serves. Antonio believes that healing from and transcending the adverse impact of white supremacy is, by default, revolutionary. The process of Black and brown folk becoming self-actualized, whole, and complete human beings, while giving ourselves permission to express our divine greatness, in the face of white supremacy, is the ultimate act of rebellion and a radicalized expression of liberation.

Understanding this, Antonio has created the Liberated Self Seminar, which is an intensive multi-day seminar, dedicated to Black and brown folk, that guides participants into discovering their “double consciousness,” as they distinguish how white supremacy has infiltrated their psychology, revealing their own version of The Oppressed Self, which is the dehumanized version of who they’ve been conditioned to believe they are. Once they understand the truth about The Oppressed Self, they are taken through a process, intended to awaken their ancestral wisdom, as they become reacquainted with The Liberated Self, which is the humanized version of who they’re supposed to be. The Liberated Self Seminar is intended to be a catalyst in transcending the adverse impact of white supremacy.


Antonio Morales, LCSW 

@theliberatedself on Social Media Platforms

Gisselle Pardo, LCSW, MPH

Gisselle is a native New Yorker and proud daughter of Latino immigrant parents. She earned her MSW from Fordham University and her MPH from New York University. She has practiced social work and public health locally and internationally for 20+ years. Her career has included school-based mental health, hospital-based social work, family planning, work with HIV- impacted families and survivors of gender based violence, youth development, early childhood, and international social work. She started her career at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Gisselle was the first social work manager at Her Justice, working alongside attorneys to advocate for survivors of domestic violence. She later served as the program director of Step-Up, a positive youth development program.Internationally, she has conducted research in Liberia, Argentina, Thailand, and Indonesia focusing on the mental health and prevention needs of HIV impacted families. Currently she is the co-executive director of Nido de Esperanza, serving immigrant families with children. She is an adjunct lecturer, faculty advisor and field coordinator at NYU Silver School of Social Work. In addition, Gisselle sits on the NYC National Association of Social Workers Immigration Committee and is a NYC Red Cross Disaster mental health volunteer.


Gisselle Pardo, LCSW, MPH

Budy Jamilly Whitfield, LCSW

Budy (pronounced Beauty) Jamilly Whitfield is a licensed clinical social worker with over 18 years of experience as a senior leader managing programs and treating children, adolescents, women, and families in the areas of complex trauma, immigration, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, neglect, intimate partner violence, anxiety, depression, and a host of other adverse experiences. She possesses an innate ability to build relationships with those who have experienced significant adversity and has been successful in creating environments where people feel safe to share their stories and begin their healing journeys.Budy Jamilly holds a BSW from the College of New Rochelle and an MSW from Fordham University. Budy Jamilly used her expertise in the social work field to launch her podcast, Beauteous Me, and has expanded her niche into coaching women to break through limiting beliefs and achieve self-confidence. In 2021, Budy Jamilly launched her therapy practice Beauteous Mind LCSW PLLC as a safe space for BIPOC to heal from intergenerational trauma and daily stressors.

Budy Jamilly is a wife, mom, and best-selling author of a collaborative book called Latinas Who Boss Up and WE HEAL! As an entrepreneur, Jamilly has learned the importance of collaboration and how to create powerful alliances. She believes that when women unite, we can heal our families, communities, and the world.


Budy Jamilly Whitefield, LCSW or 

Instragram: @iambeauteousme or @beauteousmind_pllc 

The podcast Beauteous Me is available on all platforms. or

Basiliso (Bas) Moreno, LMSW

Basiliso (Bas) Moreno, LMSW is a licensed masters level social worker and a certified school social worker in the state of Delaware. He currently works as a social worker in an HIV clinic in Delaware.

Right before the pandemic, Basiliso began The Social Work Rants podcast, which was recently rated in the top 10 of all social work podcasts. Since the launch in January 2020, the podcast has reached over 40 countries, as well as Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. As a result of the podcast, Basiliso has met with so many incredible social workers. The host has interviewed best- selling authors, even an NHL Stanley Cup champion.

In October 2020, Basiliso started his online business Bas City Entertainment, LLC, which focuses on providing social workers and mental health professionals holistic self-care through poetry and virtual Zumba classes. Prior to the pandemic, Basiliso had been providing in-person Zumba classes at a local gym in his native Bronx. He has been a licensed Zumba instructor since December 2018.

In July 2022, Basiliso’s first book, Triumph Through Pain, How to Maximize Your Full Potential In Hard Times, was published – a thirty-page poetry book written in chronological order detailing subjects of grief, loss, anxiety, home ownership, and financial literacy. These topics are not normally discussed in our communities of color. The book is currently available on Amazon for purchase.


Basiliso Moreno, LMSW

Instagram: @Bascityentertainmentllc and @TheSocialWorkRantsPodcast

TikTok: @Bascityentertainmentllc

Facebook: BasCity Entertainment LLC

Elizabeth Conde, LMSW-SIFI

Elizabeth Conde, LMSW-SIFI is a school social worker. She is responsible for providing social, emotional, and academic support for students in her caseload. For the past 23 years she has worked with different populations and programs, including domestic violence, education, and substance abuse. She is a volunteer advisory board member for Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation. She is a modern abolitionist professional volunteer at the Ricky Martin Foundation, whose mission is to end human trafficking.

Elizabeth is a civics teacher helping individuals to become US Citizens and be able to exercise their right to vote. Elizabeth holds an associate’s degree in liberal arts psychology from Hudson County Community College, a bachelor of arts in social work from Rutgers University-Newark, a Master of Social Work from Adelphi University, and her SIFI certification (Seminar Training in Field Instruction) from Columbia University.

Elizabeth is a bilingual social worker who speaks, writes, and reads Spanish. She lives in New Jersey. Elizabeth’s greatest pride is her daughter, Natalie, whom she raised as a single mom. Her greatest accomplishment is her daughter graduating with her BFA in acting.


Elizabeth Conde, LMSW-SIFI

Instagram: @elizabeth_conde_sw

Dianne Morales, MS, Ed.M.

Dianne Morales is a consultant in the nonprofit sector focusing on executive leadership, strategy, and management. She is an expert in education, workforce, and youth development with a wealth of experience in executive management, strategy, policy, and organizational development who ran for NYC Mayor in 2021. Dianne has spent more than 20 years in program start- up, including the initial implementation of the NYC Department of Education’s Office of Youth Development and School- Community Services under Chancellor Joel Klein, the launching of The Teaching Commission, and the development of Jumpstart, a national early childhood nonprofit organization, which just celebrated its 25-year anniversary. Dianne served as the executive director and chief executive officer of Phipps Neighborhoods for a decade from 2009– 2019. There, she was responsible for the overall organizational management and led the organization through a change process that resulted in growth from a $17 million to a $24 million multiservice agency helping almost 12,000 children, youth, and families overcome poverty. In 2014, she was recognized by the NYC Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as an exceptional Hispanic woman dedicated to expanding business within the Hispanic community and again in 2018 for her work with local communities in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. In 2015, Dianne was recognized by Hispanic Lifestyle as a “Latina of Influence” and the Latino Social Work Task Force for her significant dedication and commitment to improving access and quality of service to the Latino community. In March of 2020, she received the Rompe Piedra Award from 100 Hispanic Women National, Inc. in recognition of her achievements throughout her professional career. 

In 2016, Dianne was chosen for the highly selective Pahara- Aspen Education Fellows Program for diverse and innovative leaders who are reimagining America’s public schools. Most recently, she was asked to present on her involvement with The Building Movement Project’s report, Race to Lead: Women of Color in the Nonprofit Sector, which examines the impact of both race and gender on the career advancement and experiences of women of color working in the nonprofit sector. In 2019, she was inducted into the Strong Nonprofits NY Women in Human Services Hall of Fame. And in 2020 she was named to City & State’s Women’s Power 100. That same year, she was also featured in Hispanic Executive Magazine’s Leading Latinas. Dianne has served on the Human Services Council Commission to Examine Nonprofit Organization Closures, the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation Advisory Council, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Nonprofit Resiliency Committee, and the executive committees of the Board of Directors for JobsFirstNYC, the Human Services Council, Ramapo for Children, and The Student Success Network.

Dianne is a Latina who grew up in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, and has focused her life on supporting communities in creating sustainable change for social and economic justice. Dianne has earned graduate degrees from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Columbia University, as well as a bachelor’s in psychology from the State University of New York in Stony Brook.


Dianne Morales, MS, EdM 

Instagram: @dianne4nyc

Harleny Vasquez, LMSW, SIFI

Harleny Vasquez is a licensed master social worker and a Latina woman of color. She has over 10 years working in social services providing trauma-informed care. Harleny attended Hunter College, where she received her bachelor’s degree in psychology, and completed her master’s degree in social work at Fordham University. She is the founder of her business yourEVOLVEDmind, LLC, where she is a social worker career coach helping social workers in all stages of their careers. Her areas of focus include resume and cover letter writing, personal branding, LinkedIn marketing, salary negotiation, and confidence building. She provides all her clients the tools needed to secure their next opportunity using the LinkedIn platform. She has over 19 thousand followers and is known as one of the top social work influencers in the country. In the past two years, Harleny has helped over 100 social workers secure new opportunities. She has been featured in VoyageLA, The New Social Worker Careers Magazine, Social Work Degrees sponsored by Wiley, and NASW Blog Post. Her podcast Social Work Insider was listed as #18 of the top 40 social work podcasts to follow in 2022 for Feed Spot. Harleny has spoken to over 15 social work schools across the nation, including Fordham University, Columbia University, New York University, Adelphi University, and Touro College. She is on a mission to uplift and elevate the social work profession.


Harleny Vasquez, LMSW, SIFI 

Instagram: @yourevolvedmind

Julissa Vásquez, LCSW, SIFI

Julissa Vásquez is a passionate licensed clinical psychotherapist and consultant, educator, mentor, academic field instructor, entrepreneur, and mother. She serves as a board member on the Latino Social Work Coalition and Scholarship Fund and is an adjunct professor at New York University.

Her mission is to unpack generational trauma, to raise awareness and understanding of oneself to facilitate healing, and to strengthen relationships and families. She believes that the overall health and wellness of the collective can be improved starting on an individual level. She is committed to supporting, training, and eliminating barriers to education of Latinx/ social workers so that more people of color can have access to higher education.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from the City University of New York and a graduate degree from the Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work. Her post-graduate training focuses on a psychodynamic approach to the treatment of families and couples, with a concentration in trauma. She is also a trained Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapist. She further supports clients using this novel, breakthrough approach to awaken the mind and the healing of trauma and depression.


Julissa M. Vásquez, LCSW, SIFI

Jean Carlos Osorio, LCSW-R, CDBT, SIFI

Jean Carlos Osorio is a NYS licensed clinical social worker (LCSW-R), certified dialectical behavioral therapist and SIFI. He graduated from Stony Brook University in 2007 with a master’s in social work. He is the chief executive officer and clinical/executive director at Minds Together, LCSW.P.C. He has worked in the field of social work for more than 12 years in many different settings, including psychiatric hospitals/institutions, inpatient and outpatient mental health facilities, community centers, nonprofit agencies, and LGBTQIA+ community centers and has been in private practice for the past eight years providing services in both English and Spanish.

He specializes in childhood trauma/abuse/neglect, unresolved childhood issues, addictive behaviors, personality disorders, anxiety, depression, and gender identity conflicts. He also works with victims of human sex trafficking and the undocumented population. As part of his community engagement, he has created “Hablando con Jean Carlos” and “La Silla Caliente” two YouTube video series dedicated to fighting mental health stigma and addressing mental health issues in the Latinx/e community, and to promote the campaign: NO ESTAR BIEN ESTÁ BIEN.


Jean Carlos Osorio, LCSW-R, CDBT, SIFI

Instagram: @minds_together_pc

Facebook: @mindstogetherpc 

YouTube: @mindstogetherpc

“This is a deeply authentic book revealing the strength within the collective vulnerability of its contributors. What an honor it is to be a part of this timely work, a labor of love if ever there was one. Each of our narratives is unique and yet deeply connected by strong thematic fibers that include a quest to be all that we truly are in a landscape that asks us to relinquish our authentic selves as the entrance fee into the struggle to succeed. Although each of the authors has accomplished impressive levels of success, these are stories of the cost, the toll, and the eventual triumph of our very souls. This is a collective declaration of a commitment to succeed on our own terms and reclaim the beauty and power of our deepest selves and the ancestors who sowed their love and strength into us with their blood, sweat and tears. We honor them in this book. We honor us in this book.”
Linda Lausell Bryant, MSW, Ph.D
Latinx in Social Work Madrina
“This book offers a much-needed perspective of LatinX social workers' tireless efforts to advance equity and justice. These are personal stories of those working on the frontlines and are rich in emotion, philosophy, conflict, hope, and determination as they strive daily to make a difference in the quality of life of their communities. This book serves as an inspiration to future generations of Latinx social workers and the collective impact they look to make.”
Ana L. Oliveira
President & CEO of The New York Women's Foundation
Owning your own narrative is the true embodiment of freedom. This book highlights wonderful narratives that demonstrate the diversity of our Latina diaspora. Thank you for this important work.”
Lisette Nieves
President, Fund for the City of New York