NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Josephine R. Lambert (1922 - 2001)
Josephine R. Lambert was the first African American to receive tenure at the Boston University School of Social Work. She made tremendous contributions to the education of students of color, the understanding of relationships across racial lines, and developed services for local communities of color.† Lambert taught classes in social work practice, social group work, implications of institutional racism for social work practice, and also taught in the African-American Studies Program.† Instrumental in the development of the Universityís dual-degree program in African American Studies and Social Workĺfor which she served as coordinatorĺLambert recruited students of color into the graduate social work education program.
Before joining the faculty at Boston University, Lambert worked as a community organization specialist and social science analyst for the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW), in Washington, D.C.† She worked with low income communities to improve the lives of families and children and to deter juvenile delinquency. Youth development remained a primary focus throughout Lambertís social work career.
Following her retirement from Boston University in 1985, Lambert remained an active member of her community through service on the board of the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston. She also volunteered with the Travelersí Aid Society of Boston.
Born in Boston, Lambert earned a bachelorís degree in sociology from Virginia Union University in 1946, and a masterís degree in social work from Boston University in 1954.
Josephine Lambert passed away on February 7, 2001.† The Boston University School of Social Work administers a scholarship fund, established in her memory, which is given to African American, Latino, Asian American/Pacific Islander, and Native American (ALANA) students.†