NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Bathrus Bailey Williams
(1915 - 2004)
"Living means giving," is the philosophy of Bathrus Bailey Willaims, who has devoted herself to public service through a wide range of church, school and civic organizations, over a span of half a century.
In her earliest years, she worked with groups in her church in Philadelphia, tending to the sick and shut-in. In college, she served as President of her campus chapter of the NAACP, and co-founded the NAACP's National Youth Council.
She married and settled in Washington in 1941. She was a leader of the Consolidated Parents Group in the 1940s and 1950s, working to eliminate segregation in the DC public schools. In 1947, she founded the Barristers' Wives, a nationwide service organization. In the 1960s, she served as a delegate to the White House Conference on Children and Youth, and as a member of the President's Committee on Mental Retardation. In the 1970s, she served on the President's Commission on Neighborhoods. From the 1940s on into the 1990s, Dr. Williams has served on numerous professional boards and committees.
Dr. Williams earned her Baccalaureate degree at Virginia Union, and four master's degrees and a PhD at Catholic University of America.
She and her husband, the late Wesley S. Williams, Sr. have two children. Dr. Williams began full-time paid employment when both her children were teenagers. She served first as a teacher and counselor in the DC public schools. Later, she served as faculty of Catholic and Johns Hopkins Universities, Coppin State, DC Teachers, Loyola Colleges, and Bowie State College, where she held the rank of Professor and Chairman of the Department of Special Education. Still later, she held administrative positions in the Montgomery County public school system, until her retirement in 1976.