The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) recently announced Deborah Wilson Gadsden, a 50-year veteran of the child welfare field, will join the team as its first Director of Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
Soror Wilson-Gadsden is not a stranger to CWLA. She has served as a CWLA volunteer for the past seven years, most recently as a member of the CWLA Member Equity Committee and has co-chaired CWLA’s Membership Committee. She has also served as a trainer at CWLA national conferences. Soror Wilson-Gadsden began her career as a 17-year-old receptionist in a county child welfare agency. During her tenure in the field, she has held several progressive positions and has acquired the academic underpinnings to support her work with families, children, and organizations. She holds a Master of Human Services Degree from Lincoln University and a Master of Social Work Degree from Temple University. She has worked in two child welfare agencies on the front lines, conducting investigations of abuse, neglect, and child sexual abuse and supervising units of intake, in-home, and placement casework services.
Soror Wilson-Gadsden is a training professional, preparing new child welfare caseworkers as a certified trainer for the Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center (CWRC) through the University of Pittsburgh. She is also a certified trainer-consultant in school and community-based bullying prevention through Clemson University; and in workplace bullying prevention through the Workplace Bullying Institute.
Her most recent work has been as a training specialist in the field of racial and social justice having been trained by Cultural Bridges to Justice, Northwestern/Kellogg School of Management’s Allstate Leading with Equity course, and participation in the process of CWRC becoming an anti-racist organization in consultation with the Center for the Study of Social Policy.
She has volunteered in civic positions of responsibility as the board chair of the Lancaster County (PA) Human Relations Commission, the Pennsylvania Recovery Organization Alliance, and the Lancaster (PA) YWCA. She is the sitting president of the Lancaster Alumnae (PA) Chapter and has been a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority since 1997, serving in a variety of leadership positions. She is married, with a blended family of five children, 14 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.