Amid the 1960's turbulence and revolutionary spirit sweeping the United States, two Black social workers found themselves in a basement discussion about the lack of employment opportunities and the general need for change in the field of social work for Blacks. They decided to contact eight other members, all men, of their Wayne State University graduating class. They met several times to plan strategy. Eventually, they would decide to convene a meeting to which other Black social workers would be invited. On Thursday, May 11, 1967, 65 Black male social workers from throughout the city met at the Kappa House located near downtown Detroit. Those men would later be joined in ranks by female Black social workers. Determination to effect change, coupled with events at the National Conference on Social Welfare in San Francisco, would give rise to the Detroit Association of Black Social Workers.
In order to promote the welfare and survival of the Black community, the foremost focus for all Black people must be Black unity. Concerned Black social workers state that Black unity must be predicated upon a movement to organize and develop the Black community. Through the development of the Black community, the broader community benefits from the increased Black participation. To achieve this goal, the Black social worker must recognize the crucial necessity of functioning in the Black community as a servant of his/her people. Through this Association, Black people will move into the arena of Black unity with motto of liberation. With this in mind, the Detroit Association of Black Social Workers, Inc. is formed.
To provide a structure and forum through which Black social workers and workers in related fields of social services can exchange ideas, offer service, and develop programs in the interest of the Black community and the community at large.To work in cooperation with, to support, develop, or sponsor community welfare projects and programs which will serve the interest of the Black community, and the community at large.To advocate for and engage in activities of social planning and social action which will work to serve the social welfare interests of individuals, agencies, and groups serving the Black community.To examine, develop, and support programs and work in cooperation with, or to support, develop, or sponsor community-based programs of direct service or assistance to individuals in the Black community.