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When deciding to earn a doctoral level degree the stakes are high. It is a major investment in time, effort, and money.


The stories in this collaboration present a down-to-earth representation of life on the doctoral journey. The authors are leading practitioners and researchers in their respective fields of social work and education, yet the outliers are applicable to any discipline.


Each author has shared a part of their heart to give the reader keen insight into the life of a doctoral learner and more specifically a black woman on the journey.


The stories deliver a unique form of transparency, encouragement, and support with one common theme: You can earn a doctoral degree despite marginalization, disability, or the heartbreaking challenges life may bring your way.

Dr. Zodelia Williams, DSW, LMSW, affectionately known as Dr. Zoe, is the Founder/ Executive Director of 3 D’s Aftercare Inc, 3 D’s Empowerment Circle, LLC and 3 D’s Community Empowerment Center I & II. 

         Having adopted the name Modern Day Harriet Tubman, Dr. Zoe believes that all children have the right to be free from circumstances or challenges that hinder their development. She is dedicated to encouraging children and giving them the tools to make their dreams come true. Her lived experiences with challenges and triumphs as a single parent of three are sources of motivation and inspiration. 


   Dr. Zoe’s commitment to understanding, uplifting, equipping, and empowering others is evident through her multiple social work and public service roles. She is currently serving her 21st year as a NYC Department of Education Pre-K Social Worker. Additionally, she is a ABA provider for children diagnosed with autism. Her civic engagement also includes serving as the Scholarship Committee Chair for Nassau Suffolk Association of Black Social Workers; Community Liaison to the Nominating Committee of the Nassau County Child Care Council; Member of the District Attorney’s African American Advisory Council; The Island Harvest Closing the Gap Food Council and a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

Image by Nick Fewings
Purple Curtain
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Foreword written by My Mentor/Colleague/Sister/Friend:
Madam President
Dr. Lisa Newland, Ph.D,LCSW-R 
NABSW Nassau/Suffolk


“This anthology presents the core concept that creating and operating in community normalizes the doctoral student experience and makes the goal of degree completion more attainable.”

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