Cecily Davis

Cecily D. Davis, MSW (she/her/hers) is focused on eliminating anti-Black racism through her scholarship, teaching, and practice. Her research agenda includes projects supporting Black children’s racial identity development, anti-racist practices, and improving schools’ racial climates. Using critical theories, Cecily is working to (1) understand the essential components of how Black parents most effectively socialize their children around issues of racial bias; and (2) translate optimal Black youth development and anti-racist methods into practice.


Cecily has extensive micro, mezzo and macro social work practice working with and on behalf of oppressed communities, families, and children. With 14 years of practice experience, Cecily specializes in developing and sustaining collaborative partnerships with non-profit and for-profit organizations, schools/government agencies, and nationally funded research projects. Through these organizations, Cecily established program development, grant management, leadership, community engagement, and research skills.


Cecily’s research utilizes mixed methods designs, and her community engaged research experience includes an efficacy study of a kindergarten mathematic readiness program and a study investigating social emotional skills with preschool students and teachers. During her doctoral assistantship, she has been a co-investigator and lead facilitator for a pilot research project studying a first-of-its-kind program that assists Black parents in supporting their child's emotional well-being and racism coping. In her role, she co-led a qualitative analysis of Black parents’ perspectives in regard to barriers in educational attainment and co-authored an article discussing a research-to-practice partnership and study.

Cecily’s research is directly informed by her professional experiences working with Black communities, and from that vantage point she has also examined how antiracist social work education can address the racism deeply entrenched in social work practice across settings and contexts. She is committed to supporting the development of social work students to engage in eradicating racism and to actively use our common core of theories, skills, and code of ethics.

Dissertation Title: How Caregivers’ Experiences with Racial Discrimination Relate to Racial Bias Socialization Processes within Black Families

Research Interests 

  • Racial Discrimination
  • Racial Socialization
  • Stress and Coping
  • School Social Work
  • Interventions in School-Based Settings
  • Mental Health
  • Mixed Methods Design