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About Joseph

The man Himself

Joseph Williams

Joseph (Joe) Williams, LCSW, is a formerly incarcerated Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Psychotherapist, Lyfe-Chess Coach, and Social-Emotional Strategist. Joe is currently employed in a NYC Psychiatric ER, and is the Program Coordinator of the My Brother’s Keeper initiative at Martin Van Buren High School.

Joe grew up in the Brownsville and East New York sections of Brooklyn. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Bard College’s Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) in 2013 while incarcerated. Within the first 20 months after release, he completed his Masters of Social Work from Columbia University (CUSSW).

Joe is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Social Work (DSW) at NYU (Spring 2025). Joe has over a decade of experience providing trauma-informed therapy, counseling, and success mentoring to individuals, families, youth & adolescents from all walks of life.

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Joe honed his therapeutic approach and clinical skills working in a variety of institutional and community settings including: Brooklyn Defender Services, Davita & Fresenius dialysis centers, various NYC DOE public high schools, Mount Sinai Hospital Systems’ mobile crisis team and in Manhattan Psychiatric Emergency Departments, and as an Independent Contractor and Psychotherapist.

Joe is contracted with Bard College’s BPI Reentry Program to provide Mental Health Outreach services and support, and is currently establishing Joe Williams LCSW, PLLC, as a general private therapy practice specializing in addressing the mental healthcare needs of BIPOC community members impacted by trauma.

Joe is also the owner/founder of Lyfe-Chess YNK (pronounced Ink), LLC, a personal- and professional-development consulting practice aimed at empowering youth, families, and communities for strategic life-outcomes.


Joe is the first formerly incarcerated member on the Board of Trustees at CASES, and in February 2020, he received Congressional Recognition for community leadership. Joe has been a Columbia University Beyond the Bars Fellow (‘14), and a BPI Public Health Fellow (‘18-19). He was the keynote speaker at Columbia University’s Black Caucus graduation (‘15), and has presided over multiple professional social work panels and conferences for the N.A.S.W.; NAMI; NYCDOC Probation and NYSDOCCS Parole Departments, alongside the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office

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