Dr. Better received her MSW from University of Michigan and her doctorate in Social Welfare from UCLA. She recently retired as a full time professor in the School of Social Work at California State University at Los Angeles. During her tenure at the University, she served in administrative roles as well as classroom teaching. She served as Dean of the Office of Continuing Education, Director of the Associated Clinics, and was Chair of the Department of Social Work for many years. She founded and Chaired the University Caucus of African American Faculty.
She has received numerous awards including Outstanding Alumni of the Year – UCLA School of Social Welfare; Distinguished Professor – School of Health and Human Services. Dr. Better is one of the founders of the National Association of Black Social Workers, (NABSW). She is a founder of the local chapter of NABSW — ABSW- Los Angeles; she served as President of the Chapter 2001-2003. Throughout the 90‘s, she “took” the University to South Central Los Angeles by creating a credit certificate program in Social Services. The courses in the program were taught in Watts and Compton, bi-cultural communities of African Americans and Latinos. Many of the students in this program subsequently received their BA degree from the University.
Dr. Better serves on several boards in Los Angeles and for fun is a docent at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art touring school children through the permanent collection. She retired from the University in 2005, and continues to offered workshops and seminars regarding Institutional Racism and its impact on American society.
She is proudest of receiving the NABSW Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.
She is the author of many articles and her first book Institutional Racism published 2002 by Burnham Inc. Publishers. Her book did so well that a 2nd edition revised and updated was published in 2008 by Rowman and Littlefield. This edition features a case study on Hurricane Katrina the perfect storm of institutional racism.