Buford Edwards II

MSSW, MDIV, DSW Candidate

Fat-Bias in the American Workplace


The issue of bias and discrimination in the American workplace is an ongoing problem that has had some level of intervention and attempts to mitigate in the past and present workplace environment. Much of the work in addressing bias and discrimination has been focused on the areas of race, gender, and sexual orientation. An area of discrimination and equality that has been largely ignored however, is around fat-bias. When discussing bias, whether it be fat bias or another form, all bias is viewed from the lens of both implicit and explicit bias. While there has been some level of explicit bias demonstrated regarding fat-bias, much of the bias experienced has mirrored the types of bias demonstrated in other areas, namely implicit bias. In this presentation, we will look further into the landscape of fat bias in the American workplace and offer solutions on how to deal with fat-bias in the workplace. The proposed framework and intervention is centered around Trailblazer’s Young Men’s Home Inc., a new non-profit group home for teenage boys and young men between the ages of 12-18, who are currently in the custody of Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services.


Buford Edwards II, is currently an Assistant Professor of Social Work and MSW Field Coordinator for the University of Pikeville’s School of Social Work. Buford holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Berea College, a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Louisville, and a Master of Divinity Degree with an emphasis in Spiritual Formation from Northwest Nazarene University, and is currently a candidate for the Doctorate of Social Work at the University of Kentucky. Buford’s research interests span the use of technology in social work, administration of telehealth services, leadership in social work programs, adult education, online course design, and addressing bias in the workplace, particularly fat bias.

Buford’s contributions have earned him recognition, including the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ April Valderventer Leadership Award in 2012 and Outstanding Student award from Northwest Nazarene University in 2016. He has been awarded the Thomas A. Boyd Graduate Scholarship in Sociology from Berea College for three consecutive years (2021-2023), totaling $21,000, and the Beaven Eidetik Doctoral Research Fellowship from the University of Kentucky in 2022, amounting to $2,000.