NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Mimi Abramovitz, DSW, MSW
Abramovitz's early work in women and welfare galvanized a generation of young social workers, focusing on low income women and women of color. Guided by a deep commitment to social justice and social change, her work has influenced public policy through innovative research, activism and writing. She effectively integrates her beliefs in social justice into her work as a social work scholar and educator.
She has written ground-breaking books on gendered interpretation of the welfare state for social work and filled a large gap in social work literature by looking at how the revenue side of the welfare state affected women. Her publications have become a part of course syllabi in sociology, history and women studies. For 30 years her many presentations have influenced social workers, social scientists and policy makers. She has served on two Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Commissions and now works with the Special Commission on Macro Practice to expand macro content and enrollment in social work schools.
As mentioned above, Abramovitz co-founded the Welfare Rights initiative at Hunter College, now in its 20th year. She also co-founded the Undoing Racism Internship Project, in which students conduct anti-racism training for social workers throughout New York City. She has been active in professional organizations as well, including two terms on the Diversity Commission of CSWE, a member of the Research Commission of CSWE, a Faculty Advisory Board member of the Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies, an active member of the Board of the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative, a member of the United Way of New York City Income Support Task Force, and editorial board member of Affilia, Social Services Review, Journal of Social Work Education, Journal of Poverty Issues, Journal of Progressive Human Services, Journal of Applied Social Science, Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, and Journal of Women and Aging. She has been a member of NASW since 1967 and has served on numerous task forces and commissions.
Significant Achievements and Awards
Noteworthy articles include: "Case to Cause: Back to the Future," Journal of Social Work Education (under review, with Margareet Sherraden); and Abramovitz, Mimi and Jennifer Zelnick, "Privatization in the Human Services Implications for Direct Practice," Journal of Clinical Practice.