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Mimi Abramovitz, DSW, MSW


Pioneer Qualifications
A professor at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College (CUNY) in New York, Dr. Mimi Abramovitz received the 2013 Humanitarian and Leadership Award for contributions in the field of social work, women's rights, and human rights, from the Association for International Conferences. She co-founded the Welfare Rights Initiative at Hunter College, an organization working to allow welfare recipients to attend college.

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.

Career Highlights
Abramovitz is known nationally and internationally as an educator, scholar, social critic, and activist who brought a gender/race/class analysis into the study of the U.S. welfare state. Since the early 1980s, she has taught a variety of social work classes at the Louis V and Samuel J Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, City University of New York (CUNY) in New York.

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.

Biographical Data
Abramovitz received her DSW and MSW from Columbia University and her bachelor's degree from University of Michigan. For the past three decades she has taught at the Hunter College School of Social Work and the SUNY Graduate Center. She was a Visiting Scholar at the following: University of Lund School of Social Work, Sweden; University of Zurich, Institute of Education, Switzerland; and at Ryerson, York and McMaster Universities in Toronto, Canada.

Significant Achievements and Awards
Among her numerous awards, Abramovitz received the 2013 Humanitarian and Leadership Award for contributions in the field of social work, women and human rights from the Association for International Conferences, New York. She was inducted into the Columbia University School of Social Work Alumni Hall of Fame in 2007. She received the Feminist Scholarship Award in her honor, by the Women's Council, Council of Social Work Education (CSWE); the Activist Scholar Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems Additional recognition; Faculty of the Year Award at the New York State Social Work Educator's Association; and the PACE Award, from NASW New York City Chapter. Abramovitz was invited to be a fellow in 2004, both at the Brookdale Center for the Aging, Hunter College and at the New York Academy of Medicine, Social Work.

Significant Publications
Abramovitz is the author of four books, 39 peer-reviewed articles, 30 book chapters, and 12 policy reports. Among her most recent are: The Dynamics of Social Welfare Policy, NY, Oxford University Press (and Joel Blau, 4th revised edition); Taxes are a Women's Issue: Reframing the Debate, NY, The Feminist Press (with Sandra Morgan).

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.