NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Ronald V. Dellums (1935- )
Dellums represented Californias Oakland Congressional District from 1970-1998. He chaired the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Research and Development. He was also a member of the Subcommittee on Investigations and a member of the Defense Policy Panel. In December of 1988, he was elected chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. He was the principal Congressional leader in the effort to curb and reverse military spending and the nuclear arms race and a leader in the effort to terminate U.S. government support for the racist regime in South Africa. He consistently challenged the militarization of U.S. foreign policy in Central America and repeatedly voted against military aid to governments there. Most important he has represented Social Work values in the political arena.
Born in Oakland, California, he earned his Masters of Social Work degree from the University of California, Berkely. He served on the Berkeley City Council before being elected to Congress. Dellums has been the model advocate and community organizer throughout his social work career.
The University of California- Berkeley recently created the Ronald V. Dellums Endowed Chair in Peace and Conflict Studies in order to celebrate Congressman Dellums leadership in bringing an end to the Cold War. Dellums continues to work in international health and conflict mediation services. In addition, Dellums authored a book of his experiences entitled "Lying Down with the Lions- A Public Life from the Streets of Oakland to the Halls of Power."