NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Julia S. Mitchell (1922 - 1994)
Julia Mitchell spent her 43-year career providing professional social work services to children, primarily those in underserved minority populations.
Mitchell began her social work career at Sleighton Farm School. She moved to the Brooklyn Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, the Wiltwyck School for Boys and the Children’s Aid Society, all of which were located in New York City.
In 1952, Mitchell returned to her hometown of Philadelphia, continuing her work at the former Bureau for Colored Children. She then served for 15 years at Children’s Service, Inc. Mitchell spent the final 20 years of her career at Friends Hospital, from 1969 to 1989, where she was Assistant Director of the Social Service Department.
Mitchell earned her master’s degree from the Atlanta University School of Social Work in 1946.
She was a 1944 graduate of North Carolina Central College in Durham.
Mitchell, a Philadelphia native, was a member of one of that area’s oldest African American families. Her father, Dr. Leonard Sarjeant, was one of the country’s first African American oral surgeons. Her mother’s family was descended from Warley Bascom, who owned a mattress and sail-making business in Charleston, South Carolina prior to the Civil War.
Significant Achievements and Awards
Julia Mitchell was a long-time member of NASW. She was also a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority and the social clubs Circle-Lets, Inc. and Moles, historically African-American social clubs.