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Dr. Mimi Abramovitz

Bertha Capen Reynolds Professor of Social Policy | Hunter College, City University of New York

The Significant Lifetime Achievement in Social Work Education Award is presented to Dr. Mimi Abramovitz, DSW, MSW. Committed to public higher education, Abramovitz serves on the faculty of the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College and The City University of New York.
Known nationally and internationally as a public intellectual, Abramovitz brings a gender/race/class analysis into the study of social policy. Her four books, 80+ academic articles, and hundreds of national and international conference presentations have influenced students, faculty members, practitioners, and public officials. Given social work’s location at the intersection of the individual and society, Abramovitz believes that it is especially well-positioned to address the harmful forces that perpetuate inequality and to undo the power relations that oppress people in the family, the market, and the state.
She is among a small group of social work scholars whose publications also appear on sociology and women’s studies syllabi. Her well-reviewed books include Regulating the Lives of Women: Social Welfare Policy From Colonial Times to the Present, 3rd edition (Routledge, 2018);  Taxes Are a Women’s Issue (Feminist Press at CUNY, 2006); Under Attack and Fighting Back: Women & Welfare in the US (Monthly Review Press, 2000); and The Dynamics of Social Welfare Policy (with Joel Blau; Oxford University Press, 2010). Research is underway for Gender Obligations: The History of Activism Among Low-Income Women. Published in major academic journals, her work also has appeared in the popular press, including The New York Times and Women's Review of Books.

Known as an activist and a scholar, Abramovitz worked as a welfare worker and welfare rights, trade union, and community organizer before receiving her MSW. Once in academe, she co-founded the Hunter College Welfare Rights Initiative, Undoing Racism Internship Project, Social Welfare Action Alliance, and  Journal of Progressive Human Services. A leader in the Macro United Movement, she currently serves on the Special Commission to Advance Macro Practice and co-leads the Voting IS Social Work Campaign. Trained in community organizing and social policy at Columbia School of Social Work, she is a valued teacher and mentor who has inspired and changed the lives of her students.

Abramovitz has received 15 prestigious awards, including Top Social Work Leader, NASW-NYC Chapter; and Significant Lifetime Achievement in Social Work Education Award, CSWE. She was recently inducted into the Columbia School of Social Work Hall of Fame and the American Academy of Social Work and Social Policy.

Award: Significant Lifetime Achievement in Social Work Education Award