By Katie Mochalski
The California Social Work Hall of Distinction honored six social work leaders — two posthumously — on October 5, 2013 at a ceremony in Oakland, Calif., for their distinguished career achievements and exceptional contributions to social welfare in California.
These social work pioneers join 79 existing Hall of Distinction members, all of whom have made course-altering decisions that have uniquely affected the direction of social welfare in California.
“This year’s inductees represent the very best in the profession of social work and the wide breadth of social work practice, including clinical work, higher education and public policy and service,” said Janlee Wong, NASW-CA Executive Director.
The 2013 inductees include the following:
- Sai-Ling Chu Chan-Sew, an advocate for underserved children with behavioral health issues and innovative developer of culturally-appropriate programs (MSW, University of Chicago);
- Dr. Ismael Dieppa, social work education leader and staunch advocate for underserved populations and Latino civil rights (DSW, USC 1973; MSW, Boston University 1961; MPH, UC Berkeley 1963);
- Congresswoman Barbara Lee, state and national political leader and advocate for vulnerable and underserved populations in California, who is currently chair of the Congressional Social Work Caucus, and who recently earned President Barack Obama’s nomination for United States representative to the United Nations (MSW, UC Berkeley 1975);
- Joe Solis (posthumous), a pioneering field work consultant and beloved mentor to hundreds of Latino MSW students (MSW, UC Berkeley, 1953);
- Dr. Judith Wallerstein (posthumous), a researcher, author and teacher who studied how divorce affects children and families (MSW, Columbia 1946; PhD Psychology, Lund University, 1978);
- Assemblymember Mariko Yamada, distinguished leader in the State Assembly spearheading legislation for civil rights protection and improvements for vulnerable populations (USC MSW 1974).
The Hall of Distinction was established in 2002 under the auspices of the California Social Welfare Archives (CSWA) to honor individuals who have made exceptional contributions to social welfare and the social work profession in California. CSWA, with support from the USC School of Social Work, maintains one of the most extensive collections of California social welfare history. The organization conducts oral history interviews and acquires and preserves materials of historical significance, documenting the development of social welfare in California and making it accessible for future generations.
The event was sponsored by several social work schools and organizations from throughout the state, including: USC; Cal State Dominquez Hills; Cal State Fresno; Cal State Los Angeles; Cal State Stanislaus; Loma Linda University; San Francisco State University; San Jose State University; UCLA; UC Berkeley; Suzanne Dworak-Peck, Ambassador, International Federation of Social Workers; Esther Gillies, President California Social Welfare Archives; the California Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work (CADD); and the National Association of Social Workers–California Chapter.
A video of the induction ceremony and more information on the inductees and can be found at www.socialworkhallofdistinction.org.