California Social Work Archives Honors Seven New Hall of Distinction Inductees

  • Giving

Social work pioneers, innovators and leaders will be recognized for their contributions to the profession and social welfare at the annual California Social Work Archives (CSWA) Award Luncheon on Nov. 1 at the Doheny Memorial Library's Archival Room on the University of Southern California campus in Los Angeles. The event begins with a reception at 11:30 a.m. followed by lunch and a program featuring keynote speaker, Lester Breslow, PhD, professor emeritus of Health Services and dean emeritus, School of Public Health at UCLA, who will address the history and contemporary issues of public health in California.

"The profession of social work has a long and proud tradition. The California Hall of Distinction honors those whose work and leadership have advanced the profession and social work practice in California," said June Simmons, LCSW, MSW, immediate past chair of the committee. "In the first several sets of honorees, we are focusing on the pioneering contributions of the early leaders. In doing so, we encourage others to enter the field, raise the standard of practice and heighten community awareness of the role of social workers in improving society."

Selection criteria for nomination as an inductee into the Social Work Hall of Distinction, an affiliate formed and sponsored by the CSWA, emphasizes leaders who served as practitioners, administrators, advocates, educators or other high-impact contributors to social welfare and social work that support the profession's values and code of ethics.

Monika White, PhD, MSW, chair of the Social Work Hall of Distinction, announced the 2004 inductees, who have all made major contributions in the formative stages of California social work in prior decades, are the following:

  • Bernice Augenbraun was one of the first private practitioners in Los Angeles and helped establish the Society for Clinical Social Work. A social activist and feminist, she served as a model advocate for disenfranchised groups, especially women in prison and their children.

  • Elsie Herman was a social work pioneer with a private practice in social work, psychotherapy and marriage and family counseling. As a mentor to many professionals and graduate students, she was an outstanding educator and contributed greatly to social work curricula development.

  • Rose Kleiner was one of the first social workers to focus on the aging population and to successfully operate a private geriatric care management business. She advocated for and established programs to improve training of professionals and paraprofessionals who serve older adults and their families.

  • Dorothy Miller made many contributions to the 'betterment of the human condition' through groundbreaking research, program development and legislative reform, including those that led to the passage of the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act of 1968.

  • Royal Morales was the premier social worker of his community and has made inestimable contributions to the Filipino and Asian Pacific Islander communities, as well as to greater Los Angeles and California, and to social work nationally.

  • Effie Robinson was the first African-American to receive a social welfare degree from UC Berkeley and made significant contributions to social work administration and supervision, as well as to social work's role in the housing arena.

  • Lorenzo 'Gip' Traylor was a respected and powerful leader in the development of the social work profession. He was a strong advocate for justice and fairness for the poor and for program and policies that could reduce poverty.

Family members, social workers and others interested in social welfare are encouraged to attend the luncheon to show their appreciation for the significant efforts of these leaders. The cost is $75 per person, and reservations can be made by calling LaTasha Young at (213) 740-8625 or by email: by October 22.

Founded in 1979, California Social Work Archives is dedicated to preserving the history of social work and social welfare in California for future generations. Volunteer social workers, librarians, archivists and other community leaders collect documents and conduct oral interviews in an effort to ensure pertinent information of historical significance is acquired, preserved and made accessible to historians, scholars of public policy and others with research interests.

Nominations for the 2005 Hall of Distinction are open and can be submitted to the California Social Work Archives, c/o Monika White, President/CEO, Center for Healthy Aging, 2125 Arizona Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90404. Interested individuals can visit for more information.

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