The California Social Work Hall of Distinction was created in 2002 to honor social workers involved in bringing about the betterment of society and ensure that the contributions of social work leaders, innovators and pioneers would be recognized and preserved for the future.
In every society, there are those who help alleviate pain and suffering by identifying needs, inventing solutions, and implementing changes.
The first step in improving social welfare is often a single person’s recognition of a situation that is imbalanced or under-serving a segment of the population. In most cases, there emerges in that individual a fervent belief that something can and must be done. Very often, that person is a social worker or a pioneer for social welfare and justice.
In 2002, the California Social Work Hall of Distinction was created to preserve the legacy of individuals who have made outstanding contributions to California social welfare and the social work profession. The inductee biographies and interviews found in the Hall provide the basis for research projects by social work students throughout California. Inductees distinguished themselves by identifying a vision of how things could be better in our communities and pursuing that vision with consistent and concerted action for change.
The California Social Work Hall of Distinction is a committee of the California Social Welfare Archives, which maintains its permanent collection at the USC libraries. Formed in 1979, the CSWA obtains and preserves materials reflecting the development of social welfare programs in California and conducts and publishes oral history interviews with social work leaders. This unique collection of California social welfare history, supported by the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work and USC Special Collections, is housed in the Doheny Memorial Library at the University of Southern California and has been visited by scholars from throughout the country. The digital library of recorded interviews and presentations is online and available to all at www.usc.edu/cswadigital.
Please click here to learn more about our upcoming Hall of Distinction Induction Ceremony.
If you know of an individual you believe should be considered for inclusion in this distinguished group, we invite you to submit a nomination.
To donate to the California Social Welfare Archives, please visit our donation page to make a donation.