Manuel F. Fimbres

1933 –

Inspirational leader focused on social justice for everyone

Manuel F. Fimbres, Professor Emeritus of Social Work, has a long history of service and accomplishments in San Jose and in Santa Clara County. His impact in social work has been significant at many levels including national, state, regional, county and local. Fimbres received his B.A. in Philosophy at San Luis Rey College and his MSW at Boston College with an emphasis in Community Organization and Social Planning.

Fimbres’ list of accomplishments in social work practice and education include service as the first Chicano president of the National Association of Social Workers, California, and as a key founding member, associate dean and faculty member of the School of Social Work at San Jose State University. He established a unique transcultural social work curriculum responding to the needs of various multicultural communities, was a key founding member of the National Chicano Social Planning Project of the 1970’s and 1980’s, and the first Chicano president of the California Faculty Association.

Fimbres wrote and managed a model social work faculty development project with the Council of Social Work Education, was a founding member of the National Minority AIDS council, and served as chair of the Gay and Lesbian taskforce of the National Association of Social Workers. He taught social workers how to take a sexual history and trained faculty how to instruct their students in these techniques.

His accomplishments in San Jose and in Santa Clara County are numerous. He served as Associate Director of the Santa Clara County Social Planning council for many years, helping establish and develop numerous social service programs and agencies, and also worked at affecting and changing the policies and practices of large county and governmental agencies in the region. Fimbres served on numerous boards, often in leadership roles such as with the Eastside Center in San Jose. He currently serves as president of two affordable housing projects for seniors in East San Jose.

Now in retirement, Fimbres continues to be busy and active. He recently received a grant from the California Endowment to study the health needs and practices of low-income seniors living in subsidized housing in a metropolitan area.

Throughout his many years of teaching, Manuel F. Fimbres’ focus on social justice and in fighting social inequities has been a significant inspiration for hundreds of students who have continued in his footsteps as social work professionals. Coupled with his work outside the classroom, he has made a major difference in the lives of many and his work and legacy continues in others.

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