Terry Jones

Champion for social diversity and justice committed to educating and serving the underrepresented

As a founding member and professor emeritus of the Social Work Department at California State University, East Bay, Terry Jones dedicated his career to advocating for social justice and championing the causes of underserved and diverse populations.

A graduate of UC Berkeley with a doctorate in social welfare, Jones worked with colleagues to establish the social work program at CSU East Bay in 2003 with a strong focus on increasing the number of social workers with racial and ethnic minority backgrounds in California. To that end, he launched the MSW program with the goal of developing a diverse workforce to address the needs of underserved groups in California’s urban areas.

At the time of his induction to the Hall, over 900 MSW’s had been educated in the program and were working in more than 300 public and private nonprofit agencies in Northern California’s Bay Area. The MSW program at CSU East Bay is accredited by CSWE and is recognized as one of the best and most diverse social work programs in the nation. In 2003, Jones in collaboration with colleagues, also secured a federal grant to educate and train master’s students to work in county child welfare agencies, creating an ongoing program that has prepared hundreds of social workers for public service.

Jones focused his research efforts on the intersection of social policy, affirmative action, racism, child welfare, and multiculturalism in higher education. Over the years, he has received state and federal grants in such varied areas as disparities in child welfare, housing inequality, and Black males in education. Throughout his career, Jones also remained active in community affairs, particularly in Richmond and Alameda and West Contra Costa counties, advocating on issues of affirmative action and outreach for children from minority and low-income communities.

As one of the few African American faculty members at CSU East Bay when he joined the university in 1974, Jones never wavered in his activism on behalf of racial and ethnic minorities, women, and other marginalized populations, despite attempts by others to ostracize him or cast him as a troublemaker. His advocacy even extended to taking a stand against churches that spoke out against homosexuality. His presentations and contributions to professional journals have extended his influence on social justice and multiculturalism to a national audience.

In recognition of his tireless support of social justice, Jones was named Social Worker of the Year in 2005 by the California chapter of the National Association of Social Workers and received the Human and Civil Rights Award from the California Faculty Association. His four decades of efforts toward social justice and improving the profession’s ability to serve its clients by developing a diverse, skilled workforce have changed countless lives in California.

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