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The Howard University School of Social Work was founded in 1935, during a period of immense political upheaval: At the intersection of the Great Depression, the events that would lead to World War II, and the emergence of large-scale social programs, the need for Black social workers was readily apparent.
Despite the abundance of African Americans seeking seeking social work education among the emerging social welfare workforce, few of the recognized schools of social work in America--and none in Washington D.C.--were open to Black applicants. Through the efforts of historical figures like Lucy Diggs Slowe, Dr. E. Franklin Frazier, and Dr. Inabel Burns Lindsay, Howard University rose to meet the need for trained Black social workers.
Today, the School of Social Work continues to evolve and progress to meet the needs of disadvantaged communities in 2020.
Ranked in the top 20% of Social Work programs by the U.S. News and World Report, the School of Social Work partners with well over 100 local agencies, programs, and groups. The Multidisciplinary Gerontology Center focuses on social and economic justice issues for elders in the African American community, while the E. Franklin Frazier Center for Social Work Research conducts research on current social and human services issues affecting families, communities, cities, countries, and states.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, agency partnerships have expanded across the country, with out-of-state students participating in field work at local agencies in their current locations. Furthermore, the subject of the current Black Perspective Monograph, a publication focused on the principles of affirmation, strengths, diversity, vivication, social justice and internationalization, addresses health disparities for the Black community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A donation to the HUSSW is a donation to research-based economic and social justice.
Fundraising priorities include:
- Student Aid Campaign
- School of Social Work Annual Fund
- International Service Learning
- Scholarship Donor Funds