• DSW, Columbia University School of Social Work
    • MSW, Columbia University School of Social Work

    Areas of Expertise

    • Comtemporary Social Welfare Policy
    • History of the U.S. Welfare State
    • Impact of Social Welfare Policy on Service Delivery and Practice
    • Low-Income Women's Activism
    • Social Determinants of Health and Social Problems
    • Undoing Racism

    Courses Include

    • Social Welfare Policy MSW Program
    • Social Welfare Policy Phd Program

    Recent Scholarship

    Current Research

    • Unpacking Poverty: The Social Determinants of Health and Social Problems
      Seeking to unpack the complexities of poverty and understand persistent patterns of disadvantage, this research proposes stress as a pathway between adverse neighborhood conditions (i.e., accumulated disadvantage) and a high concentration of health and social problems in some but not other NYC neighborhoods; that is "Place Matters." The primary and secondary data collected to document neighborhood conditions, stress, and health/social will be statistically analyzed and spatially visualized (with maps) using Geographic Information Science (GIS).

    • From Policy to Practice A Study of the Human Service Workforce. Three decades of public policy have affected the capacity of human service agencies to serve people in need. Yet little is known about the impact of current budget cuts, new regulations and performance measures on the ability of human service workers to effectively deliver services. Anecdotal evidence suggests that workers and agencies are being asked  "to do more with less;" to increase the pace of work; to provide more limited and less flexible services; and to spend more time on paperwork, tracking activities and computerized case management and less on building trusting relationships with clients. Some say today’s changes risk stripping the “care” from human services. Using mixed methods this research investigates  what happening on the front lines.

    • Undoing Racism in Human Service and Educational Organizations
      Since 2005, an estimated 2500 to 3000 human service professionals have participated in an Undoing Racism Workshop (URW) designed to train participants promote racial equity workplace community and professional organizations. The impact of the URW on individual  thinking and organizational structures is being assessed based on nearly 900 surveys that have been returned.

    • Gendered Obligations: The History of Activism Among Black and White Low-Income Women in the United States Since 1900
      The research applies a gender lens to the history of activism among poor and working class women. The history reveals a long and largely untold extremely inspiring story of women who challenged prescribed gender roles to press their claims on the government to improve the well-being of their families and communities. These actions fueled the development of the US welfare state from the bottom up.

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Mimi Abramovitz

Mimi Abramovitz, DSW

Bertha Capen Reynolds Chair, Social Welfare Policy

Phone: 212.396.7535


Room: 432