Help Social Workers Follow their Passion

USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work

Day of SCupport

April 19, 2021

Our world needs highly-skilled advocates restoring and assuring rights. Activists to insist that social justice prevails. Professionals who can ensure that those in need are treated with dignity and respect. Quite simply, our world’s most vulnerable individuals and communities need our social workers, and our social work students need you. Join us on May 4th for our annual Day of SCupport and help change the lives of our future change agents. 

USC social work master’s student MaryAnn Samson helps other students apply for CalFresh benefits with a smile — and no judgment.Read More


November 2020 Update: Support for Diverse Scholarships

November 04, 2020


Barbara Solomon, DSW ’66, is a pioneer social worker who introduced the concept of Black empowerment as a framework for social work practice. She is the first African American to hold a deanship at the University of Southern California as dean of the USC Graduate School in the 1980s. 


The Barbara Solomon Endowed Scholarship provides financial assistance to African-American students pursuing a Master of Social Work at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work with an expressed interest in working with African-American populations and communities. 

“I think some problems that we felt strongly about in the field of social work have only recently become part of the national conversation. We’re in a very different place now, and I think it has catapulted the social work profession into a position where it can be a more powerful force. I see the need for African-American social workers, who understand the communities and can communicate with the residents, as even greater now than it has ever been.”

- Barbara Solomon

Read more about the creation and impact of the Barbara Solomon Endowed Scholarship



Robert H. Nishimoto was a retired professor from the USC Suzanne Dworak Peck School of Social Work. Nishimoto was an expert in the areas of stress and coping among cancer patients and Vietnamese Chinese refugees, case management, adolescent pregnancy, and cross-cultural methodology. He was a VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) worker on a Native American reservation in Rapid City, South Dakota. In addition, he was a social worker for Catholic Social Services in Van Nuys and Lancaster, California and a volunteer at the Food Basket-Hawai'i Island's Food Bank, RSVP program, and Hawaii Care Choices. A member of Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin, Nishimoto was also an avid world traveler. Nishimoto passed away in November 2019 and is remembered for his valuable contributions to the field of social work and for his advocacy for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.  


The Robert Nishimoto Endowed Scholarship was established in 2008 by the Asian Pacific Islander Social Work Caucus (API), for Asian Pacific Islander Master of Social Work students committed to working with the API population.



With support from the Latino Alumni Advisory board, whose mission is to enhance and support the quality of social work education at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work and prepare Latino students for the profession through advocacy, fundraising, education, curriculum development and community service.


The Latino Alumni Endowed Scholarship Fund provides support to students who demonstrate a commitment to the Latinx community.   

“The financial gain that I have had all these years, working with my master’s degree, has put me on a very different level than the average Mexican-American wage earner. That’s why I believe strongly that we should help current and future Latinx students. I was only able to get here because of people who helped me along the way, who supported and encouraged me. So, I feel I’ve got to do the same.”

- Brunilda Chavez

MSW ‘80

Read more about Brunilda’s journey to an MSW and the impact of support for Latinx students



The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck LGBTQ Scholarship Fund Scholarship provides support to Social Work or Nursing students, who have demonstrated a commitment to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and queer issues through academic accomplishments, community involvement and/or other personal contributions.


Past scholarship recipient, Bonnie Johnson, MSW ’17, said that receiving a scholarship made her feel less alone and inspired her to keep fighting for LGBT people and for a more accepting world. 


“I plan to become the most effective and impactful social worker and advocate I can for marginalized populations,” she said.


September 2020 Update

September 23, 2020



Our world is crying out for change. Shouting it from the streets. Silence is not an option in 2020.


“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

- James Baldwin


Commitment to equality and social justice for all is part of the code of ethics for social work. There has never been a more critical time to be a social worker, or an opportunity to create meaningful and lasting change.


Learn more about how our faculty and students are impacting these issues at the local and national levels: speaking out, exploring solutions and providing educational opportunities to help end the cycle of discrimination, systemic racism and police brutality.



Impacting Law Enforcement through Internships

MSW student Jennifer Avalos is collaborating with the Mountain View Police Department in Northern California to create an internship for USC MSW students, expanding efforts for social workers to partner with law enforcement.


Reflecting Beauty and Grace

DSW student Lourdes Hunter is a leader in LGBTQ+ advocacy as founder and executive director of the Trans Women of Color Collective, an incubator for critical thought and social justice innovation.


Race and Equity 2020: Dr. Terence Fitzgerald

Clinical Associate Professor Terence Fitzgerald shares personal stories of experiencing systemic racism in school.


Sport and Social Justice: What Matters to Me and Why

Clinical Assistant Professor Stacy Kratz moderates a panel of experts on systemic racism within sports.

USC Homecoming Recap 2019

October 30, 2019

On October 19, 2019, the Trojan Family came together to celebrate a tradition that showcases Trojan pride and celebrates all that our University has to offer.


We have already kicked off a busy Fall semester and look forward to seeing you soon. Mark your calendars, on December 5th we will be hosting a Master Class with President Carol L. Folt at Bovard Auditorium additional details to follow. 


In honor of our current social work students who continue to make a difference in society, please consider continuing your support! Thank you and Fight On!