The Catholic University of America

Oct. 14, 2011

NCSSS to Host Talk on Social Justice for the Elderly

The National Catholic School of Social Service (NCSSS) at The Catholic University of America hosts the Second Biennial Daniel Thursz Memorial Lecture on Monday, Oct. 17, as part of the University’s celebration of its 125th anniversary.

Michael Reisch, the Daniel Thursz Distinguished Professor of Social Justice at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, will deliver the lecture “Social Justice for the Elderly and the Intergenerational Compact” at 4 p.m. in Caldwell Hall auditorium.

A globally recognized leader in the aging field, the late Thursz served as a professor at NCSSS and established its Center on Global Aging in 1996. The lecture also celebrates the 15th anniversary of the center.

Catholic University is celebrating its 125th anniversary with the Cardinal Service Commitment to perform 125,000 hours of service in gratitude for the blessings of the past 125 years by Founders Day, April 10, 2012.

“Service and social justice are among the core values of the social work profession, so it’s fitting that the National Catholic School of Social Service is celebrating the University’s 125th anniversary and the service challenge with a lecture by Michael Reisch, one of the leading social work educators and researchers in the United States,” said James Zabora, dean of NCSSS.

Reisch will explore the social justice issues at the heart of the recent debates about the future of Social Security, Medicare, and other entitlement programs that have raised questions about whether U.S. society has the political will and resources to promote the well-being of elder Americans in the future. Reisch asserts that attacks on social welfare in the name of fiscal responsibility threaten longstanding commitments to social justice and intergenerational equity.

The social work professor will place the current crises in a global context, and suggest ways in which social workers can contribute to socially just solutions.

Reisch has published extensively on the history and philosophy of social welfare, the meaning and application of social justice and multiculturalism, radical social work, community organization theory and practice, the nonprofit sector, and contemporary policy issues, particularly welfare reform and the impact of globalization on the future of the welfare state.

Thursz was born in Morocco and moved to the United States with his family in 1941. Throughout his professional life he was a leader in the fields of higher education, social work practice, and government and private voluntary organizations. In the 1950s, he earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Queens College in New York as well as master's and doctoral degrees in social work, both from Catholic University. He served as dean of the University of Maryland School of Social Work from 1966 to 1976. At the time of his death in 2000, he was teaching at Catholic University and directing its Center on Global Aging.

The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception will follow. For more information, contact Ellen Thursby, director of professional education, at 202-319-4388.


Guided by principles of the social work profession, the Center on Global Aging at Catholic University’s National Catholic School of Social Service promotes excellence in the development of knowledge, policy, leadership, and practice that protect and enhance the quality of life of older adults worldwide.


The center dedicates its efforts to fostering productive, meaningful, and vital lives for older adults worldwide. It also embraces social work advocacy, ethics, and values with emphasis on person-centered practice and respect for diversity. The center engages in social work education, interdisciplinary professional training, life-long learning, community partnerships, and research.


More 125th Anniversary News