20th Encyclopedia of Social Work Launched

Praising the "legacy of scholarship" that produced it, Editor-in-Chief Terry Mizrahi introduced the Encyclopedia of Social Work, 20th Edition at a launch event at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on April 25.

Larry E. DavisThe new edition of the Encyclopedia is published by the NASW Press in partnership with Oxford University Press and includes more than 400 entries in four volumes. Mizrahi and Larry E. Davis served as co-editors-in-chief of the volumes, working with 16 area editors and almost 400 social workers as contributing authors.

In the introduction to the Encyclopedia, Mizrahi and Davis write that "The Encyclopedia conveys the breadth and depth of the profession's collective expertise. It has been formulated and written by social workers from many backgrounds and competencies.

"Encompassing diversity in subject matter and authorship, it includes the best thinking, evidence and practice wisdom translated into the best writing," they continue.

NASW Executive Director Elizabeth J. Clark offered welcoming remarks during the launch event and introduced Mizrahi and Davis.

Editor-in-Chief Terry MizrahiEditor-in-Chief Terry Mizrahi

Mizrahi commented on the changes in the Encyclopedia since the 19th edition, including that it has been "informed and transformed by the international agenda." She noted that there are now 23 entries on multiculturalism and 14 with an international perspective. The 19th edition of the Encyclopedia was published in 1995.

Mizrahi highlighted other areas of practice and research with growth that is reflected in the Encyclopedia, including technology, disability and social policy. She also remarked on the difficult task of selecting social work luminaries to be included in the Encyclopedia's biography section.

She thanked former NASW President Gary Bailey, who appointed her editor-in-chief of the 20th edition, and she spoke of her admiration for the editors who preceded her. "I am humbled by the complexity of this enterprise," Mizrahi said.

Davis remarked on the partnership between the NASW Press and the Oxford University Press and called the Encyclopedia a "laudable contribution to the profession."

NASW Press Publisher Cheryl Bradley also addressed the publishing partnership, saying it was "an honor to produce a product of such high caliber with Oxford."

Cheryl Bradley and Caspar GrathwohlPublishers Cheryl Bradley and Caspar Grathwohl

Oxford Publisher Caspar Grathwohl said his press was "proud to have been a part" of producing what he called a canon of stable knowledge about the profession.

Later this year, the NASW Press and Oxford will release an e-book version of the Encyclopedia with search-and-browse capabilities. It will also be distributed internationally. The hardcover edition is now available through the NASW Press website.

Mizrahi is a former NASW president and professor and director of the Education Center for Community Organization at the Hunter College School of Social Work. Davis is dean and Donald M. Henderson professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work.

The 16 area editors of the 20th Encyclopedia are Paula Allen-Meares, Darlyne Bailey, Elizabeth J. Clark, Diana M. DiNitto, Cynthia Franklin, Charles D. Garvin, Lorraine Gutierrez, Jan L. Hagen, Yeheskel Hasenfeld, Shanti K. Khinduka, Ruth McRoy, James Midgley, John G. Orme, Enola Proctor, Frederic G. Reamer and Michael Sosin.