Steering Committee

The Steering Committee (SC) is a non-hierarchical entity which provides direction and support to the project. Members of the SC provide supervision to the interns, facilitate workshops and labs, and represent URIP out in the community.


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Mimi Abramavitz, DSW, MSW is a  veteran of the civil rights, trade union, and women’s liberation movements. Each shaped her worldview, teaching, research and activism.  She views URIP as extension of the anti-oppression goals embedded in the earlier social movements and a force for bringing this perspective into social work education, service provision, practice and organizing. Prior to the academe she worked as a community organizer and a trade unionist. She is a proud co-founder of URIP as well as the Welfare Rights Initiative (WRI) at Hunter College (a student activist organization)-- and remains active on the steering committees of both. Mimi is the Bertha Capen Reynolds Professor of Social Policy at Hunter College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York. With an MSW and DSW from Columbia University School of Social Work, NY, Mimi writes extensively about women, work, poverty, and social welfare policy using the intersectional lens of gender, race and class. She is the author of Regulating the Lives of Women: Social Welfare Policy From Colonial Times to the Present, the award-winning Under Attack, Fighting Back: Women and Welfare in the US and the co-author of The Dynamics of Social Welfare Policy and Taxes Are A Women’s Issue: Reframing the Debate. Mimi is writing a book: Gender Obligations: The History of Black and While Low-Income Women’s Activism Since 1900. Two articles (with Lisa Blitz) that examine how Undoing Racism Workshop (URW) alumni organize for racial equity on the job are under review by academic publishers. She is currently researching the impact of privatization on the human service workforce in NYC. Mimi’s research has appeared in major academic journals as well as the in popular press including the New York Times, Washington Post, MS Magazine, Women's Review of Books and Women’s enews. An activist and a scholar, She is regularly invited to present at national and international conferences; serves on numerous policy making, foundation and community boards; and is frequently interviewed by the print and broadcast media. She has been honored with awards from major professional associations including the Council of Social Work Education and the New York City chapter of the National Association of Social Work. Most recently she was inducted into the Columbia University School of Social Work Hall of Fame.



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Sasha Neha Ahuja is a community organizer and advocate from New York City. She has organized at the intersections of migration and labor for almost a decade. Sasha has devoted her work to political education projects with South Asian and Indo-Caribbean youth, organizing for justice in the labor movement, policy formation that is driven by directly impacted communities, and social work practice from an accountable, anti-racist framework. Sasha currently serves as Deputy Director of the Policy & Innovation Division, within the Speaker's Office, at the New York City Council. She holds a BA from Hunter College of the City University of New York (free CUNY!) and a MS in Social Work from Columbia University, where she also served as President of the Student Union Executive Board (SUEB). Sasha interned with URIP during the 2010-2011 school year where she organized with fellow students to build a powerful voice of students of color across campuses in NYC calling for institutional change at schools of social work. Sasha firmly believes that social workers who are grounded in an anti-racist and anti-oppressive politic can be catalysts for racial, economic and gender justice.