by Pamela Young, Published July 03, 2014
YPSILANTI – For nearly fifty years, Marjorie Ziefert has been an experienced social worker, a strong advocate for social justice, and a dedicated professor at Eastern Michigan University.
Her contributions in these areas were recently recognized when the National Association of Social Workers-Michigan chapter presented Ziefert with its 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award, during the chapter’s conference April 3 at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing.
The Michigan chapter recognizes one social worker each year who has demonstrated a continued commitment to the principles of social justice through leadership, education and advocacy.
“I am very honored and humbled that my colleagues thought I deserved this award,” Ziefert said. “Working towards social and economic justice has been my life’s work. It is not work that can be done alone. Change happens only when we come together. I accept the award on behalf of myself, my colleagues and my students, but with the reminder that we all still have much work to do.”
An Ann Arbor resident, Ziefert has taught in Eastern Michigan’s social work program for 30 years. She was director of the EMU School of Social Work from 2005-2009 and prior to that served as director of the undergraduate social work program.
Ziefert also has directed child and family programs and has worked as a psychiatric social worker, family therapist and youth counselor. She also was a former president for the Michigan chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.
Ziefert’s expertise ranges from child welfare and multidisciplinary collaboration to political involvement and human rights.
“For more than 45 years, Marjorie has contributed to the social work profession by engaging in grassroots practice, advocacy, activism, teaching and research,” said colleague Barbara Walters, an associate professor of social work at EMU who nominated her for the award. “In every endeavor, she sought to dismantle obstacles that oppressed disempowered groups. She also challenged institutional discrimination.”
Walters said, “She has touched the lives of countless consumers, colleagues, instructors and students. To this day, her passion for creating social change remains steadfast.”