Ralph Fertig is a Clinical Associate Professor at the USC School of Social Work. He has fought for social justice as a federal administrative judge, civil rights lawyer, social worker and sociologist. The Washington POST once dubbed him, “the conscience of Washington.” Still a progressive voice for a just society, he now champions social change through lectures on social welfare policy at the USC School of Social Work, where he has taught since 2003.
In addition to his many teaching posts, Fertig was executive director of the Greater Los Angeles Community Action Agency, where he managed programs directed toward the improvement of life and better opportunities for low-income residents and communities; executive director of the Metropolitan Washington Planning & Housing Association and the Washington Welfare Association, where he launched “war on poverty” programs. In the 1960s, he was part of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, a freedom rider and an activist for a variety of human rights groups, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
As a writer in his spare time, Fertig’s historical novel, Of Love and Liberation: When the Jews Tore Down the Ghetto Walls (Writers Club Press, 2001), became a Los Angeles Times bestseller. He also wrote Peace Corps’ Community Development Handbook (University of Maryland, 1967) and Men and Work: An Anthology and Commentary on the Nature of Work (University of Illinois School of Labor and Industrial Relations, 1963). Presently, he serves as president of the Humanitarian Law Project/International Educational Development, a non-governmental organization with consultative status to the United National Human Rights Sub-Commission. Additionally, he is the vice president of the Southern California Chapter of Americans for Democratic Action and sits on the executive boards of Progressive Jewish Alliance and Americans for Peace Now.