Ralph Fertig papers
- 1929 - 2014
- Majority of material found within 1948 - 2009
- Fertig, Ralph D. (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
20.47 Linear Feet (36 boxes)
Ralph D. Fertig, Professor at the USC School of Social Work from 2002 to 2016, has worked toward social justice as a civil rights lawyer, social worker, federal administrative judge, and activist. Fertig received a BA from the University of Chicago in 1950 and an MA in Sociology from Columbia University in 1952. During the 1950s and 1960s, Fertig worked for community organizations in Chicago and Washington, D.C., such as the Hyde Park Youth Project and the Metropolitan Washington Planning and Housing Association. During this time, Fertig was also committed to the Civil Rights Movement, marching with Martin Luther King Jr., working with Bayard Rustin on the Leadership Council on Civil Rights, and participating in the Freedom Riders movement. In 1961, while demonstrating in Alabama as a Freedom Rider, Fertig was arrested for disturbing the peace and beaten--almost fatally--by white inmates in the Dallas County jail.
In the 1970s, Fertig moved to Los Angeles and returned to school for a joint program in law and urban planning--receiving his JD from the UCLA School of Law in 1979. Between his JD and the start of his teaching career at USC, Fertig managed a private law practice, served as Supervising Trial Attorney for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and acted as Federal Administrative Judge (Civil Rights) in the late 1990s. Fertig also headed various social justice initiatives during this time, serving as president to both the Southern California Americans for Democratic Action (SCADA) and the Humanitarian Law Project. Later, Fertig acted as Chairman of the Social Justice Committee of the University Synagogue in Los Angeles and joined the board of the Progressive Jewish Alliance.
He is a prolific author, writing plays, poetry, and essays, as well as the books Love and Liberation: When the Jews Tore Down the Ghetto Walls (sole author) and 100 Years of Social Work at USC 1906-2006: A History in Words and Pictures (co-author).
Fertig retired from USC in 2016 as an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Social Work. During his teaching career, Fertig was known for mobilizing his students to campaign for public policies for housing the homeless in Los Angeles, among many other initiatives.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Americans for Democratic Action. Southern California Chapter -- Archives
- Civil rights lawyers -- California -- Los Angeles -- Archival resources
- Fertig, Ralph D. -- Archives
- Freedom Rides, 1961 -- Archival resources
- Human rights advocacy -- Archival resources
- Humanitarian Law Project -- Archives
- Schools of social work -- Faculty -- Archival resources
- Social work education -- Law and legislation -- Archival resources
- Social workers -- California -- Los Angeles -- Archival resources
- University Synagogue. Social Justice Committee -- Archives
- University of Southern California. School of Social Work -- Faculty
- University of Southern California. School of Social Work -- Students
- Finding aid for the Ralph Fertig papers
- Bo Doub
- 2017 June
- Description rules
Part of the USC Libraries Special Collections Repository
Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles California 90089-0189 United States