Please join us in congratulating Tracy Harachi, School of Social Work associate professor, who was unanimously selected to receive the 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Community Volunteer Recognition Award. The tribute recognizes the distinguished service of community members in the six health science schools: dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, public health, medicine and social work. The ceremony is part of MLK Week—a series of events in which the UW comes together as a community on all three campuses to serve others and learn from the rich legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Tracy has served the social work community for nearly three decades, where she has been a tireless champion of students, particularly those who are first generation or from underrepresented minority groups, including international students. Her long-standing efforts to establish and grow a powerful and effective partnership with Cambodia’s Royal University in Phnom Penh and its Department of Social Work figured prominently in her selection for this year’s award. This new department at RUPP, which is celebrating its 10thanniversary this year, is the first and only higher education unit in Cambodia to receive external accreditation. 

 “Dr. Harachi…has worked assiduously, tirelessly and selflessly to create a local social work infrastructure in Cambodia to meet basic psychosocial needs and in Seattle, where she collaborates with others to address the needs of Cambodian immigrants locally,” said Professor Nancy R. Hooyman, dean emeritus and director of the doctoral program. “Her passion, persistence and thousands of volunteer hours have ensured that this capacity building effort has not only grown, but also, and most importantly, been sustained.”

In her supporting letter, Associate Professor Emiko A. Tajima said: “Honoring Tracy Harachi with the Martin Luther King Jr. Award would acknowledge her longstanding work on behalf of marginalized communities, would recognize the vital role she plays in the University of Washington and global community, and would do great justice to this esteemed award.”

Tracy is an extraordinary mentor to both students and alumni, going the extra mile on numerous occasions. As Chenglin Hong (MSW ‘20) wrote in his letter of support: “As a professor, mentor and friend, the support that she gave me is more than I can possibly imagine.” Lecturer J’May Rivara echoed these sentiments, noting that Tracy is the embodiment of Martin Luther King’s message to create “a more equitable and inclusive environment on campus and around the world.”

The School’s breakfast award celebration begins on Thurs., Jan. 17 at 9 a.m. in the School’s First Floor Gallery. A second celebration recognizing all the awardees from the health sciences schools follows at 12:30 at the Hogness Auditorium, Magnuson Health Sciences Center. All faculty, staff and students are invited to attend both events. For details about the UW Health Sciences celebration and to register for the event, which includes a panel discussion on health equity, go here.

The annual recognition, now in its 20thyear, is sponsored by the UW Health Sciences Administration and the UW Medical Center to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr., and his legacy of strength, resilience and compassion, which has sparked civic responsibility and social-justice action around the globe.