As you might have already heard, the School of Social Work lost a most important member of our social work team when Lu Brown passed away on Thursday of last week. Lu served the social work profession, our communities, and the EWU School of Social Work for over two decades as a Senior Lecturer and Associate Director of the Field Education Program. However, this recitation of credentials is simply inadequate to capture and express the influence Lu had on our School. Lu was a tireless promoter of social justice and progressive policy advocacy and used her academic position and magnificent educational skills and leadership to imbue students and colleagues with a sense of the ongoing importance of social work values and ethics to our communities. “Communities” is an operative word here because, better than anybody, Lu understood how to build communities from the collaborative and meaningful cooperation of students, field agencies, and regional public servants. Lu’s intense advocacy for social justice had a most persistent and impressive impact on all those who were in a position to be persuaded to put their hearts together in the building of community social spirit and a genuine commitment to the homeless, friendless and impoverished persons of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. A consistent sentiment from those who were her students over the years is that Lu made them enthusiastic about being social workers.
We welcome all of her students, EWU alumni, community field partners, and colleagues to join us in celebrating Lu’s life and numerous gifts to our communities and profession. Our EWU School of Social Work and College of Social Sciences will be hosting a memorial to Lu in the very near future, and we will share relevant details on this site when they are finalized.
Lu’s legacy most assuredly does not end with her passing. It lives on in all those social work professionals who have been influenced in countless ways by Lu’s enthusiasm and commitment to educating her colleagues and friends about the basic human condition and all the myriad ways we can improve it in our communities.
Andrew B. Israel, MSW, JD, Chair/Director
Eastern Washington University School of Social Work