Dr. Julio Morales, Jr. was born in Vieques, Puerto Rico and grew up in New York City. He holds a baccalaureate degree from Hunter College of the City University of New York, a masters degree in social work from Columbia University and a Ph.D. from The Florence Heller Graduate School for Advanced Studies in Social Welfare at Brandeis University.
Dr. Morales served on the faculty of Brooklyn College, Boston University and Smith College. For 25 years he was a professor at the University of Connecticut Graduate School of Social Work (UCSSW) and held the position of Dean of Student Affairs.
He initiated eight new courses, including courses for a curriculum in Puerto Rican/Latino studies. He conceptualized and developed the Puerto Rican/Latino Studies Project to disseminate knowledge on Puerto Ricans/ Latino/as and to recruit, retain, and graduate Puerto Rican/ Latino/as students. The Project has served as a national model and since 1980 has graduated approximately 650 Puerto Rican/Latina/o students. In 2000 Dr. Morales initiated an Exchange Program between UCSSW and the University of Puerto Rico Beatriz Lasalle School of Social Work.
Dr. Morales is the author of Puerto Rican Poverty and Migration and co-editor of Multicultural Human Services for AIDS Treatment and Prevention. He initiated and for six years co-edited The Journal of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Education for Adolescents and Children (Haworth Press). He has published dozens of articles and book chapters on social work practice, Latinos/as, HIV/AIDS, children, lesbian and gay issues, and community organization. He has been a keynote speaker or presenter at more than 200 conferences and workshops.
Dr. Morales has started Latino/a programs and agencies in New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut and has been actively involved in community service since he was a student in high school. He is among the people credited with the development of the Puerto Rican Studies Department and Puerto Rican Studies Institute at New York City’s Brooklyn College. While on the faculty at Boston University School of Social Work, Dr. Morales wrote and received a grant to prepare Latinas and Latinos to enter human services.
Dr. Morales was elected to represent the New York City and the Connecticut Chapters on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), and served as First Vice President of the Board. He launched the formation of a Latino Advisory Board to Connecticut’s Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families (DCF), Escúchenos, a yearly youth conference for Latino/a youth in the care of DCF, and a Mentoring Program for Latino/a and African American youth. Dr. Morales has been honored often for his contributions. For example, he was named Connecticut’s Social Worker of the Year and Latino of the Year by the Connecticut Latino/Puerto Rican Affairs Commission.
Dr. Morales served as Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Health, Advancement and Research Trust and the Foundation for Universal Health Care of Connecticut. More recently Dr. Morales has advocated for LGBT marriage equality and gave leadership to the formation of CLARO, Inc, a group that gives voice to the Latina/o LGBTB community. He is currently working on a book about his family being forced to leave the island of Vieques by the United States military. We salute Dr. Morales and offer him our deepest appreciation.