March is National Social Workers Month and Women’s History Month. What better way to celebrate both than by remembering one of the early pioneers in Social Work, Jane Addams.
She was born in Illinois in 1860. At the age of 29 she and her friend Ellen Star opened Hull House in Chicago to help improve the lives of those living in the more industrial part of Chicago. In this location they provided services for both children and adults. Within a couple of years they were helping over 2000 people per week.
Her other accolades include: being appointed to the Chicago Board of Education in 1905, then chairman of the School of Management; participated in founding the Chicago School of Civic and Philanthropy in 1908; and was the first woman president of the National Conference of Charities and Corrections in 1909. She was involved with many social welfare groups in the Chicago area over the years. In 1910 Yale made her the first woman to receive one of their honorary degree.
In 1931, Jane won the Nobel Peace Prize for her international work trying to end war and get countries to disarm. Prior to this she was harshly criticized for her opposition to the US involvement in World War I and worked to help the women and children that had been affected by it. Before the end of her life in 1935 she was honored by the American Government for her peace efforts.
Jane Addams was a social worker that never gave up her belief in helping those in need.
We would like to thank all of the hardworking social workers and women who have dedicated themselves to helping others.