Social Workers Make History
Social work pioneer Jane Addams received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931, making her the second woman to receive this award. Best known for establishing settlement houses for immigrants in Chicago in the early 1900s, Addams was a dedicated community organizer and peace activist.
Frances Perkins, a social worker, was the first woman to be appointed to the cabinet of a U.S. president. As President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Secretary of Labor, Perkins drafted much of the New Deal legislation in the 1940s.
Social worker and civil rights trailblazer Whitney M. Young Jr. became the executive director of the National Urban League while serving as dean for the Atlanta School of Social Work. He also served as president of the National Association of Social Workers in the late 1960s. A noted expert in American race relations, Young was acknowledged by Time magazine as a key inspiration for President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty.
Dr. Dorothy Height held many positions in government and social service organizations, but she is best known for her leadership roles in the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) and the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW).
Source: National Association of Social Workers, Colorado Chapter, Social Work Profession, www.naswco.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=49 (viewed online Feb. 20, 2014).