Addams, Jane (1860–1935)
Ms. Addams helped form the American Civil Liberties Union and several international peace, freedom, and women’s advocacy organizations. She stated, ‘Old-fashioned ways which no longer apply to changed conditions are a snare in which the feet of women have always become readily entangled.’
Highly visible and active in the eras of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, she stated, ‘Unless our conception of patriotism is progressive, it cannot hope to embody the real affection and the real interest of the nation.’ She strongly advocated ethical government, U.S. membership in the League of Nations and the World Court, and world peace.
Considered the founder of social work in the U.S., she and Ellen Gates Starr founded Hull House in Chicago, which provided practical and educational services for disadvantaged people. Addams effectively helped the poor gain hope and self-sufficiency, and was instrumental in establishing laws to protect them. Her vision and leadership helped establish such social reforms as juvenile court law, justice for African-Americans and immigrants, worker rights and compensation, and women’s suffrage.
For her lifetime efforts toward peace, justice, and the rights and well-being of others, Jane Addams received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931.