Jane Addams

Jane Addams

*September 6, 1860 (Cedarville, Illinois, United States)
†May 21, 1935 (Chicago, Illinois, United States)

Jane Addams was a pioneer social worker, feminist, and an internationalist in America. She was born in Cedarville, Illinois.In 1881 Jane Addams graduated from the Rockford Female Seminary as the valedictorian. After the school became accredited as Rockford College for Women, she was granted her bachelor’s degree. At 27 she visited the settlement house, Toynbee Hall in London and was then set on opening a similar house in an underprivileged area of Chicago. In 1889 she and Miss Starr leased a large home. By 1991, Hull-House hosted up to two thousand people every week. The Hull-House was extended by an art gallery, a public kitchen; a coffee house, a gymnasium, a swimming pool, a cooperative boarding club for girls, a book bindery, an art studio, a music school, a drama group, a circulating library, an employment bureau, a labor museum. 

In 1905 she was made chairman of the School Management Committee of  Chicago’s Board of Education. In 1906 she gave lectures at the University of Wisconsin which she later published in a book, Newer Ideals of Peace.  In 1908 she participated in the founding of the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy. She was the first female president of the National Conference of Charities and Corrections. In 1910 Yale University awarded Jane Addams with the first honorary degree ever awarded to a woman. From 1913 she was a lecturer sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation and spoke against America’s entry into the First World War. From 1915 she was chairman of the Women’s Peace Party and president of the International Congress of Women. For the remainder of her life Jane Addams served as president at the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom until 1929, as presiding officer of six international conferences in those years, and as honorary president.

by Violeta Milicevic

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