Jane Addams (1860-1935) was a social activist, settlement reformer, world peace promoter, and women’s suffrage leader. She is considered the founder of social work as a profession in the US.
Addams co-founded the “Hull House” in Chicago, the first settlement houses in the US. She dedicated her life to improving the living conditions of women and children in underprivileged communities, as well as promoting social causes such as women’s rights, tenement-house regulation, and establishing a juvenile court law. She also took part in founding the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). On December 10th, 1931, Addams won the Nobel Peace Prize – the second woman in the world and the first in the US to receive the award.
Jane Addams day is celebrated annually on December 10. It is an unofficial holiday honoring Addams’ life, achievements, and contributions. It is also an opportunity to recognize the people who work for social equality, justice, and peace. The holiday was initiated in 2007 by a school teacher from Dongola, Illinois. With the assistance of the Illinois Division of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the holiday spread and celebrated throughout the state.
On the day, the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum is holding special events to commemorate its founder, and there are celebrations in various schools and universities in Illinois. You can celebrate the day by reading about Jane Addams and her work, learn about the history of women’s rights, and donate or volunteer at a social justice charity that is close to your heart.
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