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Article

Jean K. Quam

Edith Abbott (1876–1957) was a social worker and educator. She was Dean of the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago from 1924 to 1942 and she helped in drafting the Social Security Act of 1935.

Article

Jean K. Quam

Grace Abbott (1878–1939) was a teacher who went on to become Director of the Immigrants Protective League of Chicago and Director of the U.S. Children's Bureau. In 1934 she became professor of public welfare at the University of Chicago.

Article

Lou M. Beasley

Ralph David Abernathy (1926–1990) was a pastor who became president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference after the assassination of Martin Luther King. He was director of personnel, dean of men, and professor of social studies at Alabama State University.

Article

Lou M. Beasley

Frankie Victoria Adams (1902–1979) was a social worker who influenced the development of social work education and of professional social work in the American South. She developed the Group Work and Community Organization concentrations at Atlanta University.

Article

Jean K. Quam

Jane Addams (1860–1935) was a settlement house leader and peace activist. She was the founder of Hull-House and became president of the National Conference of Charities and Correction. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931.

Article

Paul A. Abels

Chauncey A. Alexander (1916–2005) was Executive Director of the National Association of Social Workers from 1967 to 1982 and founder and president of the First Amendment Foundation. He was instrumental in developing an International Code of Ethics for social workers.

Article

Rosalie Blair

Litsa Alexandraki (1918–1986) was best known for her work in Greece on matters of child welfare, and the protection of refugees and migrants. She was also elected for three terms as President of the International Federation of Social Workers, a position she held from 1962–1968.

Article

Jean K. Quam

Arthur J. Altmeyer (1891–1972) was an administrator in Washington, DC from 1934 to 1953. He was a leader of social welfare policy and helped design and implement the Social Security Act of 1935.

Article

Kenneth S. Carpenter

Delwin M. Anderson (1916–2007) was director of the Social Work Service in the Veteran's Administration from 1964 to 1974. In his work he laid stress on recognizing the social components of illness and physical injury.

Article

Cynthia Akorfa Sottie

Nana Araba Apt (1942–2017) was a renowned gerontologist, researcher, author, advocate, and a pioneer in social work education in Ghana. She was a professor of Sociology and Social Work and the founder and Director of the Center for Social Policy Studies at the University of Ghana. She was the founder of Help Age Ghana, the first aging advocacy organization of its kind in Ghana, and a founding member and president of the African Gerontological Society. Her lifelong passions began with her concerns for street children. She founded the College for Ama, a charitable foundation that runs yearly summer camps for rural girls to challenge them to understand the value of education and delay marriage. Her life and work impacted social work education and the welfare of the underprivileged in developing countries.

Article

Gwendolyn D. Perry-Burney

Maria Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco-Aquino (1933–2009) was best known as the first female president of the Philippines. She challenged the Marcos regime after her husband’s assassination in 1983, and she won the presidency in 1986.

Article

Maribel Martín-Estalayo, Aurora Castillo, María José Barahona, and Begoña Leyra

This article studies the influence of Concepción Arenal (1820–1893) on the foundations of social work in Spain. With her, one can learn about the most important ideas of the 19th-century liberal school of thought, which, in its enlightened and reforming aspect, had a great impact on the consideration of human dignity, poverty, the relationship between intervener and intervened—as well as the role and responsibility of the state, civil society, and charity in social intervention. Her pragmatic perspective stands out among those authors who contributed with elements of analysis to theorizing the social question in Spain. Her singularity is defined by the centrality of the human being and the integral development of one’s abilities in a society where the necessary means can be found. Additionally, she is both a national and international inspiration thanks to her contribution to women’s rights and the reform of the penal code.

Article

Maria Maiss

Ilse Arlt (1876–1960) was an Austrian pioneer of research-based social work. Her investigation of various social causes and the effects of poverty—understood as the absence of the ability to prosper—shaped her life for more than 70 years. Her extensive published work, like all her projects, aimed to prevent poverty to the greatest possible extent by raising awareness and to offer social welfare that promoted all individuals’ ability to prosper.

Article

Jonathan Dickens

Clement Attlee was prime minister of the United Kingdom from 1945 to 1951, leading his Labour government on a radical program of postwar reconstruction. Attlee himself came from a privileged background, and the decisive influences that brought him to left-wing politics came from his time working with children and families in the East End of London, in the years before World War I. His book The Social Worker, published in 1920, drew on these experiences.

Article

Sadye L. M. Logan

David M. Austin (1923–2008), who served as Bert Kruger Smith Centennial Professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work (now University of Texas at Austin Steve Hicks School of Social Work), has left an outstanding legacy in the students and colleagues whom he has mentored and inspired. He was a tireless leader, practical researcher, and brilliant scholar in the field of social work.

Article

Sadye L. M. Logan

Ella Josephine Baker (1903–1986) was a consummate organizer and activist who played an active role in shaping the civil and human rights movements in the United States of America from 1930 through the 1980s.

Article

Paul H. Stuart

Roger Nash Baldwin (1884–1981) was a social worker and progressive reformer. In 1914 he co-authored the first juvenile justice textbook. Jailed in 1918 for refusing to register for the draft, he went on to found the American Civil Liberties Union.

Article

Vimla Nadkarni

Gauri Banerjee instituted the first department of medical and psychiatric social work in the field of medical and psychiatric social work in India. She laid the groundwork for indigenizing social work education by modifying and linking concepts from Indian traditional literature, religious texts, and Indian social reformers into her teachings and practices.

Article

Wilma Peebles-Wilkins

Janie Porter Barrett (1865–1948) was a noted African American child welfare reformer. In 1890, she founded the Locust Street Social Settlement, one of the first settlements for black people in the United States. She later established and became superintendent of Virginia Industrial School for Colored Girls in 1915.

Article

Beatrice N. Saunders

Harriett M. Bartlett (1897–1987) was a social worker and theoretician who served as president of the American Association of Medical Social Workers from 1942 to 1944. She highlighted social functioning as a central focus of social work practice.