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Starr, Ellen Gates  

Susan Donner

Ellen Gates Starr (1859–1940) was a social reformer who, with Jane Addams, co-founded Hull-House to provide women with a new avenue for living independently. The condition of the poor population led her to become active in the labor movement.


Kagawa, Toyohiko  

Tatsuru Akimoto

A Christian social reformer, evangelist, and leader of social movements, Toyohiko Kagawa’s work spanned a wide range; he led advocacy work in urban slum settlements, argued for the betterment of the welfare of children and women, and was involved in the cooperative movement, the labor movement, the farmers’ movement, and the peace movement. His direct field of practice was mainly in Japan and later social movements in the country have been said to owe their existence to his achievements one way or another. His philosophical thoughts and ideas, however, went far beyond the borders of Japan. His ideas on the cooperative movement were welcomed by President Roosevelt, his nonviolence/pacifist thinking was once mentioned along with those of Gandhi and Schweitzer and his ideas on cooperation also interested early leaders of the European Union.


Social Movements  

Michael Reisch

Since the 19th century, social movements have provided U.S. social work with its intellectual and theoretical foundations and many of its leaders. Social workers played leadership roles in the Progressive movement and have made important contributions to the labor, feminist, civil rights, welfare rights, and peace movements for over a century. Since the 1960s, social workers have also been active in New Social Movements, although not to the same extent as in the past. These movements have focused on issues of identity, self-esteem, human rights, and the development of oppositional critical consciousness. Social workers have also been involved in international movements that have emerged in response to economic globalization, environmental degradation, and major population shifts, including mass immigration. More recently in the United States, social workers have played a supportive role in the transnational Occupy Wall Street movement, the Black Lives Matter movement, the #MeToo movement, and organized efforts to establish marriage equality, protect immigrants and refugees, promote the rights of transgender persons, and advocate for environmental justice.