Social Work Pioneers

Topics: Jane Addams, Hull House, Whitney Young Pages: 5 (1763 words) Published: February 21, 2010
Social Work Pioneers
Introduction of Pioneer
Whitney Young Jr., a social work pioneer was born July31, 1921. He was an african american who lived in the south. He was actually born in his own house, on the campus of the Lincoln Institute of Kentucky. His father and mother taught school there. Both his mother, Laura Ray, and his father Whitney Young, Sr. were considered to be among the “black educated elite.” Whitney’s mother, Laura, was the first black postmaster in Kentucky. Whitney attended school at the Lincoln Institute, which was a predominately white boarding school. He graduated as valedictorian of his class. After graduating, he enrolled at Kentucky College, hoping to become a doctor. After taking a few medical courses, he changed his mind and started teaching at a local school. Later, Whitney enlisted in the army. Through his experiences in the army, he was led to social work. He attended graduate school at the University of Minnesota where he received his master’s degree in the social work profession. Pioneer’s Contribution to the Social Work Profession

Settings/Fields of Socail Work Practice
While serving in the army, Young was placed in an all-black regime with a white man at the head. During this time, there were many fights and arguments breaking out within his regime, due to racism. Because of his ability to do so, Whitney was called on to settle many of them. It was then, when Whitney realized what his calling actually was, interracial mediation. While persuing his study in social work, Young was first introduced to the Urban League. The Urban League was a social welfare organization that helped southern blacks adapt to the industrial life or city life. He accepted a position as executive secretary in the Urban League and was offered teaching positions at the University of Nebraska and Creighton University. Young had always been a civil rights activist but became directly involved when he accepted a position as the dean of the Atlanta University,School of Social Work. The school of Social Work’s reputation had been diminishing and Young fought to resurrect it. He was Whitney eventually left the south and went to study at Harvard University. He was then offered a job as president of the National Urban League, where he accepted the offer. Barriers/Challenges/Constraints

Whitney Young, Jr fought to overcome the barriers of racism from early on. First of all the school he attended was predominately white. While attending the Unitariun Church, he was subjected to racial tension when the church picnic was to be held at a park where blacks were not allowed. He protested the picnic and the following year the picnic was to be held at a different location, where anyone could attend. Not all people of the black race believed in Whiney. Some people thought he was just being used by the white people. They believed him to be too passive and accepting. Others labeledhim as a “sell out” to whites. Young’s ability to float , from the white community to the black, made him a target for racial slurs and comments. Specific Contibutions/Awards

Whitney Young, Jr., was known as a negotiator, pioneer, hero, activist, social worker and an organizer. He was very beneficial to the school of social work. He started programs to end racism and poverty in the United States. He also started the “Domestic Marshall Plan, “ which was a plan to get rid of ghettos. While leading the National Urban League he worked on projects like job training, housing and tutoring centers. He also started the Head Start Education Program, that is in use today. He founded the Urban Coalition, a group that focused the country on the problems of the cities. Summary

Jane Addams was a pioneer of social work and probably the most prominent and well known ladies of the past. Jane was born in Cedarville, Illinois on September 6, 1860. She was the one of nine children. Jane’s mother, Sarah, died during childbirth. Jane’s...
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