Skip to main content

Reciprocal Aid: Fraternalism and Early Social Welfare History

Reciprocal Aid: Fraternalism and Early Social Welfare History Sarah H. Shepherd May, 2024 Reframing Fraternalism In 1899, there were six million members of over 300 hundred fraternal organizations in the United States (Stevens, 1899, p. xv). In 1907, there were almost 10.6 million members (Stevens, 1907, p. 114). In 1920, historian David T. Beito (2003)…

Continue Reading »

Watts, Lucian Louis (1888 – 1974)

Lucian Louis Watts was a Virginia statesman who advocated for government services to support blind citizens. As the first Executive Secretary of the Virginia Department for the Blind and Visually Impaired, he promoted campaigns to prevent blindness, oversaw the development of educational programs for blind adults, and was instrumental in the introduction of sight-saving classes for children with impaired vision in Virginia’s public schools.

Continue Reading »

Ora Brown Stokes and the Richmond Neighborhood Association

Ora Brown Stokes founded and was the driving force behind the Richmond Neighborhood Association (RNA), an organization which has received little attention despite its centrality to social welfare work among Richmond’s African Americans between 1912 and 1924, particularly among children and young women.

Continue Reading »

West Virginia Colored Orphans Home (1899-1956)

By Sarah H. Shepherd, 2022. Black politician and businessman, Charles McGhee (1858-1937), was serving as a pastor in Bluefield, West Virginia when he was confronted by the lack of support for Black orphans after the death of his brother-in-law in a mining accident. In the Jim Crow South, few state resources, if any, were dedicated to African Americans. Black orphans were not admitted to white orphanages and faced significant hardships. McGhee founded an orphanage and school for these children.

Continue Reading »

Fellowship of Reconciliation USA

The Fellowship of Reconciliation USA (FOR-USA) was founded in 1915 by pacifists opposed to U.S. entry into World War I. Open to men, women, and people of all classes and races, its membership would include Jane Addams, Bishop Paul Jones, Grace Hutchins, A. J. Muste, and Bayard Rustin.

Continue Reading »

Bureau of Vocations for Women (1921)

Bureau of Vocations for Women (1921) published in Directory of Business and Professional Women in Richmond, Virginia, 1921     This published statement outlines the mission and activities of the Bureau of Vocations for Women (originally the Woman’s Occupational Bureau) founded by Orie Latham Hatcher. Hatcher initiated the idea of a school of social work…

Continue Reading »