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The main purpose of social work is to advocate for those who have no voice. Throughout history, many individuals have served as role models and proponents of social justice, helping to create policies and programs so future generations can benefit. Jane Addams, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Rachel Carson, and Harriet Tubman worked tirelessly and devoted their entire lives to the pursuit of justice. We have learned through their sacrifices that change is just one person away, and that it takes tremendous force to shift the political landscape of social welfare policy.
Jane Addams is considered by many to be the first major contributor to the field of social work. After receiving a bachelor’s degree from the Rockford College for Women, she battled poor health and frequent hospitalizations (“Jane Addams – Biography”). When she was 27, she went to Europe and visited Toynbee Hall, a settlement house in London (“Jane Addams – Biography”). After seeing what was being done for the poor at Toynbee Hall, Addams wanted to create something similar in Chicago to address the needs of underrepresented …