November 11, 2017 –
Jane Addams (1860-1935)––the co-founder of Chicago’s Hull House, social justice pioneer, leader in the American Progressive Movement, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate––may be the most important American woman that most people today have barely heard of. A disciple of Lincoln, Tolstoy, and Gandhi, Addams was an astute critic of Gilded Age capitalism and advocate for economic and social justice. She was a pioneering feminist, suffragist, internationalist, peace activist, ethicist, co-founder of the NAACP, the ACLU, and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. A century ago, she was “internationally known as the best representative of American womanhood, and symbol of the American spirit of equality and justice for all people” according to biographer Allen F. Davis. Yet today she has all but vanished from the pantheon of popular American history.
The moral compass of Jane Addams and her allies has never been more needed than today. As New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote in “The Jane Addams Model” (April 25, 2017): “Many of the social problems we face today — the fraying social fabric, widening inequality, anxieties over immigration, concentrated poverty, . . are the same problems she faced 130 years ago. And in many ways her responses were more sophisticated than ours.”
The forum on November 11 (99th Anniversary of Armistice Day) will be the first public gathering ever to revisit the life and legacies of Jane Addams and reflect on how her work is carried on today in the Pioneer Valley. The program will open with a welcome from Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg. The keynote speaker will be Louise W. Knight, author of Citizen: Jane Addams and the Struggle for Democracy (2006) and Jane Addams: Spirit in Action (2010) (http://www.louisewknight.com/). Panelists will include Addams scholars, practitioners in fields she influenced, and representatives of vulnerable populations. General audience discussion will be encouraged.
LUNCH - Please bring a bag lunch or patronize one of the nearby sources of take-out food. Gather for conversation with panelists and each other downstairs at the church or join the Veterans Day observance in Pulaski Park.
1. Early Birds: St. Mary’s parking lot across State Street from Edwards Church (Church back door should be unlocked or use front entrance)
2. Free parking available on Saturday at Smith College parking structure on West St. (Rt. 66) -- just past Forbes Library on the left -- short walk to Edwards Church.
3. The Northampton parking structure behind Thorne’s -- find your way to Main Street via second level bridge to Thornes. Cross Main Street and walk to your left along sidewalk past the Broadside Bookshop to Edwards Church at intersection of Main and State streets.
This program is funded in part by Mass Humanities, which receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities (http://masshumanities.org/).
Tax-deductible contributions to support the Addams Public Forum may be made to:
Traprock Center for Peace and Justice
PO Box 1201 Greenfield MA 01302