Prof Contributes to Quakers, Social Work and Justice Concerns Book

June 24, 2020

Wendy Grab Writes Chapter on Social Reformer Jane Addams

Wilmington College’s Wendy Grab is among 10 authors who each prepared a chapter in the seventh volume of the Friends Association for Higher Education’s series on Quakers and the academic disciplines.

Quakers, Social Work and Justice Concerns: Quakers and the Disciplines applies theory and history of Quaker work for social change in offering insight into how Friends have approached social work.

Grab, assistant professor of social work, contributed a chapter titled “The Transformation of Jane Addams’ Quaker Beginnings into Burgeoning Social Work Values: Are Community Challenges Different Today & What Would Jane Addams Do?”

Addams (1860-1935) was a groundbreaking social reformer who co-founded the nation’s first settlement house known as Chicago’s Hull House, at which educated women shared all kinds of knowledge with those having few resources and means. She was an advocate for women’s suffrage, a proponent for peaceful solutions to conflict, an acclaimed author and the first women to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Grab poses such questions as what social issues would capture Addams’ attention today and how are her Quaker inclinations still influencing the field of social work?

“Being raised in a household that truly emulated many deeply held Quaker values created a unique opportunity for young Jane Addams to absorb and appreciate many of their testimonies and views of the world,” Grab said, noting that, from those humble beginnings, she grew to have great compassion for the poor and the oppressed. “Jane incorporated many of these beliefs into her social work practice, community and global concerns, as well as her social activism.”