House Mother

Each day, KHC features the hot topics and great speakers in the Speakers Bureau catalog. Today’s featured presentation is “Serving the Needs of New American Workers: Chicago’s Hull House” by Abby Pierron.

Jane Addams

Jane Addams
Photo by Lewis Wickes Hines via Library of Congress

In 1889 two Chicago women set out to educate their less fortunate neighbors in art and literature. This simple mission quickly led Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr to a lifetime of pioneering advocacy in the rights of women, the poor, industrial workers, and children. Addams would go on to be the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

In her Speakers Bureau talk, Abby Pierron discusses how Addams and Starr opened Hull House, a “settlement house” designed to serve the needs of their neighborhood’s immigrant residents and to ease the social, cultural, and educational deficiencies they faced in their new world.

“The settlement house movement, though it began in England, for me represents some of the finest aspirations for American society: providing essential resources to those in need of aid so that they may be able to succeed on their own,” said Pierron, the education and programs coordinator at the Watkins Community Museum in Lawrence. “This presentation examines the ways in which Jane Addams and other early social workers affected the lives of workers in some of America’s immigrant communities.”

Abby Pierron

Bring Abby Pierron’s “Serving the Needs of New American Workers: Chicago’s Hull House” or one of the other presentations in the Speakers Bureau catalog to your community for FREE with a Resource Center Support Grant. It’s quick and easy! Visit the Speakers Bureau page to get started or contact Leslie Von Holten, KHC program officer, at leslie(at) for more information.