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Capers, Jean M.
Birth Year : 1913
Jean Murrell Capers was born in Georgetown, KY. Her family moved to Cleveland, OH, when she was a child. Capers was a teacher in the Cleveland schools before becoming an attorney in 1945. She is a education graduate of Western Reserve University [now Case Western Reserve University]. She was assistant police prosecutor from 1946 until 1949, when she became the first African American elected to the Cleveland City Council. The N.C.N.W. recognized her as one of the 10 outstanding women in public service in 1950. She was the director and organizer of the Central Welfare Association. Capers later became a Cleveland Municipal Court Judge. In 2006, Capers, at 93 years of age, was the oldest practicing member of the National Bar Association. She has received a number of awards, including the 2011 Ohio State Bar Association Nettie Cronise Lutes Award [article online at Call & Post website]. Jean M. Capers is a law graduate of the Cleveland Law School [which merged with the John Marshall School of Law in 1945 to become the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law]. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; The American Bench. Judges of the nation, 2nd edition, ed. by M. Reincke and N. Lichterman; and "Capers oldest member to attend annual convention," National Bar Association Law E-Bulletin, vol. 14, issue 1 (August 2006). Photos of Jean Capers are in the African Americans of Note in Cleveland database.


Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Lawyers, Migration North, Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Social Workers, Judges
Geographic Region: Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky / Cleveland, Ohio

Cayce, James B.
Birth Year : 1915
Death Year : 1971
James B. Cayce was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Paul and Mamie Cayce. He was an instructor at Simmons University in Louisville from 1940-1942. During that same time period, he supervised the division of activities within the Department of Public Welfare in Louisville. Cayce was executive director of the Washington Community Association in Hamilton, Ohio, from 1942-1943. He was also a minister and pastored at several churches. Cayce was also editor of the Ohio Baptist News from 1948-1950, authored Negroes and The Cooperative Movement (1940), and wrote a number of articles and editorials. Cayce moved from Ohio to Pittsburgh, PA, where he was the respected pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church from 1950-1971. He was a active member and recruiter of the NAACP and he corresponded with Martin Luther King, Jr. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; "Ebenezer Baptist Church celebrates its rich history," New Pittsburgh Courier, 07/17/2008, p.B2; and The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. by M. L. King, et al.

See photo image of Rev. James B. Cayce at Carnegie Museum of Art website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Social Workers, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Hamilton, Ohio / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Coggs, Pauline Redmond
Birth Year : 1912
Death Year : 2005
Pauline Coggs was born in Paris, Kentucky, the daughter of Rev. John B. and Josephine B. Redmond. The family moved to Chicago, where Coggs graduated from high school and earned a bachelor's degree in sociology and psychology at the University of Chicago. She earned a master's degree in social work at the University of Pittsburgh. Coggs was the first African American woman to head the Washington, D.C. Urban League. She also directed the youth activities department in the Chicago Urban League, 1936-1940. She was a part-time instructor in the Department of Social Work at Howard University, 1943-1944, and later became the assistant executive secretary of the Wisconsin Welfare Council, 1947-1948. Coggs was the author of "Race Relations Advisers - Messiahs or Quislings," Opportunity, 1943. She was a confidante of Eleanor Roosevelt. The governor of Wisconsin appointed her to the Wisconsin Civil Rights Commission. Pauline R. Coggs was the aunt of Wisconsin Senator Spencer Coggs. The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. created the Pauline Redmond Coggs Foundation, Inc. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; C. Stephenson, "Striving to combat myths and ignorance never goes out of style," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/04/02, B News section, p.02; and F. Thomas-Lynn, "Coggs 'silent strength' behind political dynasty," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 07/28/2005, B News section, p. 07.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Social Workers, Women's Groups and Organizations, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C. / Chicago, Illinois / Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Colored Clinics (Bowling Green, KY)
The Warren County Colored Health Clinic is listed in Caron's Bowling Green (Kentucky) City Directory for 1937-38. The clinic was located at the State Street School at 204 State Street. G. M. Wells was director and Sophia Smith was the nurse. Few cities in Kentucky had a separate clinic facility for African Americans, before and after the 1930s. Listed in the 1941-1949 directories is the State Street Baptist Church Child Health Conference for Colored Children at 350 State Street, it is listed as an association and as a welfare organization. In 1941, Dr. Lewis Fine was listed as being in charge of the conference. State Street Baptist Church was led by Rev. R. H. Johnson in 1941. The Colored Welfare and Community Center was located at 229 State Street.
Subjects: Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Kentucky African American Churches, Medical Field, Health Care, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Craft, Rebecca
Birth Year : 1887
Death Year : 1945
A schoolteacher from Versailles, KY, Rebecca Craft graduated from Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute for Colored Persons [now Kentucky State University]. She and her husband, John, moved to San Diego, California, in 1910. Rebecca Craft led the fight against segregation and discrimination so that African American police and school teachers could be hired in San Diego. She also formed the Women's Civic Organization and was president of the San Diego NAACP. The civic organization served as a social welfare agency that also did fund-raising. Rebecca Craft was the aunt of Cecil H. Steppe. For more see G. Madyun, "In the Midst of things: Rebecca Craft and the Woman's Civic League," The Journal of San Diego History, vol. 34, issue 1 (Winter 1988) [available online].
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Migration West, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / San Diego, California

Doneghy, Joseph E.
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 1993
Born in Louisville, KY, Doneghy was a graduate of the University of Toledo Law School [now University of Toledo College of Law] and studied at the University of Chicago School of Social Work [now The School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago]. He was employed as a field worker with the Cook County Bureau of Public Welfare; playground director with the Division of Recreation in Toledo, Ohio; assistant supervisor of the Negro F.E.R.A. Schools; and probation counselor in the Lucas County Juvenile Courts in Ohio, beginning in 1938. He chaired the Ohio Pardon and Parole Commission before moving to Washington, D.C., where he was a hearing examiner with the U.S. Parole Board. In 1985, Doneghy retired from his position on the appeals council at Social Security. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and "Joseph E. Doneghy" in the obituaries of the Washington Post, 04/26/1993, Metro section, p. B4.
Subjects: Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Lawyers, Social Workers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Toledo, Ohio / Washington, D.C.

Elzy, Robert James
Birth Year : 1884
Death Year : 1972
Born in Lexington, KY, Elzy was a 1909 graduate of Fisk University and completed his graduate work at Columbia University and New York University. He was assistant principal and a teacher at Joseph K. Brick School in North Carolina, then taught for a year at State Normal School for Colored Persons [now Kentucky State University]. Elzy left Kentucky to practice social work in Brooklyn, New York. He was the founder and executive secretary of the Brooklyn Urban League, chaired the Colored Case Committee of the Bedford and Ft. Green districts of the Brooklyn Bureau of Charities, and was treasurer of the Brooklyn Social Service League. Robert J. Elzy was the husband of Louise Voorhees Elzy. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1928-29 and 1950; and "Robert Elzy of Urban League, champion of Black welfare, dies," New York Times, 02/20/1972, p. 68.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Migration North, Social Workers, Migration East, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / North Carolina / Brooklyn, New York

Herod, Henry Louis and Elizabeth Frances
The Herods, Henry (1875-1935) and Elizabeth (1881-1953), were Kentucky natives: Elizabeth was born in Millersburg, and Henry may have been born there, also. The couple was married in 1899 and shared their home with Henry's 15 year old nephew, all living on W. 13th Street in Indianapolis, IN, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. Henry was pastor of Second Christian Church, later known as Light of the World Christian Church; he was pastor for 37 years, 1898-1935. He is credited with increasing the membership and developing educational and cultural importance among the church members and advancing community projects. He was Superintendent of the Indianapolis Flanner House from 1925-1935. He was a political leader in Indianapolis and served as secretary of the Interracial Committee of the Council of Social Agencies. Henry was a member of the First Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Nu [see p. 46 of A History of the Washington (DC) Alumni Chapter 1911-1949  (.pdf format)]. Henry was a graduate of the University of Indianapolis, Butler College, Department of Liberal Arts and Culture [now Butler University]. Elizabeth was also active in the community, serving as secretary of the Indiana Federation of Colored Women's Clubs and as president of the Indianapolis Federation of Colored Women's Clubs. She was also active with the Indianapolis YWCA and was a delegate to the national convention in 1924. For more see the Elizabeth Herod entry in "Kentucky Biographical Sketches" in Lifting as They Climb, by E. L. Davis; and "Indianapolis Y.W. representative to Buenos Aires here," The Indianapolis Star, 06/07/1924, p. 7. See Henry Herod in the Indiana Medical Journal, 1902, vol. 21, issue 1, p. 527 [available at Google Book Search]; and Indiana Blacks in the Twentieth Century, by E. L. Thornbrough and L. Ruegamer.
Subjects: Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association), Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Millersburg, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Hunn, Vanessa L.
Birth Year : 1958
Vanessa Hunn, a native of Lexington, KY, is the daughter of Demosthenes and Verline Hunn. A social worker for more than 20 years, in 2006 Vanessa Hunn became the first African American to earn a Ph. D. from the University of Kentucky College of Social Work; she was also the first to be admitted to the social work doctoral program at UK. Also in 2006, Hunn was the only recipient chosen nationwide to receive the Postdoctoral Fellowship in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Research from the Council on Social Work Education. The fellowship is for doctoral students preparing for leadership positions in mental health and substance abuse fields. Hunn's research examines "Depression, Self-Efficacy, Income, and Child Outcomes in African American Welfare Recipients." She is also the recipient of the Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence Award and is a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society and Alpha Delta Mu National Social Work Honor Society. In fall 2007, she became an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Southern Indiana. In addition to her Ph. D. in social work, Hunn earned both her bachelor's and master's from the University of Kentucky, where she also taught in the social work program. Vanessa L. Hunn is presently an assistant professor of Social Work at Northern Kentucky University.

See photo image and additional information about Dr. Vanessa L. Hunn at the Northern Kentucky University website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Migration North, Social Workers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Evansville, Indiana / Highland Heights, Kentucky

Irons, Sandra Jean
Birth Year : 1940
Irons was born in Middlesboro, KY, to Roy and Rosa Green Carr. She is a graduate of Kentucky State University, and Purdue University. Prior to becoming an educator, she was a social worker with the Ohio Department of Social Welfare. In 1971, she became president of the Gary, IN, Teachers Union and continues as president today. Since 1974, she has been a vice president of the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO (AFT). She was the first vice president of the NW Indiana Federation of Labor in 1987, and became president in 1995. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1980-2006.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Migration North, Social Workers, Union Organizations
Geographic Region: Middlesboro, Bell County, Kentucky / Gary, Indiana

Johnson, Wendell L., Sr.
Birth Year : 1897
Born in Lexington, KY, the son of Katie Nelson Johnson and Churchill Johnson. The family lived with Katie's mother, Amanda Nelson, on East Main Street, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. Wendell would become a social worker with the Shawnee County Welfare Center in Topeka, Kansas, beginning in 1934. He was director of youth work with the National Baptists and became the first president of both the Kansas State Layman Movement and the Kaw Valley District Baptist Layman Movement in 1950. He was also vice president of the Topeka Council of Churches, beginning in 1949. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Religion & Church Work, Social Workers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Topeka, Kansas

Miller, Lizzie Gilliam
Miller was born in Mississippi and grew up in Louisville, KY. She graduated from Louisville Central High School, received her B.A. from Louisville Municipal College for Negroes, and attended Simmons Bible College. She was a cartographic supervisor with the Mapping Agency, U. S. Department of Defense, beginning in 1931 and continuing through the early 1980s. Miller was also the first Kentucky state director for Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. She was a former Stark Nest director, traveling throughout the U.S. establishing centers. Miller established the first mobile Nest in Opa Locke, Florida. Stark Nest was an agency that provided services for low-income families. For more see Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton.
Subjects: Cartographers, Civic Leaders, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Migration North, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Mississippi / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Mitchell, Fred D.
Birth Year : 1944
Born in Lexington, KY, Mitchell has been an activist, social worker, and community development leader in Lexington, Louisville and Cincinnati. As a teen in Lexington, he legally challenged the breach of peace laws and segregation of public accommodations and led protests against school segregation. He was treasurer of the Lexington Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and led the Young African Americans for Progress. In the 1970s, Mitchell moved to Louisville and became the city's first paid alderman assistant (to Lois Morris). As a social work student, he was instrumental in establishing the University of Louisville chapter of the National Association of Black Social Workers. Mitchell was also the first African American director of the Wesley Community House [founded in 1903 by the United Methodist Church to provide social welfare and other services in the Butchertown, Phoenix Hill and Clarksdale areas]. The Courier-Journal in Louisville named him one of the city's "Bridge Builders." Mitchell is presently employed by Community Action of Southern Indiana. For more see The Lexington Herald-Leader, August 17-18, 1967 and Sept. 5 & 7, 1967; and the Courier-Journal, Jan. 29, 1992, July 28, 1993, Jan. 1, 1997 and April 11, 2004.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Social Workers, CORE (Congress of Racial Equality)
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Indiana

National Youth Administration (Kentucky)
Start Year : 1935
End Year : 1943
The National Youth Administration (NYA) was established in 1935 by order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. NYA was a division of the Works Progress Administration by way of the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act. The Depression had drastically impeded the education and employment of more than 20 million young people. NYA provided student aid work funds for the part-time employment of persons between the ages of 16 and 25 to help them continue their education and enhance their employability and to help them develop constructive leisure activities. The Division of Negro Affairs, headed by Mary McLeod Bethune, oversaw the participation of Negro youth. Financial support and staffing were to be at the same percentage as the percentage of Negroes in a given state, though in reality the support was much less. The Kentucky NYA Office was located in Louisville at 9th and Broadway, with Robert K. Salyers as director. There were district offices in Madisonville, Louisville, Lexington, and Paintsville. Theodore E. Brown was State Supervisor of Negro Activities. For the program year 1936-37, there were 415 Negro college students who received NYA aid at Kentucky State Industrial College for Colored Persons [now Kentucky State University], West Kentucky Industrial College [now West Kentucky Community and Technical College], and Louisville Municipal College for Negroes [now merged with University of Louisville]. Funding for graduate students was administered by the Washington Office, and Negroes from Kentucky could apply for out-of-state assistance. (There were no in-state graduate programs in Kentucky for African Americans.) High school and elementary students received up to $6 per month for their work, and for the program year 1936-37, there were 1,265 Negro youth of Kentucky employed through the NYA school aid program. Participants who were out of school were certified members of relief families, and they were employed in projects such as sewing, carpentry, construction and repair work on schools and public property, child care, and recreation. There actually was not much done in the area of recreational opportunities for Negroes: projects were established for supervised play leaders at playgrounds and at nursery schools and recreational education institutes were held to train participants. The projects were located in Louisville, Covington, Bowling Green, Winchester, and Paducah. Some of the crafts and toys made by the NYA youth were given away at the Community Christmas Tree, and others were showcased at the NYA exhibit displayed during the KNEA meeting in Louisville. The recreation work was often cited as having decreased delinquency. In 1938, Harvey C. Russell, Sr. was the state NYA Supervisor of Negro Activities in Kentucky, see his online article at the Kentucky Digital Library - Journals: Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, vol. 9, issues 1-3 (January-February 1938), pp. 47-50; see also "N. Y. A. offers employment opportunities for state youth," Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, vol. 13, issue 2, pp. 29-31. For more detailed information see Negro Youth and the National Youth Administration in Kentucky, by T. E. Brown; W. G. Daniel and C. L. Miller, "The Participation of the Negro in the National Youth Administration Program," The Journal of Negro Education, vol. 7, issue 3, (July 1938), pp. 357-365; and National Youth Administration for Kentucky: Basic Information on NYA Workers in Kentucky by the NYA Work Project. National Youth Administration images are available online at Google.


Subjects: Education and Educators, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, National Resources, Works Progress Administration (WPA) / Work Projects Adminstration (WPA), National Youth Administration (NYA)
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Plymouth Settlement House (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1917
The 1890s mark the beginning of the Settlement House Movement in the United States, but for African Americans the movement began at the turn of the century with the Frederick Douglass Center in Chicago, 1904. More than a decade later the Plymouth Settlement House in Louisville became a part of the movement. The building was located at 1624-26 W. Chestnut Street, next door to the Plymouth Congregational Church. It had taken the church pastor, Reverend Everett G. Harris, six years to raise funding for the Settlement House. The three-story structure included an auditorium, an assembly room, classrooms, a kitchen, and a 14-room dormitory and parlor for the young women who lived on the third floor. The women were considered "decent" and were selected renters who had come to the city seeking employment. Their weekly room charge was $1.75, and the dormitory was accessible from a separate entrance on the side of the building. There was an employment service in the Settlement House that placed the women in homes as domestic helpers. In 1919, the Settlement House became part of the Louisville Welfare League. The center offered classes that prepared young women for domestic service, marriage and motherhood. Plymouth Settlement House also included a day care for children, a Boy Scout program, and a community Sunday School. As a part of the Welfare League, the Settlement House no longer came under the direction of the church, so a new governing board was established. Rev. Harris, a Howard University graduate from Virginia, remained superintendent of the Plymouth Settlement House and pastor of the Plymouth Congregational Church. For more see Everett G. Harris in the Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber; G. D. Berry, Jr.; "The Settlement House Movement and the Black Community in the Progressive Era: the example of Plymouth Settlement, Louisville, Kentucky," Journal of the American Studies Association of Texas, vol. 21 (1990), pp. 24-32; and Plymouth Settlement House and the Development of Black Louisville,1900-1930 [dissertation], by B. D. Berry.
Subjects: Settlement House Movement in Kentucky, Scouts (Boys and Girls), Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Religion & Church Work, Sunday School
Geographic Region: Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Presbyterian Community Center Records
Start Year : 1898
Founded in 1898 by seminarians as Hope Mission Station, a summer Sunday school for African American children, the center evolved into a settlement house for the Smoketown neighborhood of Louisville, KY, and was joined by Grace Mission. The collection pertaining to the mission includes a biographical sketch of the Rev. John Little (1874-1948), founder and director of the center for 50 years, and documentation of the center's activities and its role as an outpost in the federal government's war on poverty. The records are available at the University of Louisville Libraries' Special Collections and Archives.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Settlement House Movement in Kentucky, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Religion & Church Work, Sunday School, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Robinson, James H., Sr.
Birth Year : 1887
Death Year : 1963
James Hathaway Robinson, Sr. was born in Sharpsburg, KY, the son of Nathaniel and Martha Robinson. He moved to Cincinnati in 1915 to teach sixth grade at Douglass School. Robinson was a World War I veteran. He would become the Executive Secretary of the Negro Civic Welfare Association, which sponsored African American social work for the City of Cincinnati. He was also author of a number of publications, including the "Cincinnati Negro Survey" (later called "The Negro in Cincinnati"), published by the National Conference of Social Work in 1919; and "Social Agencies and Race Relations," a printed address in the Proceedings of the National Inter-Racial Conference (1925). Robinson attended Fisk University, earning his A.B. in 1911. He earned a second A.B. degree in 1912, an M.A. degree in 1914, and then pursued his Ph.D. in sociology, all at Yale University. He was the first African American to receive a fellowship at Yale University, the Larned Fellowship in 1913. Robinson also studied sociology and social service at the graduate level at Columbia University from 1914-1915. James H. Robinson, Sr. was a member of several organizations, including Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and he was the only African American member of the National Council of the American Association of Social Workers. He was the husband of Neola E. Woodson, who was a graduate of the University of Cincinnati and a member of the newly formed Zeta Chapter in 1920. She was a school teacher in Cincinnati and at Covington High School. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927; River Jordan, by J. W. Trotter, Jr.; Race and the city: work, community, and protest in Cincinnati, 1820-1970, by H. L. Taylor; and Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney.

See photo image of James Hathaway Robinson, Sr. within the Digital Images Database at Yale University Manuscripts and Archives.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Social Workers, Sociologists & Social Scientists, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Sharpsburg, Bath County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Sandusky, Annie L.
Birth Year : 1900
Death Year : 1976
Born in Louisville, KY, Sandusky was a pioneer in social work. She moved to Illinois and became casework supervisor of the Cook County Bureau of Public Welfare. She also became a probation officer for Cook County and Social Services Consultant for the Illinois Public Aid Commission. In 1954 she became consultant to the Children's Bureau of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in Washington, D.C. Sandusky published many articles and reports on child welfare. For more see Contemporary Authors. A bio-bibliographical guide to current writers in fiction, general nonfiction, poetry, journalism, drama, motion pictures, television, and other fields, vols. 69-72.
Subjects: Authors, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Social Workers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Spaulding, Jane Morrow
Birth Year : 1900
Death Year : 1965
Jane M. Spaulding was born in Logan County, KY, and raised in Nashville, TN. Her ancestors founded Keysburg in Logan County. She was the first African American female assistant secretary in the cabinet of a U.S. President; she was later appointed by President Eisenhower as Assistant to the Secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. At that time the position made her the highest paid African American employed by the federal government. In 1953, she was named Woman of the Year by the National Council of Negro Women. Spaulding had served as chairman of finance for the organization. In 1951, she served as the U.S. representative to the Triennial Council of Women in Athens, Greece. She was a graduate of Fisk University. Jane Spaulding was the wife of Dr. Albert L. Spaulding, Sr. and mother of Dr. Albert L. Spaulding, Jr. For more see J. Eads, "In Washington," The Independent Record, 06/29/1953, p.4; In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed., edited by M. M. Spradling; and Notable Black American Women. Book II, edited by J. C. Smith.
Subjects: Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Migration North, Social Workers, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Keysburg, Logan County, Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee / Washington, D.C.

Spears, Jewell A. King
Birth Year : 1933
Spears was the first African American director of nursing at the Reid Hospital in Richmond, IN. She was promoted to the position in 1977, later becoming vice president of the hospital before retiring in 1995. In 1974, she was chosen by Indiana Governor Otis Bowen as the only registered nurse on the Emergency Medical Services Commission; Spears became president of the commission in 1977. She was also president of the Wayne County Welfare Board. Jewell Spears was born in Hazard, KY, the daughter of Janie and Saul King (1902-1968). The family moved to Richmond, IN, in the 1940s. Jewell Spears is a graduate of Earlham College. She was married to Glen A. Spears (1928-2007). For more see "Earlham grad becomes Reid's director of nursing," Palladium-Item, 02/27/2008, Region section, p. 3A; the Jewell A. Spears entry in The Black Women in the Middle West Project, by D. C. Hine, et al.; and "Glen A. Spears," Palladium-Item, 10/14/2007, Obituary section, p. 3C.
Subjects: Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Nurses, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky / Richmond, Indiana

Steppe, Cecil H.
Birth Year : 1933
Steppe was born in Versailles, KY, the son of Esther and Grant Steppe and the nephew of Rebecca Craft. When Grant and Esther separated, Esther took the children and moved to San Diego, where they at first lived with Craft. Cecil Steppe is a graduate of San Diego City College and California Western University [now Alliant International University]. Since 2001, Steppe has served as president and CEO of the San Diego County Urban League. He came to the Urban League after two years retirement from San Diego County; Steppe had been employed with the county for 35 years, both as director of social services and as Chief Probation Officer of San Diego County. In 2007, Steppe announced that he would retire from the Urban League. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1985-2006; K. Kucher, "Steppe leaves lasting imprint on county," San Diego Union-Tribune, 07/05/1999, NEWS section, p. A-1; and "Urban Leagues leader to resume his retirement," San Diego Union-Tribune, 02/15/2007, Local section, p. B-2.
Subjects: Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Migration West, Corrections and Police, Social Workers, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / San Diego, California

Valentine, Lee A.
Birth Year : 1910
Born in Mayfield, KY, Valentine was an insurance salesman with the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, beginning in 1946. He was also responsible for leading the campaign to build a new 10-room elementary school for African American children. Valentine was vice president of the Elizabeth City Civic and Welfare League and publicity chairman of the NAACP chapter. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Social Workers, Migration East, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Mayfield, Graves County, Kentucky / Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Ware, William, Sr.
Birth Year : 1872
Ware was born in Lexington, KY. He was a fraternal worker at Main St. Baptist Church in Lexington and Antioch Baptist Church in Cincinnati. He founded the Welfare Association for Colored People of Cincinnati in 1917, serving as president 1917-1920. He was also a long-time president of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) of Cincinnati, beginning in 1920. He was the husband of Lucie Ware, born 1878 in KY; in 1920 the family of 11 lived on Barr Street in Cincinnati, according to the U.S. Federal Census. The family moved to Cincinnati in 1903. William Ware, Sr. was the son of Alfred and Jane Ware. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1928-29, and Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney.
Subjects: Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Social Workers, Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio

Wolfe, William K.
Birth Year : 1926
Death Year : 2002
Wolfe, born in Bowling Green, KY, was the former executive director of the Greater Cleveland Urban League, 1972-1984, and is credited with developing the organization into a multi-million dollar operation. He had also been head of the Urban League in Westchester County, NY, and was the housing coordinator for the New York Housing Authority. He was a past president of the Ohio Welfare Conference and had begun his social work career with the Dayton YMCA. Wolfe was a social work graduate of Springfield College and Adelphi University. He founded the Black Professional Association of Cleveland. For more see A. Baranick, "William K. Wolfe, led Urban League," Plain Dealer, 12/31/2002, Metro section, p. B7.
Subjects: Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Housing Authority, The Projects, Migration North, Social Workers, Urban Leagues, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association), Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Cleveland and Dayton, Ohio / Westchester County, New York

 

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