Humanitarian & Peace Advocate
Among the first generation of college-educated women, Jane Addams, became one of America’s and history’s most respected and admired women. After graduating from Rockford Female Seminary (now Rockford College) in 1881, Addams began the search for a purpose to her life. In 1889, guided by powerful experiences and the conviction that the inequities of human life might be brought to balance, Addams, along with Ellen Gates Starr established the Chicago social settlement Hull-House. With the simple desire to alleviate poverty and cultural deprivation in the City’s over-crowded Westside neighborhood, Addams, a natural-born leader, attracted some of the brightest women in the U.S. to follow her vision for social justice. This host of reform-minded women found themselves tackling enormous social issues and initiating important progressive reforms: industrial safety, juvenile justice, immigrant rights, labor reform, and child welfare. Their advocacy improved the neighborhoods and the lives of Chicago’s immigrants and resulted in the passage of many city and state laws, bringing Hull-House international acclaim.
Jane Addams’ unwavering belief in world peace and her work through the Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom earned her the Nobel Peace Prize.
In portraying Jane Addams, Annette Baldwin exhibits the distinguished humanitarian’s warmth and strength of character as Addams’ struggles to find a meaningful purpose to her life and begins her journey to effect social change in America. As the story progresses, we discover some of the experiences which helped Addams find the direction she longed for.