Reform (Social or Labor)


Reform (Social or Labor)


The reform collection highlights those women who dared to influence labor changes to expand worker control over their conditions or who dared to reform society in a positive manner. In the United States, women have historically been major contributors to the great reform movements. Although their work is not given as much credit as those of their male counterparts, it was women who did much of the grassroots campaigning for universal suffrage, abolition of slavery, labor legislation, prison reform, social welfare programs, asylum reform, religious freedom, peace programs, and universal education. This collection then highlights the work of some of those activists and encourages us to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

Collection Items

Anna "Annie" Clemenc
Michigan labor activist who rallied workers and fought against capitalists so that laborers could sit at the bargaining table

Claudette Colvin
At the age of 15, she tried to integrate the bus system and break down segregation

Dolores Huerta
Labor activist whose work creating the United Farm Workers Union gave a disenfranchised group of laborers a voice in work relations

Fannie Lou Hamer
Fought for voting rights for African Americans and led change through the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and her Congressional testimony

Ida Wells-Barnett
Female editor and inspiration for the anti-lynching campaign of the NAACP

Jane Addams
Progressive-era reformer who sought to change society through education, labor legislation, and social work

Malala Yousafzai
Young woman who works to educate girls in Pakistan

Margaret Sanger
Nurse who risked her freedom to open birth control clinics and laid the path for reproductive rights

Mary Harris "Mother" Jones
Renowned labor activist who worked to improve working conditions for men and women

Rose Gollup Cohen
Immigrant sweatshop worker who wrote about the abuses suffered by workers during the Industrial Revolution
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