Speech to the Douglass Community Service Association, January 19, 1921 (excerpts)



Sponsors for Proposed Social Service Settlement Are Dined.


Tells Leaders Only Hard Work Will Insure Success -- Washington Ready for Home.

Washington will have a permanent Hull House or social center [for?] its colored residents within a very short time, if the organization of the [Douglass] Community Service Association, which is planning to build such a home here, begins its work in a [modest] but determined manner. Jane Addams of Chicago told sponsors for the project at a banquet at the Whitelaw Hotel last night.

The banquet marked the beginning of a drive to secure enough members to raise $17,000 for building the home in the northwest part of the city. It is to be patterned after the famous Hull House in Chicago. The aim of the work will be to prevent child delinquency and to promote social welfare work among the colored residents of the city. If the Douglass Community Service Association succeeds in raising the $17,000, it is [said], more money will be contributed by interested persons.

[Miss] Addams warned the sponsors for the Washington Hull House that they are entering upon a serious and important undertaking. She spoke of the Juvenile Protective League in Chicago and said some such organization might do equally good work in Washington and told how, in Chicago, lack of a common language somewhat handicaps the social worker.

"There is no such handicap here in Washington," Miss Addams said. "Here you all have the same general American background and the same American ideals. Therefore you should progress faster than in cities where the foreign element predominates."

Miss Addams said good fellowship is the heart and spirit of any social work, and urged that games and round table work be promoted to inculcate a spirit of friendship and good fellowship.

Commissioner Boardman made a short address, in which she said she was in entire sympathy with the plan, and urged sponsors for the house to call on her if help is needed.

Dr. Emmett J. Scott, secretary-treasurer of Howard University, declared the proposed Hull House here would open the way to a splendid experiment on social welfare work which the university proposes to carry on by offering a course of study in that profession. He offered the unqualified [endorsement] of Howard University to the work of the settlement.

Judge Kathryn Sellers of the Juvenile Court spoke in favor of the proposed Hull House and said she hoped it would come soon and would direct at least part of its energy toward juvenile social work.

An appeal for funds was made by Miss Addie W. Hunton of New York. Miss Virginia Weel sang. Dean George W. Cook of Howard University acted as toastmaster.