WMU News

Expert on social welfare history to speak at Young Scholars Program

February 19, 1998

KALAMAZOO -- "How Welfare Became a Dirty Word" will be the topic of a presentation Thursday, March 12, at Western Michigan University.

Dr. Linda Gordon, the Florence Kelley Professor of History and Vilas Distinguished Research Professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, will speak at 7 p.m. in the West Ballroom of the Bernhard Center.

Her address is part of the 27th annual Whitney Young Jr. Scholars Award Program. Also during the program, certificates and monetary awards will be presented to seniors and master's degree students for their scholastic achievement, community service and recognition.

Gordon is well known as an expert in women's history and social welfare history, and she has written several prize-winning books in these fields. They include "Heroes of Their Own Lives: The Politics and History of Family Violence," published in 1988, which won the American Historical Association's Joan Kelly Prize for the best book in women's history or theory and the Wisconsin Library Association Award. Her most recent book, "Pitied But Not Entitled: Single Mothers and the Origins of Welfare," was published in 1994 and has earned honors in women's history and human rights.

The Whitney Young Jr. Scholars Award Program was established by WMU's School of Social Work in 1971 as a memorial to Young, an internationally known social worker who died that year. At the time of his death, he was the executive director of the National Urban League. As president of the National Association of Social Workers, Young was the convocation speaker at the dedication of WMU's School of Social Work in 1968.

The lecture is being sponsored by the WMU School of Social Work and the Visiting Scholars and Artists Program. For more information, persons may contact Dr. Linwood H. Cousins, assistant professor of social work, at (616) 387-3173.

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