Speech to the Emporia Women's City Club, January 11, 1922 (summary)




Welfare Worker Makes Plea for Better Understanding of Immigrants' Problems.

More than 1,000 persons heard Miss Jane Addams, of Hull House, Chicago, at the High School auditorium last night. Every seat in the auditorium and every available space in which a chair could be placed, was taken, and many persons who arrived too late to secure seats left the building.

Miss Addams did not make a formal address. She talked, simply and conversationally, first about the work of the women's civic club in Chicago, dwelling particularly upon the phases of the work that touch foreign women and their interests; and then, because the audience by their questions seemed to wish it, upon international questions. Few speakers in Emporia have held the interest of their audiences more closely than did Miss Addams.

In welfare work among foreigners, Miss Addams said, one of the things that must be done is to show an interest in the background from which they come. The Polish people are interested in Poland, and the welfare of their relatives there. As we extend our interests in foreign affairs we have a new basis of fellowship upon which to work, Miss Addams pointed out. "We must get away from the term 'alien,'" Miss Addams said. To the immigrant who has not attained full citizenship rights, it has come to mean a term of reproach, she said. Classes are conducted at Hull House for foreign-born persons in various stages of the process of securing citizenship.

Miss Addams answered questions about the League of Nations, and America's relation to it, about famine conditions in Russia, about Germany, about immigration and Americanization problems.

Thirty million Russian people in 13 provinces are affected by the famine in the Volga Valley, Miss Addams said. The 40 million dollars relief money now in sight will not be enough to feed the starving people until harvest, she said. People are living on cakes made of powdered grass roots and twigs, she said. And many, driven by hunger from their villages, are abandoning their farm implements by the road side as their horses die. Miss Addams will address the State Agricultural Society in Topeka this week on the Russian situation.

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