“Tolerance is respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world’s cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human. It is fostered by knowledge, openness, communication, and freedom of thought, conscience and belief. Tolerance is harmony in difference.”
~ Jane Addams
With a passion for tolerance and service to others, pioneer social reformer Jane Addams (1860-1935) was born on this day in Cedarville, Illinois. “When I grow up,” young Jane told her father, “I want to build a beautiful house, then I will invite all the poor people to come and stay with me.” And that’s exactly what she did. Along with friend Ellen Starr, Addams established Hull House in 1889, an innovative community center located in one of Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods. What they envisioned as a “center for a higher civic and social life,” became the best educational and social service organization of its time.
“Social advance depends as much upon the process through which it is secured as upon the result itself,” said Addams, an example of hope and courage.
With Hull-House, she embraced immigrants and celebrated the true meaning of democracy. An advocate for world peace, equality, and feminism, in 1931 she became the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. About world unity, she said: “This dream that men shall cease to waste strength in competition and shall come to pool their powers of production is coming to pass all over the earth.”