George Edmund Haynes is regarded as a pillar in the social work field. He was the co-founder of the National Urban League (Bent-Goodley et al., 2017). He became interested in the social work while he was a student at the University of Chicago. The social problems that triggered his interest include the challenges the black migrants from the South were facing. He pursued a doctoral study in philanthropy in the Columbia University and his dissertation titled The Negro at Work in New York City was published in 1912 (Marshall Jr et al., 2016). George Edmund Haynes was passionate about the welfare of the colored women. He had astonishing success in academics at a time when the opportunities for the blacks were almost non-existent (Young, 2018). Therefore, he was passionate about helping other black people or the less privileged in the society to realize their dreams.
Additionally, he was interested in enhancing the working conditions of the blacks in their workplaces such as industrial plants (Stauch, 2016). His critical role in the social work sector was in merging the groups passionate about the welfare of the Negros to make one strong association. He was instrumental in visiting the black college students and encouraging them to pursue their education goals with excellence. Additionally, he helped the New York School of Philanthropy to set up a center for social work training (Senteio & Matteucci, 2017). After retiring as the director of National Urban League in 1918, he took another job of serving as the director of the Negros Economics in America in the Labor Department (White, 2017). The work involved ensuring equal treatment of the blacks and the whites. He was instrumental in creating awareness and eliminating racial conflict at workplaces and proper housing for all. He participated in the inclusion of the blacks in various trade unions (Stauch, 2016). He carried out various studies in the United States and several African nations. The various contributions resulted into being chosen as a member of the President’s Employment Conference.
Inspiration from the Study
The study of the work done by George Edmund Haynes inspires me to always be better than I was yesterday. It is clear that he did not have all the opportunities to become great but he chose to be great anyway (Stauch, 2016). The reason is that he decided to overcome the odds in his life. The life of George Edmund Haynes was not marked by any indicator of success. First, he was from a humble background. Additionally, he was a black living during a time when the success of the Negros was almost impossible. However, George Edmund Haynes decided to overcome the odds (Marshall Jr et al., 2016). It is amazing that he did not just settle for the little he had achieved in the earlier years as a social worker. He continued doing exploits by doing more than he did the previous day. It is encouraging that he decided even to travel to African nations to carry out research studies.
One of the profound sources of motivation is that he became a trailblazer. The reason is that the tasks he was carrying out related to social work inspired other scholars to study the work further. Therefore, it is a source of hope and encouragement to me that it is possible to achieve the impossible. George Edmund Haynes was able to achieve the impossible and I can also become the George Edmund Haynes of this generation. I desire to overcome the odds and forget all the weaknesses and limitations. My desire will be to set the limits and expand the horizons as a social worker (Bent-Goodley et al., 2017). The work the legendary social worker does has created a revolution in the lives of black people today. It is a source of hope that if I do my work well, I will create impact in my generation and beyond.
- Bent-Goodley, T., Snell, C. L., & Carlton-LaNey, I. (2017). Black perspectives and social work practice. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 27(1-2), 27-35.
- Marshall Jr, I., Davis Smith, B., Green, M. T., Anderson, B., Harry, S. V., Byrd, Y. M. & Hill, S. (2016). Scholarly Productivity of Social Work Faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Are h-Index Scores a Suitable Measure?. Journal of Social Work Education, 52(1), 95-107.
- Senteio, C., & Matteucci, K. (2017). Addressing Racial Discrimination in the 1930s: Using a Historical Case Study to Inform Contemporary Social Justice Efforts. Journal of African American Studies, 21(4), 621-642.
- Stauch, M. (2016). Urban League. The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism.
- White, N. (2017). African-American Labor History in Waterloo: The Exhibit.
- Young, A. A. (2018). Down the Up Staircase. In Sociological Forum (Vol. 33, No. 1, pp. 259-261).