Josephine Shaw Lowell


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(1843–1905) Josephine Shaw Lowell, a leader in the “scientific philanthropy movement”; helped to promote the reorganization of public and private charities in the United States. Born in West Roxbury, Massachusetts, she was educated in private schools around the country. Her volunteer service began at the start of the Civil War when she worked with a forerunner of the American Red Cross—the United States Sanitary Commission. She joined the New York State Charities Aid Association in 1873 and became the first female member of the New York State Board of Charities in 1876. Lowell spent 13 years with the board and succeeded in providing more institutions for mentally ill people and more correctional facilities for women. In 1882 she helped found the New York Charity Organization Society. Her concern for women in the labor force led her to become the first president of the Consumers League, an organization founded in 1891 to protect shop girls from exploitation in New York City. Lowell's published works include Public Relief and Preventive Charity (1884) and Industrial Arbitration and Conciliation (1893). See also The Philanthropic Work of Josephine Shaw Lowel (1911), by W. R. Stewart.

From Encyclopedia of Social Work in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Social Work.

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