Bertha Capen Reynolds


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(1885–1978) Bertha Capen Reynolds, social worker, educator, and activist, advocated for the working class and oppressed groups and stressed the importance of working together for a more humane world. Born and raised in Stoughton, Massachusetts, she graduated from the Boston School of Social Work in 1914. She participated in the first course in psychiatry ever offered to social workers at Smith College in 1918 and in the historic Milford Conference in 1923. In 1925 she was appointed associate director of Smith College School for Social Work. She remained there until 1938 when she was asked to leave because she wanted rank-and-file workers to unionize to improve their working conditions and the lives of their clients. An acknowledged Marxist, she wrote extensively in Social Work Today (the journal of the rank-and-file movement) on the need for social workers to become more politically active and concerned about the civil rights of their clients.


From Encyclopedia of Social Work in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Social Work.

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