The House of the Seven Gables is delighted to continue to offer an annual Thanksgiving Weekend lecture in 2020. We look forward to welcoming Ellen Snyder-Grenier to discuss her book, The House on Henry Street: The Enduring Life of a Lower East Side Settlement.
This illustrated talk will focus on Henry Street Settlement’s early years, told within the context of the settlement house movement: part of a Progressive-Era crusade dedicated to tackling the problems of poverty by “settling” in and serving impoverished communities at a time of skyrocketing immigration, urbanization, and industrialization.
Registration is free. Donations will be gratefully accepted to help cover the costs of this online lecture.
About the book:
Henry Street serves as a window onto the movement. It was founded in 1893 by 26-year-old nurse Lillian Wald, whose visit to the tenement bedside of a dying woman—abandoned by her doctor because she could not pay her fee—awakened her to the depth of poverty and inequality on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and the desperate needs of its largely Jewish immigrant population. Wald imagined a place where all have equal access to healthcare, and where divides of ethnicity, race, and class were bridged.
Wald’s enterprise was invigorated by the work of other social reformers and human rights activists, the rise of social work, and the professionalization of nursing. It put her in the vanguard of the settlement house movement and at the forefront of health care and the fight for social justice, and launched an enduring institution. Its story is as relevant today as it was more than 125 years ago.
Ellen M. Snyder-Grenier is a national-award-winning curator and writer, and principal of REW & Co. She directs research projects, develops museum exhibitions, and writes on urban history, with a focus on social justice. The author of an award-winning history of Brooklyn, Snyder-Grenier is a Fellow of the New York Academy of History.