Filling the Ranks: Lester Blackwell Granger's Vision of the Social Work Profession as a Tool for Achieving Racial Equality

  • Annie Woodley Brown Howard University School of Social Work


Before social work education embraced the idea that the social work profession had a significant contribution to make in the struggle for social and economic justice and against discrimination, Lester Blackwell Granger, longtime head of the National Urban League, pushed and prodded the profession to broaden its perspective. He had greater success, at the time, in convincing young Black students at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana, to enter the profession and use the tools of social work to effect social change than he did in getting the profession of social work more involved in the struggle for civil rights. This narrative documents his vision of the potential of the profession and his influence on some who entered it.

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