Improving Lives

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Improving Lives

Helping Native Americans, Latinos, Italians, Puerto Ricans, the poor and "wayward women" have better lives.

Click each name to find a list of resources available at HSP.



Herbert Welsh/Indian Rights Association

-IRA was established by Welsh in 1882

-Became one of the most important organizations establishing and influencing American Indian policy in the 20th century

-Original mission was to “bring about the complete civilization of the Indians and their admission to citizenship”

-Became the primary source of information for non-Indian audiences on Native American affairs.


William White and the Magdalen Society

-Episcopal Bishop

-Formed the Magdalen Society of Philadelphia, to reform “wayward” women

-Name was changed to White-Williams Foundation for Girls, eventually becoming the White-Williams Scholars of today.


Nelson Diaz

 -Served as the City Solicitor for the City of Philadelphia and Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, First Judicial District of Pennsylvania

-Pennsylvania’s first Latino Judge, first presidentially appointed Latino general counsel

-Appointed by President Bill Clinton as a general counsel to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

-Worked to recruit and increase Temple University’s population of students of color


Esther Kelly Bradford

-Taught Bible classes two nights a week at a space in Kensington

-Grew into The Lighthouse, a settlement house, benevolent organization, library, nursery, restaurant and recreation center serving Kensington and North Philly

-Conducted fresh-air classes on the roof which was adopted by the school district


Justine Rector

-Active and prolific journalist and teacher in Philadelphia and in Washington, D. C. since the late 1960s

-Involved herself in promoting civil rights, fostering high standards in journalism, and in documenting and improving race relations, particularly in Philadelphia


Leonard Covello

-Italian immigrant who established and served as principal of the Benjamin Franklin High School in New York City.

-Known for his community centered school philosophy and his activism among the East Harlem neighborhood, especially with Italian and Puerto Rican immigrant groups