SOCIAL WORKER

  • Malcolm X

    Born on May 19, 1925, in Omaha, Nebraska, Malcolm X was a prominent black nationalist leader who served as a spokesman for the Nation of Islam during the 1950s and '60s. Due largely to his efforts, the Nation of Islam grew from a mere 400 members at the time he was released from prison in 1952 to 40,000 members by 1960. Articulate, passionate and a naturally gifted and inspirational orator, Malcolm X exhorted blacks to cast off the shackles of racism "by any means necessary," including violence. The fiery civil rights leader broke with the group shortly before his assassination on February 21, 1965, at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan, where he had been preparing to deliver a speech.

  • Desmond Tutu

    Born in 1931 in South Africa, Desmond Tutu established a career in education before turning to theology, ultimately becoming one of the world's most prominent spiritual leaders. In 1978 Tutu was appointed general secretary of the his country's Council of Churches and became a leading spokesperson for the rights of black South Africans. During the 1980s he played an almost unrivaled role in drawing national and international attention to the iniquities of apartheid, and in 1984 he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts. He later chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and has continued to draw attention to a number of social justice issues over the years.

  • Rosa Parks

    Civil rights activist Rosa Parks was born on February 4, 1913, in Tuskegee, Alabama. Her refusal to surrender her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery, Alabama bus spurred a city-wide boycott. The city of Montgomery had no choice but to lift the law requiring segregation on public buses. Rosa Parks received many accolades during her lifetime, including the NAACP's highest award.

  • Mother Teresa

    Born in 1910, in Skopje, Macedonia, Mother Teresa taught in India for 17 years before in 1946 she experienced her "call within a call" to devote herself to caring for the sick and poor. Her order established a hospice; centers for the blind, aged, and disabled; and a leper colony. In 1979 she received the Nobel Peace Prize for her humanitarian work. She died in September 1997 and was beatified in October 2003. In December 2015, Pope Francis recognized a second miracle attributed to Mother Teresa, clearing the way for her to be canonized as Saint Teresa of Calcutta on September 4, 2016.