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Neighborhood Union Collection
9 linear feet
In 1908, Lugenia Burns Hope founded the Neighborhood Union in response to the impoverished conditions of the Atlanta, Georgia neighborhood surrounding Morehouse College where her husband, John Hope, was president. A community service organization whose motto was "Thy Neighbor as Thyself", its mission was to promote child welfare, to impart a sense of cultural heritage, to abolish slums and vice, and to improve the overall moral quality of the community. Their grassroots effort divided neighborhoods into districts which were then surveyed for conditions in need of improvement and aid. Through interrelationships with other social service agencies, they provided such services as kindergarten, daycare, medical attention, health education, temporary shelter for the homeless, vocational training for boys and girls, and classes in child and elder care. They also fought for equality in the Atlanta Public School system, demanding more schools and better pay for African American teachers. Aided by their efforts, Atlanta's first high school for African American students, Booker T. Washington, opened in 1924.
The Neighborhood Union Collection contains correspondence, minutes, financial and committee reports, surveys, news clippings, programs, and photographs documenting the activities of the Neighborhood Union and other social reform efforts in Atlanta's African American community. Of interest are two scrapbooks on the Leonard Street Orphanage and Chadwick Home and School. The collection also contains materials documenting some of Lugenia Hope's other activities including her work with the YWCA and the Colored Advisory Commission Mississippi Flood Relief (1927).
John and Lugenia Burns Hope Papers
John Hope Records