Saul Alinsky. 2012. Oil on Panel. His methods are controversial and much criticized – but also remember how corrupt and segregated Chicago was in the mid-20th century. He was an agitator, true, because Chicago politics would bury the nice guy. Like him or hate him, Alinsky tried to give a voice to the underclass who had no voice. Chicago was more then happy to keep the downtrodden right were they were.
Studs Terkel. 2014. Oil on Panel. Terkel would have hated being "labeled" as something – except a maybe rebel. But he definitely was an activist. Terkel never met a petition he didn't like. He was blacklisted and took the career hits that came with it – but he WAS his own person; if you're not that, you're nothing.
Said his biggest regret was not becoming a social worker like his wife.
Richard Nickel. 2012. Oil on Panel. Nickel came of age in the 60's during a period when many of Chicago's older buildings where being razed by Mayor Daley the first. Most of these buildings were architecturally significant. Nickel dedicated his life to photographing these landmarks before they were gone. He was killed when the Board of Trade building collapsed around him.
Jane Addams. 2010. Oil on Panel. Influential in forming modern, community focused theory of social work. Formed Hull House which assisted immigrants in becoming functioning members of society. Nobel Peace Prize winner. In Chicago has an expressway and a School of Social Work named after her.
Albert Parsons. 2012. Oil on Panel. Early in this century, unskilled laborers worked 12 hours M–F and 10 hours on Saturday. Parsons was a loud voice for worker's rights – especially an 8 hour work day. Wrongly tried and found guilty of causing the Haymarket riot; he was hanged in Chicago to set an example for other agitators.