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White Rose Mission


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The White Rose Mission was created on February 11, 1897 as a “Christian, nonsectarian Home for Colored Girls and Women” by African American civic leaders, Victoria Earle Matthews (1861–1907) and Maritcha Remond Lyons (1848–1929). The settlement house, located on Manhattan's Upper West side in the neighborhood known then as San Juan Hill, was founded to offer refuge, shelter and food for newly arrived African American /Colored women from the southern United States and the West Indies. Aware of the perilous conditions for young African American women seeking work in New York City, Matthews and Lyons and other volunteers working with The White Rose Mission met incoming vessels. At Manhattan’s piers, docks and railway stations, volunteers offered assistance to female travelers who often fell prey to unscrupulous employment agents and con artists. As traveler’s assistance services were generally not available to African American women, the White Rose Mission, under the direction of Victoria Earle Matthews, was founded to address the specific problems facing African American female migrants.
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