The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Friday—I am constantly finding new organizations that have consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. The latest is the International Social Service organization, of which I knew very little before.

Now I have learned that it has been performing an outstanding service in this country and throughout the world for 40 years. Its task is to serve as a link between families whose members are separated or living apart in different countries.

War may have separated or broken up some families, and it is the problem of the International Social Service to bring them together again. Or the organization may be the tie between American citizens working overseas and those they left behind. Sometimes there are wives in different countries whose husbands have deserted them and who of necessity are looking for support for themselves and their children. And there are families settled in America who want to have their parents or their children join them here. Failing that, they seek to arrange for their care and protection in whatever country they are living and they go to the ISS for assistance.

The ISS staff must know all the agencies in the field best equipped to meet these various problems and the laws of each country as they apply to the difficulties. They must know about immigration procedures and they must have a knowledge of a good many languages. And, above all, they must have an understanding of human needs and how to meet them.

Such an organization as the ISS works with a minimum of publicity, but we should know of its work and give it our support.

Philadelphia is the city of brotherly love, so we are not surprised to find that a real effort is being made there to achieve brotherly living.

The Philadelphia Housing Authority has announced that all future public housing units will be rented to citizens without discrimination as to race or creed or color. It has recently had an outstanding success in its experiment in interracial living in its Flamingo apartments.

The Flamingo apartment building is a 300-unit structure that cost some three million dollars. It is over 80 percent occupied and the tenants are 50 percent white and colored.

Everyone should congratulate Dr. Daniel Gevinson, a prominent dentist of Washington, D.C., who owns three similar buildings throughout the country and decided to gamble with this one. He had the active support of government people from both major political parties and I am sure if this experiment could be widely publicized abroad it would have an impact on international thinking where the treatment of our minorities is concerned. It would give the lie to many Communist assertions that do not take into account the fact that we are constantly improving our democracy in this country.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • New York (N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, June 28, 1952

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.