The Ethical Movement
Among the handful of phrases most often used to describe the Ethical Society are “deed before creed”, and “eliciting the best.” It is a religion of humanism devoted equally to acting so as to honor the worth and dignity one another and to extend that devotion to acting to bring about social changes which improve the condition of our fellow man and, thereby, the condition of us all.
Founded by Felix Adler in 1876, the Movement’s list of accomplishments is long. This partial list conveys the spirit of the Ethical Society since its founding and is representative of its mission.
- Felix Adler founded the National Child Labor Committee in 1894 and continued as its chairman for 17 years until child labor laws were adopted throughout the country.
- The first kindergartens were founded by Felix Adler in 1877 in New York and San Francisco.
- One year after its founding, the District Nursing Service was established by the Society. Today it’s known as the Visiting Nurse Service.
- The Ethical Society was instrumental in the National Child Labor Committee.
- The NAACP was founded in January, 1909 by three people, one of whom was an Ethical Culture Leader. The President of the New York Society served on the first NAACP organizing committee.
- The Chicago Society organized The Bureau of Justice in 1888. This organization later merged with The Women’s and Children’s Protective Agency to become The Legal Aid Society.
For more detailed information about the history and current endeavors of the Ethical Movement, visit the American Ethical Union at www.aeu.org.