Arnita Young Boswell


Arnita Young Boswell
April 19, 1920 – July 6, 2002
First Unitarian Church of Chicago

  • Daughter of Whitney Young, Sr. (teacher, principal, institute president) and Laura Young (among early Black female US postmasters)
  • Sister of Whitney Young, Jr. (civil rights leader, executive director National Urban League)
  • Bachelor’s degree in home economics from Kentucky State University
  • Master’s degree in social work from Atlanta University 
  • Social worker with the Red Cross; recreation director for soldiers in Germany during World War II 
  • Trained to fly by a Tuskegee Airman at Fisk University 
  • Directed the women’s division of 1966 march in support of desegregating housing in Chicago led by Rev. Martin Luther King
  • Founded the National Hook-Up of Black Women and the League of Black Women
  • Co-founded the Chicago Urban League and its Women’s Board
  • Taught social work at The University of Chicago for 19 years
  • Director of social services at University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Director of Family Resources Center, Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago (Department of Human Services)
  • First national director of Project Head Start
  • Founded Boswell-Young & Associates consulting firm in Chicago
  • Member of First Unitarian Church of Chicago; memorialized there after her death in 1982
  • A Chicago Park District children’s park is named in her honor
  • Find out more: Veteran Feminists of America website

Arnita Young Boswell Park (photo from Chicago Park District website)