Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in History



First Reader/Committee Chair

Dr. Michael Karp


Mary Julia Workman was a social activist in the early twentieth century. She was the founder of the Brownson Settlement House in Los Angeles. By the 1900s. during the Progressive Era, Mary Julia Workman, a Catholic activist, led a group of women to help the immigrants that were segregated and discriminated in the growing city of Los Angeles. Although Catholic activism was influenced by the Protestant Progressive ideology, Mary Julia Workman provided social justice to the marginalized. Her Americanization methodology would be focused to learn from the foreigner culture and adapted it to our society. Meanwhile, the Americanization efforts promoted by conservative and nationalist religious groups in the immigrant communities brought antagonism, racism, and discrimination in the community. Mary Julia Workman had to leave her position as president of Brownson House due to the religious bureaucracy at the Los Angeles Archdiocese.