eNews sign-up link Honoring Frances Perkins 02 and Mount Holyoke Alums link to invitation to visit exhibitFrances and Faith Landing Pagelink to list of past award recipients

National Search for Executive Director

Secretary of Labor under Franklin Delano Roosevelt from 1933 to 1945, Frances Perkins is widely recognized as a driving force behind the New Deal, most notably for the policies that created Social Security, the forty-hour work week, overtime pay, unemployment insurance, workplace safety standards, and a ban on child labor.

Perkins’ legacy is everywhere today.
Just last year, a record 48 million people found economic refuge through state unemployment insurance programs, up from just 5 million the year before the pandemic. It was a vital lifeline, allowing people who had lost their jobs to feed their families and heat their homes when the world’s economy shut down reports long-time Washington Post journalist and board member Kirstin Downey. Use our resources link to learn more. 

The Frances Perkins Center honors her legacy by sharing her commitment to the principle that government should provide all its people with the best possible life, and by preserving the place that shaped her character, The Frances Perkins Homestead National Historic Landmark. We convene leaders and future leaders in public policy, labor and related fields to generate creative solutions to today’s social and economic problems and teaches students of all ages about a remarkable woman whose work continues to improve the lives of ordinary Americans.


Frances Perkins Documentaries

Highlights from the Life and Legacy of Frances Perkins

Highlights from the Life and Legacy of Frances Perkins

A 30-minute documentary created by the Frances Perkins Center to accompany its traveling exhibit.

Summoned: Frances Perkins and the General Welfare

Summoned: Frances Perkins and the General Welfare
Documentary premiered by PBS in March 2020. Watch a quick video clip here.

Access Summoned on a variety of media platforms.

The Frances Perkins Homestead, a fifty-seven-acre National Historic Landmark, a saltwater farm in the nation’s northeast corner, is a tangible reminder that America is intended to be a vast homestead for all its people, a lively household for one and all, and that concern for the common good should govern our life together. Reflecting on Frances Perkins’ commitment to the principle that “government should provide all its people with the best possible life,” we believe that her Homestead and our idea of the nation as “homestead for all” can help us bolster important American values where the strength of our nation resides in its diversity.


Shining a light on Frances Perkins' legacyFinally getting her due