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Civil Rights

Katya Gibel Mevorach

In her most famous book, Black, Jewish and Interracial: It’s Not the Color of Your Skin but the Race of Your Kin and Other Myths of Identity, anthropologist Katya Gibel Mevorach (nee Azoulay) explored identity politics, “passing” as white, and other social constructs of race.

Lani Guinier

Lani Guinier’s groundbreaking work in law and civil rights theory led to her becoming the first woman of color granted tenure at Harvard Law School.

Carolyn Goodman

As a psychologist, Carolyn Goodman created early intervention programs for at-risk families, but when her son, Andrew Goodman, was killed during Freedom Summer, she became a powerful civil rights activist.

Yavilah McCoy

Yavilah McCoy is the founder of Ayecha, a nonprofit Jewish organization that provided Jewish diversity education and advocacy for Jews of color in the United States.

Felice Nierenberg Schwartz

Recognizing the hurdles that can stop women from achieving, Felice Nierenberg Schwartz co-wrote How to Go to Work When Your Husband Is Against It, Your Children Aren’t Old Enough, and There’s Nothing You Can Do Anyhow in 1972.

Eva Salber

Using the lessons she learned as a doctor in South Africa, Eva Salber worked with poor populations in Massachusetts and North Carolina to improve public health and empower community leaders.

Sophia Moses Robison

Sociologist Sophia Moses Robison spent her career shattering stereotypes, from exposing the racial bias in labels of juvenile delinquency to debunking myths that immigrants were a drain on the economy.

Fredrica Wechsler, 1929 - 2014

My mother was a remarkable woman.   She grew up at 71 Ocean Parkway, an only child, with my beloved Grandma Rebecca and Grandpa Joe and although she nearly flunked math at Erasmus High in Brooklyn, she went on to become the night editor at the University of Michigan’s Michigan Daily after convincing her parents that she wanted to go all the way to the Midwest for college. After all, once my grandparents had arrived from Poland and Finland respectively in the earlier part of the twentieth century, why did she need to go so far away?

Hortense Powdermaker

Anthropologist Hortense Powdermaker used her experiences of anti-Semitism and “passing” to offer new insights into how societies manage tensions between insiders and outsiders.

Go See "Selma"

I cried six times during the movie Selma. Each time for a different reason, and with varying durations/intensities. Within the first few minutes I had tears of mourning and shock running down my face. At one point I broke into sobs of sorrow.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Civil Rights." (Viewed on April 19, 2015) <http://jwa.org/topics/civil-rights>.

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