Civil Rights

Content type
Collection

Selma Browde

Selma Browde is a medical doctor and activist whose passionate work and advocacy on behalf of disadvantaged communities in South Africa spans more than half a century.

Image of Large White Columns

Injustice in the Justice System: An Inside Look at the US District Court House

Ma'ayan Stutman-Shaw

As an intern at the US District Court House, I recognized a pattern, both in the cases that were brought forth and in the defendants’ backgrounds.

Judith Heumann

Judith (“Judy”) E. Heumann, a founder of the disability rights movement, is an internationally acclaimed leader of the disability community. Based in Washington, D.C., Heumann has been instrumental in the development and implementation of disability rights legislation.

Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz

Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz (1945-2018) was a lesbian-feminist writer and editor. She made multiple theoretical contributions to understanding Judaism, lesbianism, and feminism as intersectional identities, extended an awareness of class and economic justice through a Jewish lens, and made visible racial differences within Jewish communities. She advocated Radical Diasporism as a progressive alternative to Zionism.

Judith Herman

Dr. Judith Herman was a pioneer in identifying the frequency with which sexual abuse of female children occurs within the family, in the treatment of victims of abuse, and in psychotherapeutic confrontations of abusers.

Susan Brownmiller

Susan Brownmiller is a radical feminist writer and journalist. She was a leader in the Women’s Liberation Movement of the 1960s to 1980s (second-wave feminism). Brownmiller is bes-known for Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape (1975), the first comprehensive study of sexual violence.

Illustration of White Woman with Pink Hair in Front of City Buildings and Small Dots in the Background

Reexamining My Privilege in My City of Minneapolis

Noa Gross

Last summer, protesters in my city of Minneapolis were begging a system to change.

Pearl Hart

Pearl M. Hart was a pioneering attorney, activist, and educator. She devoted her life to defending the legal rights of the vulnerable and oppressed, especially women, children, immigrants, and gay men and lesbians. Her work in Chicago was instrumental in the development of the LGBTQ community there in the middle of the twentieth century.

Bella Abzug at a New York Press Conference, 1972, by Diana Mara Henry

Battlin' Bella: Why We Need The ERA Today

Rena Kosowsky

I believe that Bella Abzug’s approach to the courts and legislature on issues of discrimination and inequality must be applied to activism today. 

Bernice Sandler

Bernice (Bunny) Sandler was an activist and education expert who theorized Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, the federal law that mandates sexual equality in educational institutions that receive federal funding. As such, Sandler was an architect of the 1970s feminist “women’s liberation” movement. She continued to fight sex discrimination in education in the following decades, especially on issues of racial inequity and sexual assault.

Cora Wilburn

Cora Wilburn was one of the most prolific American Jewish women writers of her time. Much of her work appeared in secular and Spiritualist publications, but during her final decades she published poetry in Jewish publications. Her autobiographical novel, Cosella Wayne, published serially in 1860, is the first coming-of-age novel to depict Jews in the United States.

"Don't start with me, Karen" sign

Calling Out the Karens in the Jewish Community

Allison Abrams

How do white Jewish women contribute to anti-Blackness?

Episode 43: Black Lives Matter (Transcript)

Episode 43: Black Lives Matter (Transcript)

Episode 43: Black Lives Matter

A wave of protests is sweeping the country following the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. In this episode, we speak with Atlanta-based educator and activist Tarece Johnson about her work for racial justice and about confronting racism inside the Jewish community. As Tarece says, "As Black people, and as Jews, we endure racism in our Jewish community... anti-Blackness is very real." We also talk with Sara Greenhalgh, who has been on the front lines of protests in Minneapolis, and share a protest prayer by April Baskin.

Judith Butler

Judith Butler is the Maxine Elliot Professor of Comparative Literature and the Program in Critical Theory at the University of California, Berkeley. Butler’s work treats gender, hate speech, the precarity of life, the precarity of one’s position as a Jewish thinker in light of Israeli policy towards Palestinians, alternative kinship structures, non-violence, vulnerability, and other, equally complex and important aspects of human existence.

Open book with flipping pages. Black background.

Confronting White Privilege: A Reflection on Affirmative Action

Ari Fogel

As I learned more about what affirmative action really means for students, my worries turned into a sobering recognition of my privilege.

Shirley Siegel, 2015

Shirley Adelson Siegel Is My Intersectional Feminist Role Model

Madelyn Gelb

Shirley Adelson Siegel is proof that Judaism isn’t something that has to hold me back from being a good feminist or activist. On the contrary, Judaism can be the force that propels me forward and pushes me to be a better person. Judaism has taught me to love my neighbor as I love myself, to not speak ill of others, and to take care of people who need help, all of which are things that make me a better person and a better feminist.

#MeToo and Women's Activist History

JWA and Facing History and Ourselves partner to present this program about the #MeToo movement within the larger context of women's activist history.

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel on the Selma March, March 21, 1965

The Privilege to be an Activist

Emma Mair

I’ve had it with white people–myself included. I don’t consider myself to be a shining example of a good activist, especially when it comes to issues that primarily affect communities of color; and, I know I say ignorant things sometimes, but I’m trying. I’m really trying. 

Topics: Civil Rights
Daniella Shear with her Grandmother

Activism in My Genes

Daniella Shear

My grandma and I have always been close despite only seeing each other a few times a year. I love the time we spend together in New York City and DC seeing Broadway shows, eating cupcakes, and doing jigsaw puzzles. For my entire life she has had a career as an event planner, and as I’ve gotten older she has let me help with events when I can. Although I knew that she had attended the March on Washington and edited a Jewish newspaper, I didn’t know the extent to which activism had played a role in her life.

Rising Voices Fellows at Winter 2018 Retreat (Intersectionality Talk)

Practicing Allyship

Larisa Klebe

These Rising Voices Fellows are standing up against racism, and for diversity and racial equality. From attending rallies and conferences, to tackling race-related issues in their own communities, these young women are modeling good allyship, and reminding us that we must advocate for others, not just for ourselves.

Rising Voices and Havdallah Candle (Winter 2018)

Rising Voices Fellows Respond to Parkland

Emma Mair

In response to the Parkland school shooting on February 14, 2018, JWA’s Rising Voices Fellows decided to put their minds together and do what they do best: write. These are the stories of teenage girls from all over the United States, who have grown up after Columbine, after 9/11, and in the age of gun violence and terrorism.

Sarah Deer Headshot

Between Andrew Jackson and Hitler: An Interview with Sarah Deer

Emily Cataneo

Sarah Deer is a Jewish Native American lawyer and professor who has worked to end violence against women for more than two decades. Her activism has led to legal updates that enable tribes to more easily prosecute sexual assault on their land. She’s also the author of four textbooks about tribal law, and in 2014, received a MacArthur Fellowship for her work.

Black Lives Matter Logo

Kneeling to Take a Stand

Rachel Harris

I’ve never really distinguished between my feminist and activist identities. They’ve always been one and the same – my feminism inspires my activism, and thus they are not two distinct parts of me. As I’ve grown, I’ve gained more awareness about important social justice issues both inside and outside the feminist movement, one example being police brutality. 

Rising Voices Retreat Workshop

Addressing #MeToo with Jewish Teens

Larisa Klebe

If you work with teens in any number of settings, you know that for many of them, the #MeToo movement is at the forefront of their minds ... Although it’s not our primary role as educators to provide counseling for teens who may be struggling with their own #MeToo experiences, we can play a part in helping them navigate this complex and multi-faceted conversation, and in a Jewish context.

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