Civil Rights

Content type
Collection
Alicia Garza

#Blacklivesmatter Matters

Ilana Goldberg

2014 was a year when police brutality against black men was brought to the forefront of the American consciousness. The police killings of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and Tamir Rice, along with no legal sentences for the perpetrators, arranged themselves into a pattern that was difficult for the public to miss. Among the responses were protests, riots, classroom discussions, and the swift rise of the hashtag “#blacklivesmatter.”

Topics: Civil Rights
Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar’s Pursuit of Happiness

Rachel Landau

Of all the things I take for granted, the value I most often overlook is democracy. To reside in a thriving democratic country that gives a voice to its people and places checks and balances on its government is more than I can ever fully appreciate, and even though I have doubts about certain policies, at least I have the opportunity to voice these questions. As a young writer, I am especially grateful for my ability to articulate my opinions without fear of harm.

Topics: Civil Rights

Tikvah Alper

Radiobiologist Tikvah Alper, who spent a lifetime questioning accepted theories and the established order, discovered that diseases like scrapie and mad cow replicated without DNA.
Maya Angelou, cropped

Still She Rose

Ellie Kahn

It’s hard to rise above the fray. To disregard all of the weight attached to us, to be free. There are many aspects of life that will try to ground us, to clip our wings and to take away our voices, but it is the voices that demand to be heard that guide us. Maya Angelou had one of those voices. In all aspects, she was a whirlwind force to be reckoned with. She excelled as a poet, author, singer, dancer, professor, screenwriter, actress, advocate, and avid feminist.

Edith Rosewald Stern

Edith Rosenwald Stern didn’t just commit herself to civil rights causes, she encouraged others to contribute by creating challenge grants to match donations.

Virginia Snitow

Ahead of her time in the fight for both civil rights and women’s rights, Virginia Snitow was unafraid to take unpopular stances when fighting for others.

Death of Seattle Artist and Activist Selma Waldman

April 17, 2008
“I am an artist . . . enamored of charcoal (the tool that does not lie) and the act of drawing." - Selma Waldman
Malala Yousafzai, July 22, 2014

Getting Girls Educated

Yana Kozukhin

Western feminists have a habit of writing about and advocating for “first world” issues: body image, television and gaming tropes, the wage gap, you name it. It’s logical to be most concerned with the society in which you live and on which you have the most influence, and there’s nothing wrong with this reality. 

Maggie Gyllenhaal

Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal has garnered critical acclaim for her performance in difficult roles in 2002’s Secretary, 2009’s Crazy Heart, and 2014’s The Honourable Woman.

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 no shrinking violet. After a few weeks at home following the wedding, she got a job at the Gary Welfare Department, where she went on home visits and discovered Gary’s devastatingly impoverished African-American community. I am sure that this was a pivotal moment for her—and she never turned back.

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.
Edmund Pettus Bridge

Go See "Selma"

Emilia Diamant

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.

Roberta Galler, 1936 - 2014

Roberta Galler was among hundreds arrested in Jackson, Mississippi in June 1965 protesting local attempts to subvert implementation of the new Voting Rights Act... Rabbi Perry Nussbaum came into the cell housing Roberta and several other Jewish women. Holding up toothbrushes, soap, and other small necessities, he said, "Okay, who in here are my people?" Roberta stepped forward and said "Either all of us are your people or none of us are your people."

Eugenia Goodkind Meyer

Eugenia Goodkind Meyer spent a lifetime working for civil rights on a local level as founder of an urban welfare league offering services to African Americans in White Plains, New York.
Protesters March on South Bay Corrections Facility in Boston, Regarding Michael Brown Shooting, circa 2014

In the Mississippi River

Etta King Heisler

In 1964, three civil rights activists disappeared at the start of Mississippi’s Freedom Summer. Assuming that James Chaney (who was black), Andrew Goodman, and Mickey Schwerner (who were both white) had almost certainly been killed for investigating a racist church bombing, the rivers in Mississippi were dredged to look for their bodies. What they found instead is described in the song “In the Mississippi River” written by Matthew Jones and sung here by the Freedom Singers: Dozens of black Americans who had been murdered, their hands and feet tied, and sunk in the river. It was understood that no one outside of their friends and family members would ever notice they were gone.

Topics: Civil Rights
Beach Sunrise

Keep Loving, Keep Fighting: Reflections after Thanksgiving

Joanna Ware

Sitting in my grandparents' house in Northridge, CA, on stolen land that was originally Barbareño and Chumash territory, I'm thinking a lot about how to foster space for gratitude without erasing the pain and violence in the paths that brought us to this place. Because rolled up in my story, in the events that led to me being in this place with my cherished family of origin, is a lot of pain and violence.

Nina Totenberg’s journalism ignites the Anita Hill hearings.

October 11, 1991

“The [Anita Hill] hearings ripped open the subject of sexual harassment like some sort of long-festering sore."

Birth of Harriet Fleischl Pilpel, pioneer for the right to privacy and free speech

December 2, 1911

Lawyer Harriet Fleischl Pilpel provides the historical link between birth control activist Margaret Sanger and feminist Betty Friedan.

Subscribe to Civil Rights

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Get JWA in your inbox