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Civil Rights

Alicia Garza

After her impassioned plea that black lives matter ignited the internet, Alicia Garza helped lead the movement that has transformed the modern struggle for civil rights.

Rising Above

Susan Penn is my Dad’s sister and my aunt, and she is very close to me and valued in my life. Driven by a desire to enhance the lives around her, Susan doesn't believe in any kind of discrimination or intolerance. I’m overjoyed that I get to have someone in my life who is such a strong role model, mentor, and friend. 

Jill Jacobs

Jill Jacobs, the executive director of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, has pushed for Jews to take an active role in social justice, from supporting health care and environmental reform to condemning torture and human rights violations.

Book Review: Waveland

It seems fitting that as I sit down to write this review, I am receiving Facebook updates from the #FordHall2015 group at my alma mater, Brandeis University. For nearly two weeks this group of Black students and allies occupied the administrative building on campus to demand that the university rededicate itself to racial justice and equality. 

Barbara Brenner, 1951 - 2013

For her 60th birthday, Barbara Brenner’s partner, Suzanne Lampert, invited a number of Barbara’s friends over for a party and asked them to bring their laptops.  Once there, the guests’ computers were fitted with software that allowed them to type whatever they wished to say and have it spoken aloud by the machines.  Barbara, who had lost her ability to speak as a result of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), now was surrounded by close companions who communicated in the same manner she had been using for a long while.

One Year Since Ferguson: An Interview with Activist Sarah Barasch-Hagans

Sarah Barasch-Hagans is a rabbinical student and activist who has been deeply involved in the fight for justice for Black Americans in Ferguson, Missouri. Her new venture, Fargesn Media, seeks to give a voice to the people of Ferguson and empower them to tell their own story. Sarah spoke to JWA about Jewish activism, her experiences in Ferguson since last August, and where we as a community should go from here.

Shirley Siegel

The only woman in the Yale Law School class of 1941, Shirley Adelson Siegel became a trailblazer as head of the New York State Attorney’s first Civil Rights Bureau in 1959.

Odetta Holmes, Singing for the Voiceless

Through her blues music, Holmes inspired people all over America to take a stand for black equality. She performed at numerous rallies, advocating for civil rights for all; in fact, her music is often called the “soundtrack of the Civil Rights movement.” 

#Blacklivesmatter Matters

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.”

Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar’s Pursuit of Happiness

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.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Civil Rights." (Viewed on December 2, 2016) <https://jwa.org/topics/civil-rights>.

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