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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Civil Rights." (Viewed on January 23, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/civil-rights>.

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