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Civil Rights

Adrienne Rich

Adrienne Cecile Rich used her poetry as a means to reclaim the voices of the silenced, drawing from her own experience as a woman and lesbian.

Bessie Abramowitz Hillman

Bessie Abramowitz devoted her life to unions, organizing her first strike at fifteen, announcing her engagement on a picket line, and continuing her efforts for workers’ rights until her death.

Sandra Feldman

Sandra Feldman dedicated her career to protecting the rights of educators as the first woman president of both New York City’s Union Federation of Teachers (UFT) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

Letty Cottin Pogrebin

Both in her own writing and as founding editor of Ms. magazine, Letty Cottin Pogrebin gave voice to the driving concerns of women in the feminist movement.

Joan Nestle

Driven by the concern that “the colonized are condemned to lose their memory,” lesbian writer and activist Joan Nestle created the Lesbian Herstory Archives.

Sharon Kleinbaum

Sharon Kleinbaum’s longtime leadership of Congregation Beth Simchat Torah and her outspoken activism have made her a powerful voice for GLBTQ rights and human rights in America and around the world.

Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem is a leader, spokeswoman, and icon of the feminist movement.

Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz

Both in her activism and in her writing, Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz offered Jews new ways to think about and fight racism.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg brought landmark cases for gender and racial equality before the Supreme Court, transforming the American legal landscape even before her historic appointment as the second-ever female Supreme Court justice.

Sonia Pressman Fuentes

Sonia Pressman Fuentes, the first female attorney in the office of the general counsel of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, helped extend the Civil Rights Act’s protections of equal opportunity to all people regardless of gender.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Civil Rights." (Viewed on December 4, 2016) <https://jwa.org/topics/civil-rights>.

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