Heather Booth

b. 1945

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Heather Booth until we are able to commission a full entry.

Heather Booth.

Heather Booth helped transform the American political landscape, from her early involvement in both civil rights and abortion rights through her campaign for marriage equality. Booth began participating in the civil rights movement with sit-ins and travelling to Mississippi for Freedom Summer. On her return, she began the first women’s movement organization on a school campus and spearheaded JANE, an abortion counseling service, risking criminal charges in the days before Roe v. Wade. She went on to direct a number of vital national organizations and campaigns and founded the Midwest Academy to train leaders of social change organizations. As executive director of the NAACP National Voter Fund, she helped increase African American turnout in the 2000 election by two million voters. She has consulted for projects ranging from preserving social security and Medicare to immigration to regulating the finance industry, and she was the national coordinator for efforts around the country supporting marriage equality. She was arrested in 2018 at a pro-DACA protest and in 2019 at a climate change rally. In 2017, a documentary, Heather Booth: Changing the World, directed, written, and produced by Lilly Rivlin was released. She served as director of senior and progressive engagement for the Biden/Harris 2020 presidential campaign. In 2022, T'ruah, the Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, awarded Booth the Raphael Lemkin Human Rights Award, saying in the announcement that “Heather Booth has committed her life to bringing a Jewish lens to work for social justice.” 

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Heather Booth." (Viewed on February 23, 2024) <http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/booth-heather>.