Category: activism

Bertha Gilkey (1949-2014) was an activist for …

Bertha Gilkey
(1949-2014) was an
activist for better housing for the African-American community. She was active
around St Louis, Missouri.

She started advocating for better housing
from a very young age, leading a nine-month rent strike which involved more
than twenty-two thousand tenants who were living in intolerable conditions. She
eventually set up the first tenant management association in the city, which
rehabilitated and managed the Cochran Gardens Housing Project, greatly
improving the living conditions of thousands.

Myrlie Evers-Williams (b. 1933) is a civil rig…

(b. 1933) is a civil rights activist
and journalist, who served as chairwoman of the NAACP. She delivered the
invocation at President Obama’s second inauguration.

She worked for the desegregation of schools
and voter registration in her native state of Mississippi. After her husband,
also an activist, was killed by a white supremacist in 1963, she sought justice
for him for more than three decades.

Mona Seif (b. 1986, pictured with her mother L…

Mona Seif (b. 1986, pictured with her mother Laila, also an activist) is a human rights
activist from Egypt. She is most famous for her involvement in the 2011
Egyptian Revolution and her creative use of social media in support of the

She attended numerous
protests against the Mubarak regime and encouraged participation through social
media. After the downfall of the regime, she founded a group that aims to stop
military trials for civilians in the country. She also studied biology and
researched the BRCA1 breast cancer gene.

Aslı Erdoğan (b. 1967) is a Turkish author, jo…

Aslı Erdoğan (b. 1967) is a
Turkish author, journalist and human rights activist. She was the recipient of
the Simone de Beauvoir Prize in 2018.

She studied physics and computer engineering and
worked for a period of time as a particle physicist for the European Organization
for Nuclear Research. Her novels were translated in several languages and won
international prizes. In 2016 she was arrested for being a contributor to the
newspaper Özgür Gündem (New Agenda).

Marian de Forest (1864-1935) was an author, jo…

Marian de
was an author, journalist, and women’s rights activist. She was the founder of
Zonta (still active today as Zonta International), an organisation dedicated to
advancing the status of women in business and society.

She was active in
Buffalo, New York, where she worked as one of the area’s first female reporters
and helped form the Buffalo Musical Foundation, as well as its Philharmonic
Orchestra. She founded Zonta in 1919 with the aim of improving the legal,
economic, political and professional status of women around the world.

Lugenia Burns Hope (1871-1947) was an activist…

Lugenia Burns
was an activist and social reformer in Atlanta, Georgia. Her actions helped
improve the lives of African American citizens in her community and inspired
actions within the future Civil Rights Movement.

She studied art and
business in Chicago and moved to Atlanta in 1897, where she helped create the
Neighborhood Union – the first female-led social welfare agency for African
Americans in the city. The organisation provided social, educational, medical
and recreational services for the community. She also fought for the
desegregation of the national YWCA and served as the vice president of the
NAACP branch in Atlanta, where she organised courses on politics and voting.

Marie Stritt (1855-1928) was a prominent femin…

Marie Stritt (1855-1928) was a prominent feminist
and suffragist in Germany. She helped improve women’s rights in terms of
politics, society and reproductive health.

She worked with groups
such as the Women’s Legal Aid Society and the International Woman Suffrage
Alliance, of which she was a leader. She was also a founder and chair of the International
Alliance of Women, who still works today to promote women’s rights around the

Mary Lee (1821-1909) was an Irish-Australian s…

Mary Lee (1821-1909) was an
Irish-Australian suffragist and social reformer. She campaigned extensively for
women’s and children’s rights in South Australia.

She was part of a group that campaigned for
child labour laws and better working condition for women, among others; in
1885, the group’s efforts led to the age of consent being raised from 13 to 16.
She helped create the South Australian Women’s Suffrage League in 1889 – women were
granted the vote five years later.

Shiva Rose (b. 1969) is an actress and activis…

Shiva Rose (b. 1969) is an actress and
activist. She also pens essays on human rights on her own blog at The
Huffington Post.

She is active in
numerous organisations such as V-Day, VIP (Violence Intervention Program) or
CCFA (Caring for Children and Families with AIDS). Her own programme, Resource, aims to feed the homeless.

Betty Bumpers (1925-2018) was the First Lady o…

Betty Bumpers
(1925-2018) was
the First Lady of Arkansas between 1971 and 1975. Along with Rosalynn Carter,
she headed a successful campaign to immunise all school children in the United

She had a career as a teacher in Arkansas, a
state that had one of the lowest rates of childhood immunisation in the
country. Her programme, entitled Every Child by ‘74, delivered vaccinations to
hundreds of thousands of children and served as a model for other such
programmes across the nation. By 2012, her efforts led to an immunisation rate
of 90 percent among American children younger than two.