Community Activism

Shahjehan Aapa : 1946-2013

Shahjehan Aapa


Shahjehan Aapa grew up near Delhi in extreme poverty. In the late 1970s, her young daughter was burned alive because of dowry harassment, a tragedy that moved her to social activism. She helped found Shakti Shalini in 1987, an NGO that addresses gender-based violence by working both with individuals and with the broader community. The GFP staff note with sadness Shahjehan's death in September of 2013 after an accident on her way to Mahela Panchayat.
Keywords: gender-based violence, community activism
Media: Transcript (English), VideoBibliographyYouTube Video, Name Pronunciation Audio

Grace Lee Boggs : 1915-2015

Grace Lee Boggs


Grace Lee Boggs (1915-2015) was an activist and writer. A daughter of Chinese immigrants, she moved to Detroit and worked in grassroots projects together with her partner, James Boggs. They founded Detroit Summer, an intergenerational multicultural youth movement, and wrote in the Michigan Citizen newspaper. She published her autobiography, Living for Change, and among others, received the distinguished Alumna Award from Barnard College, the Chinese American Pioneers Award from the Organization of Chinese Americans, and a lifetime achievement award from the Anti-Defamation League. A plaque in her honor is at the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, NY. The GFP staff were saddened by Grace's death in 2015. Read the NYT obituary to learn more about her remarkable life, spanning a full century, as a human rights activist.
Keywords: community activism, education, intersectionality, politics, law
Media: Transcript (English), VideoBibliographyYouTube VideoName Pronunciation Audio

Jarjum Ete :

Jarjum Ete

Jarjum Ete, born in 1963, belongs to the Galo tribe and is the Chairperson of the Arunachal Pradesh State Commission on Women which discusses women's participation in panchayats, customary laws, need for a state women's commission and anti-liquor laws. She has very strong views on legalisation of prostitution.
Keywords: community activism, human trafficking, prostitution, intersectionality, politics, law
Media: Transcript (English), VideoBibliographyYouTube VideoName Pronunciation Audio

Marian Kramer :

Marian Kramer

Marian Kramer (interviewed with Maureen Taylor) at last contact was the co-chair of the National Welfare Rights Union. She has fought government programs, such as Workfare, defended poor women against unjust persecution for welfare fraud and led campaigns to elect the victims of poverty to political office. She has organized poor people's movements, housing takeovers by people without homes, and led efforts to unionize in the South. She has received many community service awards and mentors college students fighting poverty. 
Keywords: community activism, politics, law
Media: Transcript (English), VideoBibliographyYouTube VideoName Pronunciation Audio

Yamileth Mejía :

Yamileth Mejía

Yamileth Mejía was born in 1967, joining the national Literacy Campaign as a girl and receiving her teacher training in Cuba in 1984. She is one of the nine feminists formally accused by the Government of Nicaragua for supporting the rights of an eleven year-old girl who had been raped to obtain an abortion. At last contact, she was working for the Project for Comprehensive Services to Victims of Gender-based Violence funded by the Spanish Cooperation Agency.
Keywords: community activism, education, gender-based violence, reproductive rights, family roles
Media: Transcript (EnglishSpanish), Video (EnglishSpanish), BibliographyEnglish YouTube Video, Name Pronunciation Audio

Sista II Sista :

Sista II Sista

Sista II Sista is a Brooklyn-wide, community-based organization located in New York. It is a collective of working class young and adult Black and Latino women building together to model a society based on liberation and love. The organization is dedicated to working with young women of color to develop personal, spiritual and collective power, and is involved in a variety of projects, including The Freedom School for Young Women of Color, The Big Mouth Project, and Sista Liberated Ground.
Keywords: community activism, gender-based violence, intersectionality
Media: Transcript (English), VideoBibliographyYouTube VideoName Pronunciation Audio

Maureen Taylor :

Maureen Taylor

Maureen Taylor (interviewed with Marian Kramer) is a social worker and community activist. She has served as chair of the Michigan Welfare Rights organization and was elected treasurer of the National Welfare Rights Union. She defends recipients of public aid at the Michigan Family Independence Agency in case disputes, and directs the Detroit NFI Community Self Sufficiency Center. She was awarded the National Community Leader Award from the National Black Caucus in Washington, DC.
Keywords: community activism, politics, law
Media: Transcript (English), VideoBibliographyYouTube VideoName Pronunciation Audio

Ruth Vanita :

Ruth Vanita

Ruth Vanita, born in 1955, is an author and professor at the University of Montana, where she teaches courses in the Humanities, Literature, and Women's Studies. She was formerly a reader in English at Miranda House and the English department, Delhi University. She is one of the founding co-editors of Manushi, India's first feminist journal.
Keywords: education, gender-based violence, LGBTQ rights, community activism, academia
Media: Transcript (English), VideoBibliographyYouTube VideoName Pronunciation Audio

Elizabeth Viana :

Elizabeth Viana

Elizabeth Viana (interviewed with Giovana Xavier) was born in 1954 in Rio de Janeiro and is a sociologist. She helped found the Group Lima Barret and actively participated in the democratization process of the country. She has been involved with the Nzinga Collective of Women, the Unified Black Movement (MNU), and the Black Action of Nilópolis. She has been the Legislative Assistant at the Municipal Chamber of Rio de Janeiro for 35 years.
Keywords: community activism, racial identity, academic activism, reform of domestic/family roles 
Media: Transcript (EnglishPortuguese), VideoYouTube Video, Name Pronunciation Audio

Shirley Villela :

Shirley Villela

Shirley Villela, born in Rio de Janeiro in 1964, began her professional work in gender issues while living for three years in the USA, volunteering at the International Gender and Trade Network. Since 2012, she has been the Coordinator of the Maré de Sabores project, a vocational training project for women in Rio.
Keywords: community development, continuing education, poverty
Media: Transcript (EnglishPortuguese), VideoYouTube Video, Name Pronunciation Audio

Giovana Xavier :

Giovana Xavier

Giovana Xavier (interviewed with Elizabeth Viana) was born in 1979 in Irajá. She is a professor of History at The Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. As a black intersectional feminist, Giovana situates her activism in the academy, especially through her work with black students at the university. At the last contact, she was involved in the project “Black Professors in the First Person: History Teaching and Activist Research.”
Keywords: community activism, racial identity, academic activism, academia and women's studies
Media: Transcript (EnglishPortuguese), VideoYouTube Video, Name Pronunciation Audio