As a strategist he was crucial to the organization of the March on Washington and his desire for non-violent protest was one that saw him work closely with Martin Luther King. As an openly gay man in a time when homosexuality was criminalized, Rustin’s effectiveness was somewhat limited, as people’s prejudices got the better of their judgment.
Mum Shirl Smith helped young Aborigines in and out of prison. She gave them someone to call “mum”.
Gerry was a star football player for an all white high school in Alexandria, Virginia.
Jessie Daniel Ames was a prominent player in the fight both for women’s rights and for an end to lynching in the South.
Ruby Bridges was among the first black children, among chants of “two, four, six, eight, we don’t want to integrate!” to attend an all-white elementary school in New Orleans.
Atticus Finch is a fictional attorney in the American rural deep south who takes on the defense of a black man, wrongly accused of rape by a white woman in Harper Lee’s famous novel, “To Kill A Mockingbird”.
Michael Young was a British businessman who, in the 1980s, arranged for secret talks between the white leadership of South Africa and the black African National Congress which was then fighting to end apartheid in the country.
William Wilberforce was a British politician, philanthropist, and a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade.
Lillian Wald made extensive changes in health care in New York, focusing on children, women, and African-Americans.