Bill Zimmerman earned a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, and taught briefly there and at Brooklyn College. In the early 1960's, a trip to Greenwood, Mississippi, in support of civil rights activists brought him face to face with systematic racism and set him on an activist life.
Marge Tabankin was born in Newark and attended the same High School as that famous and controversial chronicler of Jewish life, Philip Roth. When she was 15, she heard Tom Hayden speak about his community organizing in Newark and the presentation was like a honing device that set the course of her professional life.
Ed Asner was born in Kansas City to uneducated immigrant parents from Russia and Lithuania. His family benefited from Jewish social service organizations that helped the young family gain a footing in the United States.
Ed Pearl spent the early part of his childhood in Boyle Heights where he lived among an amalgam of Jewish and Mexican families, a new generation of immigrants from Mexico fast supplanting the Russian and Eastern European enclave.
Reverend Dr. George Regas studied at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass., and Cambridge University; he received his doctorate from the Claremont School of Theology. His first parish, on the eve of the Civil Rights Movement, was in Pulaski, Tennessee, the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan.
Jack Shakely was born in Oklahoma and came of age working in a family run newspaper owned by his Uncle. After majoring in Journalism at the University of Oklahoma, Jack, who was greatly influenced by the Presidency of Jack Kennedy, joined the Peace Corp, learning Spanish and serving in Costa Rica.
Rodolfo F. Acuña,Ph.d, is a historian, professor emeritus, and one of the leading scholars of Chicano Studies, which he teaches at Cal State Northridge. He is the author Occupied America: A History of Chicanos, now in its seventh printing.
Tom Hayden - One of founding members of Students for a Democratic Society, Tom Hayden was a teacher, writer, journalist, and Legislator. Recently, he was named by The Nation Magazine as one of the most influential progressives of the 20th Century.
Peter Douglas is the first environmental activist we have profiled at the Activist Video Archive. Peter wrote the law protecting the California Coast, and was longtime Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission.
Fr. Greg Boyle is a Jesuit priest and the founder and Executive Director of Homeboy Industries. As a pastor working in a neighborhood with the highest concentration of gang activity in Los Angeles, Greg Boyle created an organization to provide jobs, job training, and encouragement so that young people can learn the mutual respect that comes from collaboration.
Mike Farrell is an actor, writer, director and producer, President of the board of Death Penalty Focus, Co-chair Emeritus of the California Committee of Human Rights Watch, spokesperson for Concern America, and author of "Just Call Me Mike; a Journey to Actor and Activist" and "Of Mule and Man."
Irv was born in the Bronx in the Worker’s Cooperative Colony, known as the"Coops," a community of 5000 people, mostly from Europe, who identified themselves as Leftists. He was a member of the Young Pioneers and even as a child, worked to support members of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade fighting in the Spanish Civil War.
Lila Garrett is a writer, producer and radio host. She came to Los Angeles after studying acting and appearing in plays in New York and Chicago. From a socialist family, advocating for those less fortunate and those who take the "minority" position was second nature to her almost from birth.
Peg Yorkin was born in New York and came to Los Angeles after studying acting. Eventually, she married and raised children, producing plays and raising money for charities. In 1988, Peg, Eleanor Smeal, Katherine Spillar, Toni Carabillo, and Judith Meuli founded The Feminist Majority Foundation.
Ralph was already an activist when he was in his Chicago grade school... He studied at Columbia under the legendary C. Wright Mills and worked at a settlement house in New York while taking his degree. He moved back to Chicago to work in another Settlement House.
Descendant of slaves and slave owners, Oneil Cannon came to Los Angeles after service in WWII from Plaquemines Parish in Louisiana. He became a printer, working for Charlotta Bass, who owned the California Eagle Newspaper which served South Central, Watts, Willowbrook area of Los Angeles.
Bob Zaugh was born and grew up in Los Angeles. As a young teenager, he was swept up in the rabid Anti - Communism of the 1950's and only shifted his views in junior college when he took a Political Science class from a brilliant and charismatic teacher who saw the divisions and power balances in national and world politics from the standpoint of the disenfranchised.
Paula and Barry met in high school. They attended UC Berkeley and were there during the Free Speech movement. Paula volunteered at Peter Maurin House (Catholic Worker) in West Oakland where she had her first real involvement in poor African American neighborhood.