Activist Video Archive

Preserving progressive, multicultural voices of Los Angeles area activists and philanthropists.

Preserving progressive, multicultural voices of Los Angeles area activists and philanthropists.

Ralph Fertig

Part One

Part Two

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. His own house became the headquarters for the Congress on Racial Equality and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, and from those associations, participated in the Freedom Rides in the South. Moving to Washington, D.C., he was involved in the planning committee of the March on Washington and lobbied for passage of historic Civil Rights Act in l964. He came to Los Angeles to take over the Greater Los Angeles Community Action Agency under Mayor Tom Bradley. He studied for and passed the Bar Exam and became a human rights lawyer. Currently, he teaches Social Work at USC.


“Everything that is tearing us down today will become a memory, and this memory will be shared as an anecdote or a story or a poem or a play or a warning. It will be shared with another human being, who will then understand that he is not alone in his sadness. This is why we show up for others and tell our tales and listen to others. The great congregation meets daily, and you are someone’s angel today.”

-Tennessee Williams/Interview with James Grissom

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