The first African-American woman to own and publish a newspaper, The Eagle (later, The California Eagle), Charlotta Bass was a tireless advocate for social change and one of the most influential African-Americans of the 20th century.
Based in Los Angeles, Bass utilized the newspaper as a platform to address issues of race and gender equality, police brutality, and media stereotyping in an era when women and African-Americans were largely being excluded from public discourse.
The son of Filipino immigrants, Laurence Tan was studying to be a doctor when the vision of becoming a teacher presented itself in a dream. Now a fifth grade teacher in Watts, CA, Laurence uses the tool of TEACH to inspire and educate students in an area where opportunities are slim.
Laurence has also helped establish the Watts Youth Collective with former students, an organization that promotes social change through media. Laurence’s 12-hour teaching days and his work with the collective are efforts to produce positive changes in each individual and the community.
Chukou Thao, executive director of National Hmong American Farmers, immigrated to Fresno, CA with his family at age 8, after Laotian citizens were granted asylum in the US after the Vietnam war. Many of the first Hmong farmers suffered from discrimination, so Thao left his "cushy" job at the city of Fresno to ORGANIZE his community in a fight against injustice.
Using the experiences of community members, Thao has grown NHAF to promote economic development, training and assistance to create positive social change in his community.
Leaders of One Mississippi, a student group devoted to bridging racial and social barriers at the University of Mississippi, bring students together for a dialogue meeting about their hopes and fears for the organization.
This is a DVD extra from the PBS program, Not In Our Town: Class Actions. For more information on the film, visit niot.org/ClassActions
University of Mississippi Assistant Provost Dr. Donald Cole shares his point of view on "The South Will Rise Again," chant and other traditions associated with segregation. After attending Ole Miss in 1968, Dr. Cole was soon expelled for his civil rights activity on campus. He now serves as an advisor to the chancellor.
Though the political landscape has changed since the Civil Rights era, Martin Luther King Jr's dream that this country would fulfill its promise of equality has yet to become reality. But Dr. King’s work showed this country that change is possible, and the communities in Embracing the Dream: Lessons from the Not In Our Town Movement are living proof that change is happening—town by town, school by school.