December Birthdays

Please join us celebrating the birthdays of these notable figures and applaud them for their work in Social Justice. 

*The Museum of Social Justice would like to hear from you! If there is a notable figure who was born in January and should be recognized in our Monthly Birthday posts, please feel free to email Please submit by December 15, 2014. The winner will receive a prize. 


Ella Baker (December 13, 1903-December 13, 1986)

             Ella Baker was known as a civil rights and human rights activist. She worked closely with Martin Luther King, Jr. and mentored Rosa Parks and Stokely Carmichael. She participated in multiple organizations and programs such as; Works Progress Administration, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Southern Christian Leadership Committee, and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Baker also founded the Young Negroes’ Cooperative League. Although, not as well none as some civil rights activists, Ella Baker was one of the most powerful and influential leaders of the Civil Rights Movement.

Tom Bradley (December 29, 1917- September 29, 1998) 

            Tom Bradley was the first and only African American mayor in Los Angeles. He served as Mayor of Los Angeles from 1973 to 1993. In 1979, he signed the first homosexual rights bill. He is also credited for opening the City Hall and city commissions to women, minorities, and the disabled. Furthermore, he diversified Los Angeles, enforced social justice reforms such as anti-apartheid business practices and prohibiting homosexual discrimination. The people elected Tom Bradley to guide the city of Los Angeles for over twenty years because of his unique ability to build coalitions across political, ethnic, and racial divides.

Medha Patkar (December 1, 1954)

            Medha Patkar is the founder of Narmada Bachao Andolan, a social movement of farmers, environmentalists, and human rights activists against the construction of dams on the Narmada River. The dam project was not sanctioned and post-project problems were overlooked. Patkar was also the representative to the World Commission on Dams. She researched the environmental, social, and economic effects of the construction of dams. Patkar has won several awards including; Goldman Environment Award and the Human Rights Defender’s Award from Amnesty International, Germany.

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