A martyr for liberal ideals during the rise and height of the Nazi Regime in Germany, Sophie Scholl is known for her role in spreading anti-Nazi materials before her death at the hands of said regime. Scholl was twenty-one years of age at the time of her death and was used as a symbol by allied powers and other anti-Nazi groups. She became inspired to uphold liberal ideas and go against the Nazi regime due to her upbringing as the daughter of a liberal and her exposure to philosophical artists and the like. Once she joined the White Rose Movement, she and her brother had been active in distributing information against the Nazi Party. The White Rose was a non-violent resistance movement that used art and anonymously leaflets to inspire others to resist the party. This movement was short-lived in that all the core members were imprisoned by the Gestapo only to be executed after show trials. Throughout the trials and at her execution Scholl showed defiance. In modern Germany she has been voted the fourth of the most inspirational youths of the 20th century out of a hundred.
Caroline Chisholm May 30, 1808 to March 25, 1877
A champion of human rights, Caroline Chisholm spent her time aiding those who came to Australia to find shelter and stable employment. While at first her focus was primarily young women, she shifted her operations to include young men. Her focus was on the well-being of immigrants since the majority who came to Australia would be left to their own devices and often many would not do well. Seeing that the English government was to blame for the plights of these immigrants Chisholm would sail to England to protest and advocate for immigrants to Australia. During her time in the British Isles she also advocated for the rights of Welsh farmers. Much of what she advocated was also focused on keeping families together, this being one of the major issues for immigrants.
Frederic Passy May 20, 1822 to June 12, 1912
Frederic Passy, a pacifist who alongside Henry Dunant won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1901. Passy is best known for his university lectures and several essays written for the advancement of free trade. The university he was known for lecturing at was the University of Montpellier. However, Passy earned his Nobel Prize as an advocate for peace. He wrote several essays on the topic of peace and much of his work was widely known during his time. One such example would be the Historique du Mouvement de la Paix (1905). Defined as the history of the peace movement is a rather lengthy essay on how the worldwide peace movement was formed. It was an argument for peace on a worldwide scale and how it was being accomplished.
The well-known writer, Maya Angelou’s most famous work being her own autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969) grants readers a chance to explore her early life and the many things that she had to go through including being raped as a child by her mother’s boyfriend and her rise to becoming a performer that would later lead her to becoming a writer, poet, director. Her most famous poem Phenomenal Women shows her commitment to the ideals of Feminism. On top of her many accomplishments in the performing arts, Angelou is also an accomplished polyglot that had allowed her to expand her horizons during a tour to Europe. On the day of her passing she was honored by first lady Michelle Obama and many others.
Paul Robeson April 9, 1898 to January 23, 1976
A singer and actor during the pivotal hundred years of social development, Paul Robeson is well known for his abilities in these artistic formats but did not limit himself to be a showman with no substance. He used his platform to speak out against what he saw as injustices during his lifetime. This includes speaking out against the Spanish Civil War, fascism, and of course social injustices. During his life he took a stand against the injustices against people of African descent within the United States, something that would often cost him dearly in terms of being able to make a living as a performer, but this did not silence his voice as a social figure or activist. Robeson spent his whole professional life fighting against injustices and received many awards posthumously for both his activism and acting.
Michael Franti April 21, 1966 to Present
Michael Franti is a singer, songwriter, poet, and founder of many bands of mixed genres that all focus on political issues and the plight of those affected by greed and oppression. His current band The Spearhead has focused on the conflicts in the Middle East with music videos showing actual footage of fighting. Franti is seen as the best example of a modern protest artist using many different genres to expand his message to different audiences. His most famous album Yell Fire had reached top charts with its focus on the armed conflicts in the world and a call for peace.
Chaz Bono is a musician, author, and actor who grabbed public attention when he came out as a member of the LGBT community in 1995 in the magazine, The Advocate. In the magazine to encouraged teens that were experiencing what he had to be honest with themselves. He furthered his activism by forming the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) that was created to combat abuse of members of the LGBT community. Through 2008 to 2010, Bono documented his transition from female to male called Becoming Chaz, which showed how the transition process worked and what the mental strain that people in his position go through in order to feel like themselves. Currently not much is known about what Bono is doing, but he has been praised by the LGBT community for his work and for being so open about his journey.
Lillian D. Wald March 10, 1867 to September 4, 1940
Lillian D. Wald was a nurse, humanitarian, suffragette, and a founding member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Ms. Wald spent much of her professional life aiding those of a lower economic class with issues related to health and sanitation. In 1893, with Mary Brewster, Wald set up the Visiting Nurses Service, an organization that would have three-thousand club members and a hundred trained nurses by 1915. Through her efforts New York would set up the first Public Health system. Her work for the foundation of the NAACP included medical work and granting all races a chance for better sanitary conditions.
Shirin Nashat March 26, 1957 to Present
Shirin Nashat is an Iranian photographer who uses her art to highlight the strength of women living in traditional Muslim societies. While gaining her higher education in the United States she was away from Iran during its revolution of 1979 and has been an active member of the resistance against the current regime. Her ideologies developed after returning to Iran in 1990 and found that women in the nation had been reduced to lower class citizens by the ruling elite, which sparked her interest in photographing women. By doing so her work has appeared in many prominent museums from Amsterdam to New York City. Granting her more public acclaim and more supporters for her cause against gender discrimination in her homeland.