Do you have activist students who have questions about how best to build a life around making social change? Do you want to find a classroom resource that weaves together a range of post-war social movements? Looking for ways to inspire hope in the age of Trump?
If you answered “yes,” there’s a new resource to put on your radar: the newest film by critically acclaimed filmmaker Lilly Rivlin, Heather Booth: Changing the World.
Heather Booth, a renowned organizer and activist, began her remarkable career as an activist while she was an undergraduate at the University of Chicago. One of the most memorable scenes in the film shows a young Booth playing guitar alongside Fannie Lou Hamer while part of the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project. The film followed Booth’s trajectory as she founded the JANE underground in 1964, and then started the Midwest Academy in 1973 to train organizers after learning that women were not prioritized in other training setting. She then began to organize within an electoral political framework. “I learned that if you don’t do politics, politics do you,” asserted Booth. She was instrumental in Harold Washington’s 1983 successful Chicago mayoral run, and in the 2000 NAACP Voter Fund’s campaign. Interviews include leaders such Senator Elizabeth Warren:
When I was asked how to get organized, I was told two words. Heather Booth.– Senator Elizabeth Warren
Campuses nationwide such as Georgetown University, the University of Chicago and American University, have hosted screenings as a tool to:
- teach and discuss with students the history of modern organizing and social justice movements of the past 50 years
- learn about being an organizer in this political climate
- engage with students about their career paths and how to most effectively engage as activists.