Teaching History as an Act of Nonviolent Protest: SNCC’s Freedom Schools and History Curriculum

This article was written by Axell Boomer and was awarded the Civil Resistance Prize by the History Department in 2024. It was originally written for the Nonviolence Project: As systemic inequalities—which arrived from the institution of American slavery—manifested themselves into the classroom, Black students were left with less federal support than White students in the American South. Black students in Mississippi, despite comprising fifty-seven percent of “school-aged children,” received “only thirteen percent of state funds.”

Toppling the Walls of Patriarchy and Militarism: The Women of Greenham Common

A fundamental tenet of civil disobedience, which entails deliberately violating the law as a means of exposing injustice, is encapsulated by the following phrase: “If you always do as you’re told, then you don’t ever change anything.” Roughly 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall—a physical representation of the regime that fell along with it—these words found their way into a documentary about a peace camp that played a critical role in ending the Cold War.

Unions and Strikes in Hollywood

The 2023 Screen Actors Guild–American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike started on May 2nd, 2023 and lasted until just recently, when the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) agreed to negotiate with union leaders’ and workers’ demands, on September 27th, 2023.

Barrier Breakers – Mercile Lee

One of the most impactful methods of nonviolent activism at UW-Madison can be found in scholarships, the Chancellor Scholarship and Powers-Knapp Scholarship, now known as the Mercile Lee Scholars Program. This program, named after Mercile Lee, a lifelong advocate for Civil Rights and racial equality, aims “to attract, support and develop the abilities and potential of academically talented and outstanding individuals from underrepresented groups.”