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Response to Part 8 Bottom-Up Struggle for Social Justice: Where Are the Teachers?

ByCARL A. GRANT

Off the top on my head, every major struggle for social justice I can identify was initiated and maintained by the ordinary people, often people living on the margins of mainstream society. The impetus for social justice does not initially come from the top-down efforts of established institutions or individuals who are at the highest levels of the power pyramid. It comes about because some individual decides to rock the boat and standup for equity and equality. Socrates, Martin Luther, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Jones, Sojourner Truth, W.E.B. DuBois, Jane Addams, Anna Julie Cooper, Martin Luther King, Jr., Paulo Freire, and Cesar Chavez were all boat rockers. These women and men refused to be compliant within their geographical and political context. They stood up and spoke truth to power and took action to bring about social equality.