Just for You: International Activists and Leaders
- Text references
- The Making of an Activist – Bella’s Early Family life. 1920-34, pp. 3-15
- The personal is political – Raising a family; living the commitment. 1949-1984, pp. 35-44
- Thinking nationally, working locally – Organizing NYC’s anti-war movement for change. 1966-70, pp.75-83
- UN Conferences on Women in Copenhagen and Nairobi. 1980, 1985, pp.238 – 241
- Going Global – Bella Abzug as an international activist who changed the UN and became a model to women around the world. 1990-98, pp.263-279
- Thought questions (Download pdf )
- What tools, strategies, and skills did Bella Abzug use to mobilize international leaders and grass roots activists.
- How did the UN and the roles of NGO’s change as a result of Bella Abzug’s activism?
- How did Bella Abzug’s personal life inform her public life and vice-verse, starting with her childhood and including her family, religion, friends, and personal health?
- To what extent are all issues on the global agenda women’s issues?
- What in our society today would change the way a modern day Bella Abzug operates, and how would she have to adjust to be effective?
- Rise of the right wing and fundamentalism of all sorts
- Changing demographics, and increasing multiplication and fragmentation of identity
- In Their Own Words: Quotes for Discussion (Download pdf )
- “Once we had raised the public consciousness through demonstrative action, then you’d take that consciousness and turn it into political action. That’s my view.” (Bella Abzug p. 70)
- “…if something really important happened nationally or internationally, you would drop what you were doing on a dime to act on what needed to be addressed.” (Martha Baker p. 235)
- “You’ve got to be creative, experienced, and know how to use the library to ferret out what you need.” (Bella Abzug p. 122)
- “So you’d have a strong, clear message coming from a lot of forces working together – women of color, women in the labor community, political women, movement women. I haven’t seen that kind of action from the women’s community in a long time.” (Martha Baker p. 236)
- “She [Bella] opened up the space at the UN. All the processes that are now standard operating procedure with NGO meetings – the different subgroups, caucuses, lobbying for language – people forget it was not always that way. Bella started it for women, but it benefited everybody.” (June Zeitlin p. 267)
- “The environmental links to breast cancer gave us an entry point that all women can relate to. … Relating things to your own life, your own body is important, and to the struggle of those who are the least fortunate on the planet. Bella was advocating for a deep empathy, a kind of solidarity in organizing, to counter the ‘not in my backyard’ approach.” (Susan Davis p. 271)