The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s moved pivotal barriers that segregated and discriminated communities based on race. The civic consciousness was active and awake, numerous grassroots efforts reached a critical mass and the Civil Rights Movement implemented strategies that permanently changed legislation. The outcome resulted in three landmark laws: the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which banned the discrimination of people based on their race, color, religion, or national origin in employment practices and public accommodations; The Voting Rights Act 1965, which prohibited discrimination in voting; and the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which lifted discriminatory restrictions on immigration based on ethnicity.
Fifty years after the marches from Selma, in today’s context of #blacklivesmatter, we are reminded that in 2015 some fundamental civil rights are still not accessible to all people. There are many systems—economic, educational, criminal—that produce inequitable, unjust environments that, by design, are meant to disempower and marginalize communities. Social justice movements work towards transforming these systems, with the goal that everyone is represented and that all outcomes are equitably beneficial to all. More