social movements + innovation lab


In order to create the constant cycles of disruption and challenge needed to sustain a social movement, we must study the histories of previous social movements. Doing so provides insight on and lessons in the successes and failures of previous social movement strategies.

Recommended Resources

Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women in SNCC. Edited by Faith S. Holsaert, Martha Prescod Norman Noonan, Judy Richardson, Betty Garman Robinson, Jean Smith Young, and Dorothy M. Zellner

TED Talk by Erica Chenoweth: The success of nonviolent civil resistance

Social Justice Activists & Academics

Social Justice Activists By learning from past social movements, social justice activists are able to reflect and identify the characteristics and tactics that have been the most and least effective. They can also identify how and why movements look different regionally and how to build a culture of collaboration.
Academics When teaching this curriculum, learning the histories of past social movements in critical in a student’s understanding of the successes and failures that have led to today’s social injustices. Learning about a social movement also provides insight into the rise and successes of countermovements.