Women's History Month Feature: Grace Lee Boggs - Living for Change

The month of March signifies the beginning of Women’s history Month. In honor of this occasion, we will be featuring an outstanding woman from history, highlighting the amazing accomplishments of women in our nation’s storied past.

Our third installment features Grace Lee Boggs, an American author and philosopher who is considered the eldest human rights activist of our time. She was a major advocate for civil rights and a more just economic system.

Grace Lee Boggs was born to Chinese immigrants in Rhode Island and eventually graduated from Barnard College (which so happens to be Denise’s alma mater). From there, she obtained her Ph.D in philosophy from Bryn Mawr College. She married the prominent activist James Boggs, and together they would become trailblazers in social activism. They would eventually found the National Organization for an American Revolution, which promoted social justice causes and published activist literature.

Denied a career in academia due to racial and gender biases, Ms. Lee Boggs turned her focus to writing and additional activist pursuits. She became active in the Black Power movement and also joined the Johnson-Forest Tendency, which focused on marginalized groups such as woman, people of color and youth.

Grace Lee Boggs was a prolific writer, and some of her most notable works include The Invading Socialist Society, Revolution and Evolution in the Twentieth Century, and her autobiography, Living for Change.

Upon moving to Detroit, Grace Lee Boggs became incredibly engaged in youth education and activism. She founded Detroit Summer, a multicultural youth program in 1992. Around this time, the Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership was also founded as a place for grassroots organizing and local social activism.

Towards the end of her life, she opened the James and Grace Lee Boggs School in Detroit, and education proved throughout her life to be of the utmost importance to her. She passed in October 2015, leaving behind a legacy of social and economic justice and activism. Grace Lee Boggs was proof that no matter your background, anyone can be a change for good in the world.

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