Last month we asked you which ten activists and organizations working on social justice issues in the United States have had the most influence during the past three decades (1973-2003), and now the ballots are in. The vote was incredibly close, and there were even a few irresolvable ties. (In fact, the vote for the most influential organizations was so close that we need your help in whittling the list of eighteen organizations down to ten — click here to help out.)

The list that our readers came up with is by no means exhaustive. As one reader explained, “We probably don’t know many of the most important activists by name because they’ve been busy cultivating other leaders. It’s sort of weird to lionize an individual activist since activism is a group effort by nature.” Other readers made it a point to mention that activism isn’t always characterized by a liberal slant.

That said, the ten activists selected represent a wide array of accomplishments, causes, and political strategies. They have transformed the lives of countless people around the world. And they continue to challenge and inspire future generations of leaders and activists. We hope you will join us in recognizing the importance of their work.

Laura Nathan
Managing Editor, InTheFray Magazine
Austin, Texas

TEN MOST INFLUENTIAL ACTIVISTS FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE IN THE UNITED STATES
(1973-2003)

#9 – Oprah Winfrey

#9 – Barbara Ehrenreich

#8 – Bono

#7 – Jimmy and Roslyn Carter

#5 – Jesse Jackson

#5 – Edward Said

#4 – Gloria Steinem

#3 – Ralph Nader

#2 – Noam Chomsky

And the Readers’ Choice for the MOST INFLUENTIAL ACTIVIST FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE IN THE PAST THIRTY YEARS:

#1 – Cesar Chavez

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