Activism

During the 2017 Grocery Walk, more than 500 protestors demanded greater investment in food access programs and healthy food retail options in a local Washington D.C. community.

In a City Flush With Power and Wealth, D.C.'s Ward 8 Faces Food Inequity

Eleven percent of U.S. households experience hunger; an expansive, new exhibition focuses how a local community manages this national problem

Shaped mostly like a diamond, Washington, D.C. is organized by geographical divides centered on the U.S. Capitol and the White House, using mathematical principles employed by the original designer, Pierre Charles L’Enfant.

Track the Hidden Histories Lurking in the Street Names of Washington, D.C.

A new exhibition highlights the people behind some of the capital city’s roadways, plazas and parks

Del Martin, left, and Phyllis Lyon were officially wed June 16, 2008 in the first same-sex wedding to take place in San Francisco after legalization.

The Incredible Story of Lesbian Activists Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon

After first meeting in 1950, the couple was instrumental in founding the nation’s first organization for gay women

Members of the public take part in a blessing of the Lummi Nation totem pole in San Leandro, California, on June 3. The House of Tears Carvers toured the pole around the West Coast before embarking on a two-week journey to Washington, D.C.

Why Indigenous Activists Are Driving a 25-Foot Totem Pole Across the Country

Master carvers from the Lummi Nation, a Native tribe in Washington, crafted the 5,000-pound object from a single red cedar tree

Oluwaseyi at a Movie screening hosted by her organization in commemoration of Global Recycling Day 2021.

Smithsonian Voices

How Nigeria's Oluwaseyi Moejoh's Conservation Activism Is Spreading Across Africa and Beyond

The founder of U-recycle Initiative Africa, current law student, and all-around force for positive change is a powerful advocate for a sustainable planet

The statue is finally being unveiled this week after a seven-year fundraising effort and a three-year construction effort.

Women Who Shaped History

Chicago's First Monument to a Black Woman Will Commemorate Activist Ida B. Wells

Sculptor Richard Hunt designed the statue, which is called 'Light of Truth'

Early Juneteenth celebrations featured picnics, rodeos, horseback riding and other festivities.

Juneteenth, the U.S.' Second Independence Day, Is Now a Federal Holiday

June 19, 1865, marked the end of slavery in Texas and, by extension, the Confederate states

Queer artist Gilbert Baker preserved this 10- by 28-foot section of an original 1978 pride flag.

LGBTQ+ Pride

Long-Lost Fragment of First Rainbow Pride Flag Resurfaces After Four Decades

The brilliantly colored banner—now on view in San Francisco—flew on "Gay Freedom Day" in 1978

The mini museum is housed on the first floor of an Oakland, California, house whose exterior is decorated with a mural honoring the women of the Black Panther Party.

Mini Museum Honoring the Black Panther Party Will Debut on Juneteenth

A pop-up exhibition dedicated to the Black power organization is set to open in Oakland, California, on June 19

Immaculate Heart College Art Department, c. 1955

Women Who Shaped History

Studio of 'Pop Art Nun' Corita Kent Saved From Becoming Parking Lot

The artist's brightly colored silkscreen works addressed civil rights and social justice issues

Artist Kenny Altidor unveiled this Brooklyn mural of George Floyd in July 2020.

Remembering George Floyd and the Movement He Sparked

Kevin Young, director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, reflects on the one-year anniversary of Floyd's killing

A gangster, civil rights advocate, fashionista and businesswoman, St. Clair successfully took on one of the biggest crime bosses of the era.

Women Who Shaped History

Stephanie St. Clair, Harlem's 'Numbers Queen,' Dominated the Gambling Underground and Made Millions

In the 1930s, the enigmatic figure ran an illegal lottery while championing New York City's Black community

Featuring South African actress Thuso Mbedu as Cora (pictured here), the adaptation arrives amid a national reckoning on systemic injustice, as well as a renewed debate over cultural depictions of violence against Black bodies.

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind Amazon Prime's 'Underground Railroad'

The adaptation of Colson Whitehead's Pulitzer Prize–winning novel reimagines the eponymous trail to freedom as an actual train track

The cathedral's dean, Randy Hollerith, describes Wiesel as “the living embodiment of resilience in the face of hatred.”

National Cathedral Unveils Carving of Elie Wiesel, Nobel Laureate and Chronicler of the Holocaust

The bust of the "Night" author appears in a corner of the Washington, D.C. church's Human Rights Porch

Following a 1985 police bombing that left 11 dead, mourners stand in front of MOVE's former headquarters, raising their arms in the Black Power salute as the funeral procession for leader John Africa passes.

Museum Kept Bones of Black Children Killed in 1985 Police Bombing in Storage for Decades

Outrage erupted over the revelation that the likely remains of two young victims were held in and studied at Ivy League institutions

"The Grave of Bonaparte" sheet music, song and music by L. Heath, as performed by the Hutchinson Family Singers, Boston, 1843. "The Grave of Bonaparte," recalling the French leader who vanquished much of Europe before being defeated, reflected the Hutchinson Family Singers' concern for the cause of freedom abroad as well as at home.

Smithsonian Voices

How the Arts Have Inspired Social Change

Americans have a long tradition of inspiring and elevating movements for change using benefit concerts, song and other artistic traditions

Pleasant Plains School in Hertford County, North Carolina, active 1920-1950

How the Rosenwald Schools Shaped a Generation of Black Leaders

Photographer Andrew Feiler's years-long journey through 15 Southern states rescued stories of the fading buildings and the lives they changed

Through Smithsonian programs, like ARTLAB and the National Youth Summit, museum educators demonstrate how adult mentors can elevate the voices of teens in their communities.

Smithsonian Voices

How Educators Can Boost and Activate Teen Voices

Amplify the voices of teens, share their suggestions on how to support young leaders’ efforts without disrupting their individual agency

Gloria Steinem in her Upper East Side apartment

Virtual Travel

Take a Virtual Tour of Feminist Icon Gloria Steinem's Historic Manhattan Apartment

In honor of her 87th birthday, the speaker and activist is (digitally) welcoming visitors into her home

An undated view of the Seven Hills of Bonn by Josephine Butler, who campaigned for sex workers' rights and pushed Parliament to raise the age of consent

Pioneering Victorian Suffragist's Unseen Watercolor Paintings Are Up for Sale

Seven landscape scenes by 19th-century British social reformer Josephine Butler are headed to the auction block

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