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Change Requires Your Presence

Notes on Effective Protesting

This video originally aired on The Today Show with Trevor Noah.

You have to be present in the moment. You have to do something yourself. You have to be there.

Dr. Mary Frances Berry, a civil rights activist, and historian has been in the mix of some high-profile moments in history. She worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She protested against the Vietnam War. She was part of the movement to get the United States to intervene with apartheid in South Africa and get Nelson Mandel released from prison. Non-violent protesting had much to do with the changes that occurred during those times. Reflections of these moments and more are found in her book, History Teaches Us to Resist.

This country has seen an influx of movements in the last two years with some devastating outcomes. Our society is used to a one-and-done way of operating. In the interview with Trevor Noah, Dr. Berry reminds us that though social media is good to inform people of a movement, non-violent protesting is how you get politicians to do what will bring about equality. Results happen when you show up regularly and possibly for the long haul, demonstrating that you will not give way until satisfactory change happens.

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