Meet some of the activist movements of the past and present. Sometimes the worthiest causes faced opposition and public disapproval.

The fine print: this chart does not imply our advocacy of every cause listed. Also, if you can read this, you are sitting too close to your copy of Havurah.

18th-19th c.

1787-1807 William Wilberforce works for anti-slavery legislation in the U.K.

1790 William Carey launches modern missions, prompting anti-activism comeback, “Sit down, young man. When God is pleased to save the heathen, he will do it without your help or mine.”

1832-1850 Anthony Ashley-Cooper pioneers child-labor laws in the U.K.

1863 Henri Dunant of Geneva co-founds the Red Cross to provide medical care to wounded soldiers.

1886 Student Volunteer Movement is founded; thousands of students volunteer for foreign missions.

20th c.

1899-1914 East European Jewish immigrants bring socialism and labor organizing to America.

1901 Missionary Amy Carmichael founds the Dohnavur Fellowship in India, saving children from forced prostitution.

1906 Upton Sinclair’s “message novel” The Jungle focuses public attention on the meat packing industry.

1920 Nineteenth Amendment guarantees women the right to vote, follows decades of activism by Susan B. Anthony and others.

1948 InterVarsity launches first Urbana conference, picking up mantle of Student Volunteer Movement.

1954-1968 Civil rights movement uses civil disobedience, sit-ins, and marches to advocate for equality for African-Americans. Many Jews participate.

1968-1973 Anti-Vietnam war protests spread throughout the U.S.

1980s Band Aid and Live Aid concerts and recordings raise money for Ethiopian famine relief; Farm Aid does the same for farmers.

1996-2001 Jewish hip-hop music group the Beastie Boys organize concerts to support Tibetan independence.

21st c.

2002 Evangelical Environmental Network launches “What Would Jesus Drive” campaign.

2004-2005 Bono, of band U2, helps found the ONE campaign to raise awareness of global poverty.1

2006 Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth spurs interest in global warming.2

2008 National “lie-in” held at U.S. campuses to commemorate Virginia Tech massacre. 3

Photo attributions and licenses:

1. World Economic Forum.

2. Robert Scoble.

3. Christopher Bowns.

See a timeline of Jews for Jesus here.


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