For more than four decades, Mary Frances Berry has been one of the most respected voices in our nation’s civil rights, gender equality, and social justice movements. Serving as chairperson of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Berry led the charge for equal rights and liberties for all Americans over the course of four presidential administrations. A trailblazer for women and African-Americans alike, she became the first woman to head a major research university, serving at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
One of the founders of the Free South Africa Movement, Berry and her organization were instrumental in raising global awareness of South African injustice, helping to end more than 40 years of apartheid. Berry served as assistant secretary for education in the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, working to make historically inequitable systems achieve a new level of fairness.
Berry’s books cover a wide range of subjects, from the history of constitutional racism in America to the politics of parenthood. Her most recent book, “Power in Words: The Stories Behind Barack Obama’s Speeches, From the State House to the White House,” offers insight into President Obama’s most memorable speeches.
With fierce determination, Berry never backs down. Her clarion call challenges everyone to stand up, to stand tall, and to never give up the fight.
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