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Naomi Harburg Levy



Naomi Harburg Levy: A Legacy of Activism and Advocacy

Naomi Harburg Levy was a force to be reckoned with. A trailblazer in the fields of social justice, education, and women’s rights, Levy dedicated her life to fighting for equality and justice for all. Born in 1922 in New York City, Levy grew up in a politically active family. Her father, Yip Harburg, was a renowned lyricist and social activist, best known for writing the lyrics to the classic songs “Over the Rainbow” and “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” Levy’s upbringing in this environment instilled in her a deep sense of social responsibility and a commitment to making the world a better place.

Levy’s early years were shaped by the tumultuous events of the 1930s and 1940s. The Great Depression, followed by World War II, had a profound impact on her worldview and fueled her passion for social justice. After graduating from high school, Levy attended Barnard College, where she studied sociology and political science. It was during this time that she became involved in various social justice movements, including the civil rights movement and the women’s rights movement.

After graduating from college, Levy went on to work for the American Jewish Committee, where she focused on issues of social justice and anti-Semitism. In the late 1950s, she became involved in the civil rights movement, working closely with leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Ella Baker. Levy’s work in the civil rights movement was instrumental in advancing the cause of racial equality and justice in America.

In the 1970s, Levy turned her attention to women’s rights, becoming a leading advocate for gender equality and reproductive rights. She was a founding member of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and played a key role in the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. Levy’s work in the women’s rights movement was groundbreaking and helped to pave the way for the advancements that women have achieved in recent decades.

Throughout her career, Levy was a tireless advocate for the marginalized and oppressed. She believed in the power of grassroots activism and worked tirelessly to empower individuals to make a difference in their communities. Levy was a firm believer in the idea that change starts at the local level and that individuals have the power to create a more just and equitable society.

In addition to her work in social justice and advocacy, Levy was also a dedicated educator. She taught sociology and political science at several universities and colleges, including Columbia University and the City University of New York. Levy was known for her passionate and engaging teaching style, as well as her commitment to inspiring her students to become agents of change in their communities.

Levy’s impact on the world was profound and far-reaching. Her work in social justice, education, and women’s rights helped to shape the course of history and inspire countless individuals to take action for a better world. Her legacy lives on in the countless lives she touched and the movements she helped to advance.

Naomi Harburg Levy passed away in 2015, but her spirit and legacy continue to inspire people around the world to fight for justice, equality, and human rights. Her dedication to making the world a better place serves as a reminder that each of us has the power to create positive change in our communities and beyond. Levy’s life is a testament to the power of activism, advocacy, and the belief that a better world is possible if we are willing to fight for it.



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