Special Report

19 of the Most Influential Civil Rights Leaders of the 21st Century

The killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, on May 25 while he was arrested by Minneapolis police, has brought a renewed focus on racial injustices in the American criminal justice system, which include mass incarcerations and excessive  punishment. These are the issues that activists have raised since the earliest days of the civil rights movement.

Today’s civil rights leaders have picked up the mantle once held by Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Roy Wilkins, and Dorothy Height. Today’s civil rights leaders are addressing the challenges and injustices faced by people of color; the LGBTQ community; women; undocumented immigrants; and the Muslim community.

As the nation processes the emotional reaction to Floyd’s death, 24/7 Tempo has compiled a list of the most important civil rights leaders of the 21st century. We created our list after reviewing biographies and news stories from resource material, websites of organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Nobel Prize website, and media sites.

Click here to see the most important civil rights leaders of the 21st century
Click here to read our detailed findings and methodology