Book Club Discussion Questions

  1. To start, go around the room and have each person share what they found to be particularly interesting, shocking, illuminating, moving about either the personal story or the professional experiences.
  2. Appealing for Justice is a story from our past. Is it also the story of today? How so? How are the times different?
  3. How hard was it for Jean and other women coming up at the time, and is it less difficult today or just different?
  4. Is Jean’s story all that special? Is she an exemplar of that generation or an example, just one untold story among many hundreds, maybe thousands, of stories of women of her generation?
  5. The 60s and 70s were filled with activists, protestors, marchers, and people standing up to authority: registering voters in the south, sitting-in on campuses, picketing outside the White House. Were these levers–taking to the streets, anti-war protests, Students for Democratic Society, the women’s movement–the most effective levers for change? Or were the electoral, legislative, judicial and programmatic processes–the court challenges, legal aid services, the Peace Corps, Community Action programs, etc.–more effective?
  6. Through all the battles for social justice, what were the core similarities? Important differences? What do those similarities and differences tell us about progress in the future?
  7. Does this story, Appealing for Justice, resonate differently today or give us pause for thought in a different way now that we have Donald Trump as president?