“Since it is my right, I would like to have it”
— Edna Griffin
Edna May Griffin was an American civil rights and social justice activist and trailblazer. On July 7, 1948, Edna, along with her one year-old daughter and two other African Americans, were denied service at Katz Drug Store because of their race.
Edna Griffin became a leader in a decades-long struggle to integrate the counter service through creative organizing and mobilization against the segregation policy of Katz. Edna Griffin helped to usher in a new era of social justice in the United States. This new era rejected solely upper class leadership, and embraced broad, egalitarian, youth-oriented, multiracial, and grassroots struggle for social justice.
Although Edna is remembered as a leader in the fight against segregation at Katz Drug Store, Edna Griffin was a lifelong fighter against racism, sexism, xenophobia, and discrimination wherever it occurred.
The Edna Griffin School for Social Justice is a grassroots organization dedicated to the promoting the social justice work, creativity, and legacy of Edna Griffin in Iowa. The School is a place where people come together to turn their ideas into tools to build collective power in movements against exploitation, racism, sexism, xenophobia, and discrimination.