Ella Baker was a Black American civil rights activist who dedicated her life to fighting for equality and justice for all people. Born in Virginia, she was raised in North Carolina and attended Shaw University, where she became involved in student activism. Baker worked with the NAACP, SCLC, and other civil rights organizations throughout her career, organizing grassroots efforts and advocating for the empowerment of local communities. She was a mentor to many young activists, including Martin Luther King Jr., and played a key role in the formation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), a major civil rights organization. Baker was known for her emphasis on participatory democracy, encouraging ordinary people to take action and make their voices heard.