Protests and politics — let our expert explain how one influences the other

A person holding up a sign during a protest.

The protests that have been occurring across most of America have seen politically charged language, action, and reaction. Calls for change have been made, and promises have followed by those seeking to attain office or remain in office once the dust has settled and America goes to the polls in the fall.

In a recent essay, former President Barack Obama touched on how those protesting can translate emotions into action.

“Throughout American history, it’s often only been in response to protests and civil disobedience that the political system has even paid attention to marginalized communities,” said Obama. ”Eventually, aspirations have to be translated into specific laws and institutional practices — and in a democracy, that only happens when we elect government officials who are responsive to our demands.”

Social movement expert and Augusta University Sociology Professor Dr. Todd Powell-Williams says protest movements have a significant impact on politics. His research shows societal change not only happens as a result of the crowd but also because the protests get people politically activated.

“From the Boston Tea Party to the protests of the Civil Rights Movement, protests have had some degree of success in changing the course of history,” said Powell-Williams. “The recent protests against racial injustice are no different and I’m sure it will influence the outcomes of upcoming elections.”

If you are a journalist looking to cover this topic, then let our expert help with your questions and coverage today.

Powell-Williams is an expert in social movements, social control, religion, police science and symbolic interactionism. He is available to speak with media regarding this topic — simply click on his name to arrange an interview. Also, check out the Augusta University Expert Center to view a complete list of our experts.


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Written by
Danielle Harris

Danielle Harris is Senior Media Relations Coordinator at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-7511 or

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Written by Danielle Harris

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