Stories about Berkeley’s rebellious student movement of the 1960s often start with the launch of the Free Speech Movement. But the roots of this pivotal event go all the way back to the previous decade, when a campus group fed up with the innocuous role of student government started rallying around controversial political issues such as civil rights. This episode explores the history of SLATE, a student-led organization that rarely gets credit for their influential role in helping spark a decade of social change.
We then turn towards the Berkeley Free Clinic, launched in 1969 to provide no-cost treatment to those who couldn’t afford (or didn’t feel comfortable dealing with) the mainstream healthcare system. 50 years later, this volunteer-driven collective running on a shoestring budget out of the basement of a vacant church is still delivering free medical and dental services to thousands.