Mitchell Zimmerman


Mitchell Zimmerman was born on October 15, 1942 in New York City. He grew up in a mostly white working-class neighborhood in the South Bronx where he attended integrated public schools. He attended City College of New York and later Princeton University as a graduate student in political science, In August, 1963, he traveled to DC to attend the March on Washington. In 1964 Zimmerman was recruited as a volunteer for the Mississippi Freedom Summer project, first working in the SNCC office in Atlanta where he supported the case against the Pickrick, a restaurant owned by Lester Maddox, future Governor of Georgia. He spent time that summer in northern Mississippi working on voting rights advocacy. He returned to the South the following year working with the Arkansas Project on voting and integration rights from the fall of 1965 to the fall of 1966. Zimmerman moved to California with his wife where they raised three children. In 1979 he became an attorney working both as a technology lawyer while continuing pro bono work supporting civil rights, opposing the death penalty, and a range of other issues. He currently resides in Palo Alto, California. screen capture of Mitchell Zimmerman, November 6, 2020.

Technical Alert

If you are accessing with Safari, there is a recently glitch that prevents the videos from playing. To fix

  1. open Safari

  2. choose Preferences in the Safari menu

  3. uncheck "Prevent cross-site tracking"

Please report any technical or content errors to:

Date: November 6, 2020


  • Lead: Makana Leavitt ('21),

  • Support: Anthony Sharp ('21)

  • Instructor: Howard Levin, Director of Educational Innovation

Location: Recorded via Zoom teleconferencing system. Mitchell Zimmerman was at his home in Palo Alto, California. The interview team was in their separate homes throughout the San Francisco Bay Area during the “shelter in place” order due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Duration: 104 min

Note: This video does not currently advance correctly in Chrome. The YouTube version is included until the issue can be resolved.


Click image above to access video of the full interview.

The transcript and video can be opened independently to provide user control