The Power of Showing Up and Helping

The Power of Showing Up and HelpingI was listening to a news reporter in Texas listing all of the destruction, and then he started talking about all of the volunteers who have showed up to help, and he started to cry. Through tears, he said that he has never seen humanity show up in such beautiful ways to be of service and help others in need.

How Mainstream Media Can Still Effect Social Change

How Mainstream Media Can Still Effect Social ChangeWhile there is much to critique about the news media in this age of “post-truth” within a landscape dominated by a handful of media conglomerates, we need the press to hold our leaders and institutions accountable. Locally, when the occasion calls for it, we should laud the press.

How The Guerrilla Archivists Are Saving History

How The Guerrilla Archivists Are Saving HistoryOn Inauguration Day, a group of students, researchers and librarians gathered in a nondescript building on the north side of the University of California, Los Angeles campus, against a backdrop of pelting rain.

How Norway Avoided Becoming a Fascist State

How Norway Avoided Becoming a Fascist StateInstead of falling to the Nazi party, Norway broke through to a social democracy. Their history shows us polarization is nothing to despair over. The key to avoiding fascism? An organized left with a strong vision and broad support.

Creating Communities Together with Radical Love

Why We Need Radical Love To Create ChangeSince coming out as queer at 45, I've been coming to understand what that means. “Queer” is a reclaimed word that aims to reject oppressive cultural formations of sex and gender identity. But to me it also means a new perspective on radical love.

I Have A Dream (text & video)

I have a dream speech and video

The I Have A Dream speech is the crown jewel of the 20th century. Given before 250,000 souls on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, it  is called the defining moment of the US Civil Rights movement. It is the speech by which all other great speeches must be measured. Its haunting rhythm towards the end of the speech has an almost musical sound and feel.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt - The Four Freedoms Speech

fdr 4 freedoms 1 16Roosevelt delivered this speech to Congress as a "State Of The Union" 11 months before the United States entered World War II. Memorably, in the second half of the speech, FDR lists the benefits of democracy. He lists these as Freedom Of Speech, Freedom Of Worship, Freedom From Want, and Freedom From Fear. The first two freedoms are guaranteed by the US Constitution and the last two are still in controversy to this day.

2016 Was The Year The Establishment Met Its Match

2016 Was The Year The Establishment Met Its MatchIf we didn’t realize that 2016 was the year of upheaval before November 8, we certainly do now. Brexit, which seemed hard enough to digest, was merely the amuse bouche prior to the red meat of Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election.

Why Small Changes From Activism Matter

Why Small Changes From Activism MatterIn 2013, an online petition persuaded a national organization representing high school coaches to develop materials to educate coaches about sexual assault and how they could help reduce assaults by their athletes

Understanding Trump By Watching The Apprentice

David/Flickr, CC BY-SADepending on your political persuasion, or, as some are now arguing, depending on the “engagement” metrics that condition your social media “echo chamber”, you will have met the election of Donald Trump to the US’s highest office with either shock or elation.

It's Time to See Clearly and Recommit to Core Values

It's Time to See Clearly and Recommit to Core ValuesFeeling anxious about life in a broken-down society on a stressed-out planet? While the dominant culture encourages dysfunctional denial — pop a pill, go shopping, find your bliss — there’s a more sensible approach: Accept the anxiety, embrace the deeper anguish, and then...

What Are The Roots Of The New Corporate Activism?

When the Greensboro Four launched their sit-in protest, companies tended to stay neutral on social issues. Cewatkin via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SATarget recently staked out a position in the culture wars by announcing that it will build private bathrooms in all its locations, after earlier allowing transgender customers to use whichever room corresponds with their gender identity – both actions sparking anger from many conservatives.

The Origin of the Original May Day Workers' Holiday

On May Day

It's often forgotten, but the May Day holiday, the original, real, workers' holiday, originated in the U.S. And specifically it originated to honor the memory of labor's four martyrs unjustly sent to the gallows, in an atmosphere of hysteria and anti-worker oppression after the so-called Haymarket "riot" of 130 years ago, on May 4, 1886.

What I Learned From My March With Democracy Spring

Frances Moore LappeYesterday was the most important day of my life. I walked up to the Capitol building and sat on the steps with more than 400 people. When asked to move, we refused and were arrested. We committed nonviolent civil disobedience together to protest the power of money in politics and support the restoration of real democracy.

It Takes a Movement To Bring About Change

It Takes a Movement To Bring About Change“I wish that we could elect a Democratic president who could wave a magic wand and say, ‘We shall do this, and we shall do that,’” Clinton said recently in response to Bernie Sanders’s proposals.  "That ain’t the real world we’re living in.“

12 People Who Made a Difference (And You Can Too!)

12 People Who Made a Difference (And You Can Too!)Far too many people think not, and thus they sell themselves far too short. A wave of pessimism leads capable people to underestimate the power of their voice and the strength of their ideals. The truth is this: it is the initiatives of deeply caring people that provide the firmament for our democracy.

By Playing Serious Games,Adults Learn To Solve Thorny Real World Problems

By Playing Serious Games,Adults Learn To Solve Thorny Real World ProblemsIt is never easy for interest groups with conflicting views to resolve public policy disagreements involving complex scientific issues. To successfully formulate complex treaties, such as the recent Paris Climate Change Agreement, countries must find a way to meet the interests of almost 200 national representatives, while simultaneously getting the science right. Lowest common denominator political agreements that don’t actually solve the problem are useless.

Save the Planet By Unleashing Our Dreams

Save the Planet By Unleashing Our DreamsWe need green visions for less carbon and poverty---but also for more fun and joy. At a time when ecological destruction is more dire than ever, the work of  protecting the planet depends on dreamers just as much as of scientists, activists, public officials and business leaders.

Support Is Needed, Not Denial and Suppression

Support Is Needed—
Not Denial and SuppressionMake no mistake: we’re in the midst of an evolution of consciousness. We can cocreate a planet that works for everyone. We can redirect success from profit and pollution to true sustainability. We can reactivate an Eden in which our new fertile crescents and restored ecosystems grow and grow while we give back to the Earth rather than take from it.

The Other One Percent

The Other One PercentAs a high school student, I came across an observation by Abraham Lincoln who said that “With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.” Today “public sentiment” would be called “public opinion.”

Girls on Fire: Young Adult Dystopia Promotes Social Justice

Girls on Fire: Young Adult Dystopia Promotes Social Justice and Social CritiqueYoung Adult dystopia is having an effect on consumerism and pop culture. The political potential of this literary phenomenon – especially for empowering girls – could ultimately be the genre’s most profound and lasting influence. And though its staying power has yet to be tested, YA dystopia has spurred legions of readers towards promoting social justice.

Inside Story On How One Little City Slew An Oil Dragon

Inside Story On How One Little City Slew An Oil Dragon

A  dragon by the name of Chevron, breathing a fire fueled by Citizens United and $3.1 million in cash, succumbed to the people of the tiny city of Richmond, California last November when similar right-wing dragons were burning and pillaging voters and their towns across the country.

Environmentalism's Benefits On Display

How Grassroots Organizing Came To The Rescue In West Virginia’s Water Crisis

An estimated 10,000 gallons of the coal-processing chemical MCHM, along with an unknown amount of a second substance called PPH, spilled into West Virginia’s Elk River — just upstream from a municipal water intake that serves nine counties. While government and industry have been slow to respond, some remarkable community organizing has taken place...

Cooperation and Collaboration: Why Your Movement Can't Go It Alone

Cooperation And Why Your Movement Can't Go It Alone

Is it climate change, which makes droughts more severe and more likely to persist? Is it the labor policies that allowed the worker's wages to be cut? Or is it that NAFTA has flooded the Mexican market with cheap, U.S.-grown corn since 1996, forcing him to leave his family’s farm and migrate to California in the first place?

You Don't Have to Be a Karate Champ to Prevent Street Crime

You Don't Have to Be a Karate Champ to Prevent Street Crime

While crime rates have dropped dramatically in most US cities over the past two decades, there has been a recent uptick in robberies of cell phones and laptops, which can be easily sold over the Internet. What we can to do to deter criminals, who rob of us of our peace of mind as well as possessions?