A Moral Policy Agenda to Heal and Transform America: The Poor People’s Jubilee Platform (Aug 2020)

July 2020 We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States. Preamble to the U.S. Constitution No State shall make or …

Guidelines for Being Strong White Allies. Guidelines for Being Strong White Allies

Guidelines for Being Strong White AlliesAdapted from Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Social Justice by Paul Kivel Guidelines for Being Strong White Allies “Respect us”“Listen to us”“Find out about us”“Don’t make assumptions”“Don’t take over”“Stand by my side”“Provide information”“Don’t assume you know what’s best for me”“Resources”“Money”“Take risks”“Make mistakes”“Don’t take it personally”“Honesty”“Understanding”“Talk to other white people”“Teach your children about racism”“Interrupt …

Resisting authoritarianism will require the reinvention of American democracy, and a new politics of moral aspiration: Develop a common language, a shared reality, common experience of the world, to work across difference and act together

Masha Gessen, 2020 “politics” and “political” — “the vital project of negotiating how we live together as a city, a state or a country; of working across difference; of acting collectively.”  “when something cannot be described, it does not become a fact of shared reality.” And the kind of willful blindness you’re describing is only possible when language has been …

Preparing for Tough Conversations

WSJ July 2020 Bracing yourself for a tough talk? There are so many to have right now. Tensions over racial issues, politics and the coronavirus pandemic are provoking arguments within families and between friends: Spouses are arguing about money; siblings are fighting about how to keep parents safe from the virus; some people are confronting relatives about race. Many conversations have the potential to …

PUSH Buffalo’s local clean energy jobs training led to community ownership and more community services: Let’s stop parachuting in experts and listen to locals who are working to fix long-term problems, tenaciously untangling the knot of inequity and injustice

Time Magazine, by MARK RUFFALO and RAHWA GHIRMATZION JULY 9, 2020. Mark Ruffalo is an actor and the co-founder of The Solutions Project, which supports climate justice organizations like PUSH Buffalo.Rahwa Ghirmatzion is executive director of PUSH Buffalo. As the COVID-19 pandemic and police-brutality protests heat up metaphorically, we can’t forget that the Earth is still heating up literally. Because of systemic racism, these crises are hitting communities …

History Shows That Sustained, Disruptive Protests Work: Most progressive victories in U.S. history did not enjoy majority support when they were won

In case after case, a radical minority disrupted the functioning of businesses and state institutions, which sought to restore stability by granting concessions and ordering politicians to do the same. The formerly enslaved Frederick Douglass criticized “those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation,” saying that they “want crops without plowing up the ground,” and “the ocean without …

Possibilism against the givenness of things – when things fell apart, re-ordering society according to new principles

Possibilism against the givenness of things—those were the forces pitted against one another in France from 1789 to 1799. The French revolutionaries were an assortment of unexceptional persons in exceptional circumstances. When things fell apart, they responded to an overwhelming need to make sense of things by ordering society according to new principles. Those principles still stand as an indictment …

Tips for better storytelling

Engage your audience, focus your narrative, and inspire action. Want To Be A Great Storyteller? First, Break These Habits. You’ve heard dozens of times that you’re more likely to engage your audience when you tell a story in your presentation. A story that’s powerful and relevant can galvanize people and inspire action. But even otherwise great stories can be told badly. Here …

It’s Not as Simple as Rebellion

By Tim DeChristopher, originally published by YES! magazine July 2, 2020 Ed. note: This piece was posted to YES! Magazine on May 11, 2020. Over the past two years, Extinction Rebellion (XR) emerged into the climate movement with explosive energy. Thousands of people in Europe and the United States mobilized to engage in civil disobedience to demand that our political leaders take …

In Times of Rapid Change, Victory Comes to Those Who Train For It

Only social movements can deliver radical change. Mainstream institutions in society back small reforms at most, so they teach the strategy and skills of electioneering. Movements are left to themselves to teach the skills that make for big change, and that’s where training comes in. Leaving the group out of the equation is a denial of human nature, indigenous cultures …