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 …

No shortcuts – redirect power from the 1% and large firms to universal programs and well-being for all, with much determined, selfless work educating, building knowledge, and bringing about change for communities, the country and the world

Reiterated by Matthew Fox, June 28, 2020 In the US the richest 1 percent of the country own substantially more wealth than the bottom 90%;  6 in 10 Americans do not have the resources to come up with $1000 for an emergency such as a medical bill or car repair.  World over, 26 billionaires hold personal financial assets greater than …

Organized labor and Black Lives have worked together since 2015 on campaigns, including public school curriculum reform and the Fight for $15. Progressive rank-and-file of many unions continue to press their leadership into action for racial justice

Seattle: This week, the MLK Labor Executive Board met to discuss and respond to the extraordinary events of the past week. The Board passed a resolution that affirms that systemic racism exists in the Seattle Police Department and must be immediately addressed to protect Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in our community from harm. The resolution rejects the notion that …

Supporting Local Business Viability and Transition to Worker Ownership in a Pandemic: Offering Business Owners “Exit to Community”

E2C: Community Ownership in a Pandemic Community Notes, Jun. 9, 2020 The COVID-19 crisis presents the greatest threat to community-based business in generations. But what if their employees and neighbors had the tools to get through this crisis in better shape, through an “exit to community”? This webinar presents strategies to help business transition to community and employee ownership, which …