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    Releasing Love With Power: Final Report Offers Movement Stories

Releasing Love With Power: Final Report Offers Movement Stories

By |Jun 1, 2016|

Over five years ago Julie Quiroz and I set out to write a follow up to the Movement Strategy Center report Out of the Spiritual Closet, which lifted up the often unspoken role of individual transformative practice in movement building. In the next report we wanted to go further, to capture the ways that groups and networks were evolving, experimenting, and strengthening strategies for social transformation by bringing collective transformative practice into their work.

Our Midnight Call – Finding Unexpected Love With Power

By |May 24, 2016|

On March 30 I received a call at a little before midnight. I was asleep. My 14-year old daughter had just crawled into my bed after studying late for a math test. I was angry when my cell phone rang, right near my daughter’s head. I hit my phone to stop the ring. It rang again. I hit it again. Then it rang with another number. Finally I answered and whispered harshly into the phone, “Who is this! Stop calling! It’s the middle of the night!” On the other end of the line I heard the steady voice of my doctor.
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    Land & Life: From Neighborhood Garden to Global Climate Resilience

Land & Life: From Neighborhood Garden to Global Climate Resilience

By |May 3, 2016|

Knock. Knock. “Hello, can I help you?” “Yes, my name is Vicente. I’m here door knocking in the neighborhood. We’re trying to get neighbors together to convert that abandoned lot around the corner into a neighborhood garden.” This was me 7 years ago in a repeated conversation opener, held countless numbers of times, walking up and down a three block radius in an East Oakland neighborhood suffering from years of public neglect and lack of access to healthy food. With nothing more than a bundle of scrappy flyers grasped tightly in my hands, I went door knocking to talk to residents about improving the conditions of their neighborhood through the garden.

Welcome MSC Co-Director Mimi Ho!

By |Apr 12, 2016|

It is with great joy that I join Taj James as Co-Director at Movement Strategy Center, to stand together in purpose and community with our broad movement friends and family, our MSC staff team, Leadership Team, and amazing network of fellows, associates, and partners.

Forward Together Breaks Through with Bold Vision

By |Apr 5, 2016|

Last week Strong Families New Mexico hand delivered their Open Letter to the Families of Flint to their own Environment Department in Gallup as a message to Flint and to the world. Reaching across thousands of miles, the original letter harnessed the power of love to link the experiences of African American, immigrant and Native American families devastated by lead-poisoned water and centuries of environmental racism. Like the families of Flint, Native American families in New Mexico have been suffering from a similar problem without much media attention. Strong Families New Mexico staff delivered the letter to the New Mexico’s Environment Department, keeping the issue alive and calling on the state to act on its higher purpose – ensuring safe access to drinking water for all.
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    OUR Walmart Nurtures Caring Communities for Courageous Action

OUR Walmart Nurtures Caring Communities for Courageous Action

By |Mar 17, 2016|

In this moment, the story of The Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart), the worker-run organization dedicated to transforming the lives of past and present Walmart workers, can teach us a lot. It is story of collective hope and courage in the face of economic fear. “Care and action support each other,” says Andrea Dehlendorf, Co-Director of OUR Walmart. “They create a foundation of trust that gives people the courage to take great risk and then create change at great scale.”
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    Movement Generation Cultivates Home, Confronts Crisis With Hope      

Movement Generation Cultivates Home, Confronts Crisis With Hope      

By |Mar 3, 2016|

On a starry night in 2015, Quinton Sankofa sat with new friends in the serenity of Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, preparing to return to Oakland the next day. Sankofa was leading Permaculture for the People, an intensive course organized by Movement Generation Justice and Ecology Project (Movement Generation). For a week they had lived in this beautiful rural California center, learning the theory and concepts of permaculture and linking them with justice.
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    From Grievance to Governance: 8 Features of Transformative Campaigns

From Grievance to Governance: 8 Features of Transformative Campaigns

By |Jan 26, 2016|

One morning last December, I found myself at the Ford Foundation watching Anna Galland, Ai-jen Poo and Heather McGhee share a stage at an event called The Future of Organizing: Contesting for Power [...]

Love, Strategy, and Terror: Humanity vs. Fear

By |Dec 10, 2015|

This morning I woke up and made breakfast for my daughter and thought to myself: We have entered the Age of Terror. Terror is not new to the U.S. Terror — the infliction of extreme fear — runs deep in our economy and political system, from enslavement of African people to genocide of Native people to violent oppression of any Americans not defined as white. Terror is not new to US action around the globe, where our tax dollars have long underwritten war and brutal repression.

Real Solutions on Climate, Right Now

By |Dec 2, 2015|

As world leaders and peoples movements gather in Paris to forge agreement about how to address the climate crisis, some common wisdom can guide us. Solving any problem requires three basic steps:
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    Walking With Purpose: Domestic Workers Practicing Transformation

Walking With Purpose: Domestic Workers Practicing Transformation

By |Nov 19, 2015|

Last month 100 migrant women walked 100 miles for the arrival of Pope Francis in Washington, DC, their journey making national and international headlines. But what many people don’t know is the crucial role that transformative practice played in the pilgrimage – and has long played in the National Domestic Workers Alliance.

Welcome to the New Economy!

By |Nov 18, 2015|

I lived in Oakland in 2008, when reckless, predatory, and under-regulated financial practices came crashing down into the Great Recession. Working for an organization dedicated to community empowerment and justice, I was devastated to see family after family facing foreclosure from skyrocketing loans designed to displace them, long-term workers struck with pink slips, and parents struggling to put food on the table for their kids.

Am I Happy the Cop Was Fired?

By |Oct 29, 2015|

Am I relieved that the cop was fired?


Am I happy the cop was fired?


Do I worry that people think this was an isolated incident, rather than a widespread, daily reality for students of [...]

Our Family, Our Future: My Global Migration Pledge

By |Aug 28, 2015|

As I write this, the bodies of hundreds of people are being pulled from the water off the coast of Libya, after two boats sank, drowning women, men, and children migrating in desperation from [...]

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    Parenting for Liberation: My Practice & the MSC Transitions Lab

Parenting for Liberation: My Practice & the MSC Transitions Lab

By |Aug 19, 2015|

I am raising a young Black boy in a society that is set up to set him up for failure.

This means I am often in protection mode: protection against educational inequity, unfair [...]

Online for Power? Shifting Our Movements Toward the Future

By |Aug 13, 2015|

Last year, as the uprising in Ferguson and the movement for Black lives sparked direct action all across the country, many of us turned out on the streets – and actively spread the [...]

365 Days After Ferguson: Vision More Than Ever

By |Aug 8, 2015|

One year after Michael Brown’s murder and the uprising in Ferguson, we need vision more than ever.

As a Black woman, I know that we must aggressively imagine what it looks like when we are free, [...]

From Youth Trauma to Youth Leadership

By |Jun 9, 2015|

A few years ago I went back to school to become a licensed family therapist. Along with my skills of organizing and advocacy (and even mothering, which came later), I wanted to be [...]

Solutions Emerging from the Movement for Black Lives

By |May 13, 2015|

I am an ally in the movement for Black lives, so social and alternative media are my required reading. It’s there – not in the shamefully racist and sensationalistic corporate media – where I [...]

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    Navigating With Vision: Transitions Lab Nurtures Leaps Into the Unknown

Navigating With Vision: Transitions Lab Nurtures Leaps Into the Unknown

By |Apr 16, 2015|

“Reality is not destiny,” wrote Eduardo Galeano, the extraordinary Uruguayan writer who inspired social justice activists around the globe with his unflinching commitment to truth. Galeano, who lived through imprisonment and the threat [...]