Movement Building

Immigrant Children: Debunking The Myths

By |Jul 9, 2014|

“The mass migration of children from Central America has been at the center of a political firestorm over the past few weeks,” writes David Bacon today in In These Times. “All of this [...]

Imagining the Angels of Bread

By |Apr 14, 2014|

This is the year that squatters evict landlords, gazing like admirals from the rail of the roofdeck or levitating hands in praise of steam in the shower; this is the year that shawled refugees deport judges, who stare at the floor and their swollen feet as files are stamped with their destination;

Movement Lie #5: It’s Either/Or

By |Apr 9, 2014|

Either/or’s are usually neither.

We know this when we’re presented with false choices like “gentrification versus blight,” “jobs versus environment,” or “productivity versus special treatment.” We know we’re being told the story in an [...]

My Queer Chicana Eye on My Brother’s Keeper

By |Apr 1, 2014|

I am a queer Chicana building an alliance with boys and men of color. The connections between who I am and who I work with may not seem obvious to you or to many people, including those launching My Brother’s Keeper, President Obama’s new initiative aimed at empowering boys and young men of color. In fact, the connections weren’t even completely clear to me just three years ago.

An Organizer Learns to Love

By |Feb 11, 2014|

And so we came to that moment that was and still is inevitable. There I sat in a packed Sacramento conference room, at a state budget coalition meeting of issue and service groups. [...]

Movement Lie #4: Parenting Makes You Less Effective

By |Feb 4, 2014|

Becoming a parent is a doozy for anyone. And it plays out in specific ways for folks who have made their life about progressive social change. Consciously or not, most of us have [...]

2014: Give Our Inner Bullies a Break

By |Jan 15, 2014|

I am ready to admit: I am burnt out.

I’ve been working towards social justice, in one way or another, for at least twenty years. I’ve been a popular educator, a policy analyst, an [...]

  • Permalink Gallery

    From French Fries to Fracking — Inspiring Movement Moments of 2013

From French Fries to Fracking — Inspiring Movement Moments of 2013

By |Dec 15, 2013|

Remember this spring, when the Associated Press finally dropped the I-word, and youth of color defeated prison-to-pipeline policies in Los Angeles public schools?

Or remember back in February when 50,000 people rallied in DC against the XL [...]

Nelson Mandela: Reflections

By |Dec 10, 2013|

Over the past few days as I’ve watched people gather in Soweto, Birmingham, Bahia and Deli to sing, dance and celebrate the life of a simple man who changed us all, a flood [...]

How is Racial Justice Crucial to Transformation?

By |Nov 3, 2013|

Transformation -- of people, movements, our world -- can't happen without the elimination of racism in all its forms: bias, inequity, violence, oppression.

Unleashing Our Movement Superpowers

By |Oct 29, 2013|

Sometimes it feels like we need superhuman powers to build the movements we want.

I know I’ve felt that way as I’ve worked in long-term collaborations, committed to making sure our work made a [...]

Movement Lies We Tell Ourselves – Post #1

By |Oct 17, 2013|

My co-workers and I have started a running list of movement lies we tell ourselves.  Or tell each other.  Or allow to be told even when we’re squirming in our seat.  These are myths, delusions, [...]

Forget Empathy – It’s Time for Radical Connection

By |Oct 16, 2013|

This is a repost from the great new blog Transformation that tells the stories of people who are combining personal and social change in order to re-imagine their societies.

I was in Seattle the [...]

  • woman sitting in a conference room looking frustrated
    Permalink Gallery

    Don’t Get Stuck in the Muck! Six Common Pitfalls of Emerging Alliances

Don’t Get Stuck in the Muck! Six Common Pitfalls of Emerging Alliances

By |Sep 28, 2013|

Close your eyes and imagine the worst collaborative meeting ever. You know, the one that feels like a big dysfunctional family? The one where everyone’s worried because funding’s on the line, where the organizers and services people don't trust each other, where the small scrappy groups feel the well established organizations are getting all the shine, where no one actually believes anything collaborative is going to get done?

Transformative Practice? Hell Yeah!

By |Sep 27, 2013|

When I came to MSC, my body and spirit were numb from pain. Not from nonprofit burnout, but from its source: the unresolved dance with oppression that had spun me around for decades. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was entering a period of severe testing in my life. I was stepping into some truly soul-wrenching challenges that were, I would come to understand, the universe’s way of wringing me out, getting me all nice and clean and ready.