Transformative Movement Building

What To Do? 3 Strategy Questions Matter

By |Nov 15, 2016|

Right now, many of us are questioning the value of particular actions and tactics, asking whether or not they will be effective. We are missing the urgent strategic imperative of this moment.

Any action is [...]

November 9: What I’ll Tell My Kids

By |Nov 7, 2016|

Sitting here on the eve of the election I wonder how I am going to make meaning of the election results on Wednesday morning, for myself and my daughters who are 8 and [...]

The Inner Journey of Leadership

By |Nov 4, 2016|

In December 2011, I became the executive director of a civil rights organization I’d long admired. My two-and-a-half years there knocked me flat on my face. When I left, all I wanted was [...]

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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.

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.
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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.
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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 [...]

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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 [...]

It’s Time for Healing-Centered Youth Organizing

By |Apr 15, 2015|

As an activist and youth organizer who deeply values the power of healing and transformation, I have come to see that too often, within our movement, “healing” and “social change” occupy two separate [...]

Calling for Love With Power

By |Feb 12, 2015|

We, humanity, need a movement, a really big movement. A movement big and bold enough to get us out of the mess we have gotten ourselves into, and one that will get us to a better place. A movement that can transform the world and each one of us in it. A movement through which we shift from a world based on domination and extraction to a life-affirming world based on regeneration and interconnection.

#Black Lives Matter: “It’s about how we are together”

By |Feb 12, 2015|

In early October 2014, Alicia Garza arrived in Ferguson, Missouri. Less than two months after Ferguson Police officer, Darren Wilson, shot and killed unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown, the community of Ferguson was under siege. In the wake of Brown’s death, grief and rage enveloped the city like dense smoke. Centuries of pain from racism, alive and embedded in schools, jobs, neighborhoods, and endless police harassment, rose to the surface.

Three Practices for Movement Builders In the New Year

By |Jan 8, 2015|

I usually don’t share a lot of personal stuff on Facebook but lately as a new parent I’ve been leaning into it and sharing more, and at times, even “over-sharing” my thoughts and reflections.

Movement Voices of 2014

By |Dec 29, 2014|

Over the past year Let’s Talk has been honored to share the words of inspiring movement builders from every corner of social, ecological, and economic justice.  In these waning days of 2014 we [...]

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    Stop Strip Mining Our Souls; Let’s Compost Non-Profit Culture

Stop Strip Mining Our Souls; Let’s Compost Non-Profit Culture

By |Dec 19, 2014|

After a brutal election, it’s time for progressive politics to deploy a new living model of movement building.

In the last few seconds before my son was born, the midwife had a hard time [...]