The Five Stages of Diversity

By |May 16, 2014|

In recent weeks, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed participating in conversations on twitter about diversity in media. This recent round began in March with the publication of a New York Times article by Walter Dean [...]

Discrimination Today: One Education Organizer’s Outrage

By |May 15, 2014|

Today our collective failure to provide real educational opportunity for youth of color leaves me shaken and emboldened to speak. It’s been 60 years since Brown v. Board struck down segregation laws in [...]

Blogging, Movement Building, & Online Discrimination

By |May 7, 2014|

Sometimes it’s best to get the stupid questions out right away.  So it was, nine months ago, when I sat down for my first MSC blog development meeting.

“What is a blog?” I asked.

I [...]

Help Youth Organizing Lead My Brother’s Keeper

By |May 2, 2014|

Do you believe in youth organizing? Do you want to see youth organizing take leadership in shaping My Brother’s Keeper – the national initiative President Obama launched to “measurably improve the expected educational [...]

Learning to Walk: Gender, Economy, & Ecology

By |Apr 30, 2014|

I am learning how to walk again.

I lost my walk after an intensive yoga training — the third of nine I am undertaking to strengthen my personal practice and my role as a [...]

Mothering Through Climate Chaos – Mamas Day Our Way

By |Apr 23, 2014|

Our kids love it when we tell good stories. Throughout time, we mamas have imparted wisdom and values through storytelling. Like all humans, mamas are narrative creatures. But many of us have lost the art of storytelling, forgotten the values and wisdom of our ancestors. Our kids hear their stories from mainstream media, often closing their minds to the possibilities of another world—or as the Zapatistas say, a world of many worlds. So we try to find good books for our kids—stories that depict our girls as the agents of change, images that show the real diversity of our families, teach the morals of taking care of each other.

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.

Confessions Of A (Reluctant) Electoral Geek

By |Mar 26, 2014|

Math and science were never my favorite subjects in school, but the geeky left-brain part of me has always loved the science of organizing, even electoral organizing. I’ve loved finding the formulas and methods to map turnout plans, to overlay electoral precinct maps with voting data, to sketch out a campaign strategy power analysis. I’ve loved the order and discovering the more predictable parts of our organizing work.

Creating Sea Change — To Win

By |Feb 18, 2014|

Over the course of 15 months, Caring Across Generations engaged a base of more than 1 million people. By our second year we were a leading force in the coalition that won minimum wage and overtime protections for 2.1 million workers. Many of us in the community based organizing field see this scale of engagement and impact as cutting edge for our sector. But, as innovative and exciting as they are, these indicators of scale are an entirely inadequate measure of success.

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 [...]

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    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 [...]

Three Ways Capoeira Upped My Organizing Game

By |Nov 18, 2013|

Every organizer knows that awful moment, that slow stomach-churning realization that your campaign is about to hit a dead end. I had that moment recently in the work I was doing with a coalition of local youth organizations fighting for Restorative Justice in public schools. Unlike harsh and ineffective “zero tolerance” policies, Restorative Justice programs create a way for those who have committed harm to dialogue with those who have been harmed, to understand what happened, agree on a remedy, and build relationships that reduce the possibility of future harm. Deep in our bones we wanted Restorative Justice and an end to the disciplinary policies that push out large numbers of African American, Latino, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander students every year.

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, [...]