8 Stages of Successful Social Movements

(ref: Grassroots and Nonprofit Leadership by Berit Lakey, George Lakey, Rod Napier, Janice Robinson)

Bill MoyerBill Moyer, a United States social change activist, developed a strategic model for waging successful nonviolent social movements in the late 1970s. This model is called the Movement Action Plan (MAP). Here is a summary of this model as described by George Lakey, the founder and retired executive director of Training for Change.

Stage One: Business as Usual
In this stage, relatively few people care about the issue. Small groups are formed to support each other. The objective is to get people to start thinking about the issue and start spreading the word. Small action projects may be taken on in this stage.

Stage Two: Failure of Established Channels
The general public is unaware of the injustice and largely uninterested in learning about the issue. The public is thinking (or hoping) that established structures are taking care of the problem. “Surely the government is watching out for the safety of our ground water.” “Surely, corporations know which chemicals are safe and unsafe and are already ensuring that workers and the public are not being exposed to the unsafe ones.” In this stage, small groups research the issue and the victims of the injustice. They may sue government agencies or corporations and will usually lose. Nevertheless, these actions are a necessary exercise in building public awareness.  Stage Two polls will show 15% to 20% of public opinion leaning towards the change.
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18 Milestone Events in the Life of Mohandas Gandhi

(ref: Great Figures in History: Gandhi – a full-color manga graphic novel from Y.kids)

g1869p 1869 October 2 – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born in Porbandar in West Bengal, India
g1891p 1891 June – After attending Inner Temple Law School in the United Kingdom, Gandhi passes the bar exam and becomes a lawyer. Unknown to him at the time, his mother has passed away while he is at school.
g1893p 1893 – Gandhi is thrown off of a train in South Africa for refusing to move from his First Class seat to Third Class (even though he held a valid First Class ticket). Such discrimination against Indians was common practice and this personal experience gives Gandhi resolve to fight racial discrimination.

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20 (or more) Things You Can Do On Peace Day: September 21

The International Day of Peace is on September 21st of each year and calls for a full day of peace and ceasefire throughout the world.

United Nations Peace BellOn September 21st, 2007, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon rang the Peace Bell at United Nations Headquarters in New York calling for a 24-hour cessation of hostilities, and for a minute of silence to be observed around the world. The Peace Bell is cast from coins donated by children on all continents, and considered a symbol of global solidarity. It was given as a gift by Japan, and is referred to as a reminder of the human cost of war. The inscription on its side reads: “Long live absolute world peace.” [ref: wikipedia] The first Peace Day was celebrated in 1982.

Here are some ideas of things you can personally (or as a small group) do on Peace Day. Continue reading

40 Ways to Build a Global Community

(ref: How to Build Global Community poster)

  1. Think of no one as “them”
  2. Don’t confuse your comfort with your safety
  3. Talk to strangers
  4. Imagine other cultures through their art, poetry, and novels
  5. Listen to music you don’t understand – Dance to it!
  6. Act locally
  7. Notice the workings of power and privilege in your culture
  8. Question consumption
  9. Know how your lettuce and coffee are grown: wake up and smell the exploitation
  10. Look for fair trade and union labels
  11. Help build economies from the bottom up
  12. Acquire few needs
  13. Learn a second (or third) language
  14. Visit people, places, and cultures — not tourist attractions
  15. Learn people’s history
  16. Re-define progress
  17. Know physical and political geography
  18. Play games from other cultures
  19. Watch films with subtitles
  20. Know your heritage
  21. Honor everyone’s holidays
  22. Look at the moon and imagine someone else, somewhere else, looking at it too
  23. Read the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  24. Understand the global economy in terms of people, land, and water
  25. Know where your bank banks
  26. Never believe you have a right to anyone else’s resources
  27. Refuse to wear corporate logos: defy corporate domination
  28. Question military/corporate connections
  29. Don’t confuse money with wealth, or time with money
  30. Have a pen/email pal
  31. Honor indigenous cultures
  32. Judge governance by how well it meets all people’s needs
  33. Be skeptical about what you read
  34. Eat adventurously — Enjoy vegetables, beans, and grains in your diet
  35. Choose curiosity over certainty
  36. Know where your water comes from and where your wastes go
  37. Pledge allegiance to the earth: question nationalism
  38. Think South, Central, and North — there are many Americans
  39. Assume that many others share your dream
  40. Know that no one is silent though many are not heard – WORK TO CHANGE THIS!

You can get a poster with this list of How to Build Global Community at Reach and Teach.

Also check out the Take One World poster.

10 Elements of an Ideal Organizer (according to Saul Alinsky)

(ref: Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky, pg 72-80)

  1. Curiosity. The organizer is driven by a compulsive curiosity that knows no limits. “Curiosity killed a cat” has no meaning to the organizer.
  2. Irreverence. Nothing is sacred. The organizer detests dogma, finite definitions of morality, rebels against any repression of a free, open search for ideas.
  3. Imagination. It ignites and feeds the force that drives the organizer to organize for change.
  4. A sense of humor. Laughter is not just a way to maintain sanity but also a key to understanding life.
  5. A bit of a blurred vision of a better world. While working on his/her own small bit, an organizer can keep going with a blurred vision of a great mural where multitudes of others are also painting their bits.
  6. An organized personality. An organized organizer is able to be comfortable in a disorganized situation, rational in a sea of irrationality.
  7. A well-integrated political schizoid. An organizer can polarize an issue 100 to nothing and help lead his/her forces into the conflict while remembering there will come a time for negotiation and that in reality there is only a 10% difference between the two sides.
  8. Ego. There is an unreserved confidence in one’s ability to do what must be done.
  9. A free and open mind, and political relativity. An organizer becomes a flexible personality, not a rigid structure that breaks when something unexpected happens. In the political world, all values are relative. An organizer avoids disillusionment by not succumbing to illusion.
  10. Creating the new out of the old. New ideas come out of challenge to the sacred ideas of the past and the present and inevitably a conflict has raged.

The basic difference between the leader and an organizer:

  • The leader goes on to build power to fulfill desires, to hold and wield power for purposes both social and personal. The leader wants the power.
  • An organizer finds a goal in creation of power for others to use.

Also check out 8 Stages of Successful Social Movements.

26 Women Who Changed the World

(ref: Amelia to Zora: Twenty-six Women Who Changed the World, by Cynthia Chin-Lee)

  1. Amelia Earhart (1897-1937) – pilot
  2. Babe Didrikson Zaharias (1914-1956) – athlete
  3. Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin (1900-1980) – astronomer
  4. Dolores Huerta (1930- ) – union co-founder
  5. Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) – first lady
  6. Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) – painter
  7. Grace Hopper (1906-1992) – computer scientist
  8. Helen Keller (1880-1968) – advocate for the disabled, women’s rights, and peace activist
  9. Imogen Cunningham (1883-1976) – photographer
  10. Jane Goodall (1934- ) – naturalist
  11. Kristi Yamaguchi (1971- ) – ice skating champion
  12. Lena Horne (1917- ) – entertainer
  13. Maya Lin (1959- ) – architect
  14. Nawal El Sadaawi (1931- ) – women’s rights activist
  15. Oprah Winfrey (1954- ) – talk show host
  16. Patricia Schroeder (1940- ) – congresswoman
  17. Quah Ah (1893-1949) – artist
  18. Rachel Carson (1907-1964) – environmentalist
  19. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (1945- ) – democratic leader
  20. Mother Teresa (1910-1997) – servant of the poor
  21. Ursula Le Guin (1929- ) – writer
  22. Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit (1900-1990)- diplomat
  23. Wilma Mankiller (1945-), chief of the Cherokee nation
  24. Chen Xiefen (1883-1923) – journalist
  25. Yoshiko Uchida (1922-1992) – writer
  26. Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) – anthropologist, writer

Cynthia Chin-Lee is an award winning children’s book author who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read more about her.