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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30 Significant Medical Achievements and Their Country of Origin

(ref: wikipedia.org, about.com, various other sources)

Much debate occurs today about whether a country’s chosen health system impedes or encourages discovery and invention in the medical field. The fact is… innovation occurs wherever fertile and creative minds are trying to address real human need. Continue reading

12 Things About Pete Seeger

(ref: Pete Seeger Appreciation Page, How can I keep from singing by Sarah Van Gelder in Yes! Magazine, and other various sources)

  1. Seeger went to Harvard but left after two years just before final exams in 1938. He made his way to New York, where he eventually landed a job with the Archives of American Folk Music.
     
  2. On dropping out of the communist movement: “I was never enthusiastic about being somebody who was supposed to be silent about being a member of something.”
     
  3. In 1955 before the House Un-American Activities Committee, Seeger used the First Amendment rather than the Fifth as his reason for refusing to discuss his politics and associations. “Using the Fifth Amendment,” Seeger explained, “is in effect saying, ‘you have no right to ask me this question’; but using the First Amendment means, ‘you have no right to ask any American such questions.’
     
  4. Libby Frank, in 1952 insisted on singing “my brothers and my sisters” instead of “all of my brothers” in the Seeger/Lee song “If I had a hammer”. Lee resisted the change at first. “It doesn’t ripple off the tongue as well. How about ‘all of my siblings’?” Lee later acquiesced. (ref: www.mysongbook.de)
     
  5. Pete’s famous banjo reads: “This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender.” (ref: Yes! Magazine)
     
  6. Testimony to his strong faith in his country’s ultimate and necessary commitment to freedom of expression, Seeger wrote the words to “Bring them Home” which includes the line “…one of the great things about America is that we can speak our minds…” during a time he was being regularly blacklisted and his words and songs were heavily censored.
     
  7. Seeger popularized “We shall overcome” when he published his version of the gospel song in People’s Songs in 1947. It later became one of the most memorable anthems of the civil rights movement in the 60’s being sung at rallies, vigils, and protests.
     
  8. On traveling with Woodie Guthrie, “He taught me how to hitchhike and how to ride freight trains. You don’t get on a freight when it’s in the station—the railroad bulls will kick you off. You go about 100 yards or maybe 200 yards outside to where the train is just picking up speed and you can trot alongside it. You throw your banjo in an empty car, and then you throw yourself in. And you then might go 200 or 300 miles before you stop.”
     
  9. “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy”, an allegorical anti-war song written in 1967 during the war in Vietnam was published by Columbia records but deemed too controversial and never sent to retail stores. It was The Smothers Brothers that made it possible for the world to know about the song when they invited Pete Seeger to be a guest on their television show. The song was edited out before air time by TV executives but The Smothers Brothers got the last word when they went to the press saying, “CBS censors our best jokes, they censored Seeger’s best song. It ain’t fair.” (ref: www.peteseeger.net)
     
  10. In October, 1994, President Clinton awarded Seeger the National Medal of the Arts praising him as “an inconvenient artist who dared to sing things as he saw them.”
     
  11. A Pete Seeger quote, “Learning how to do something in your hometown is the most important thing. … If there’s a world here in a hundred years, it’s going to be saved by tens of millions of little things.”
     
  12. Pete Seeger’s birthday is May 3rd. He turns 90 in 2009.
     

Read At 89 Pete Seeger’s Still A Rebel! at Reach and Teach.

10 Famous People Whose Sexual Orientation Gets Left Out of History Books

(Ref: Unfortunately, History Has Set The Record A Little Too Straight poster – October 11th, 2008 is National Coming Out Day)

  1. James Baldwin – writer (1924-1987)
  2. Willa Cather – writer (1873-1947)
  3. Errol Flynn – actor (1909-1959)
  4. Michelangelo – artist (1475-1564)
  5. Edna St. Vincent Millay – poet/playwright (1892-1950)
  6. Cole Porter – composer (1891-1964)
  7. Eleanor Roosevelt – social activist (1884-1962)
  8. Bessie Smith – singer (1894-1937)
  9. Walt Whitman – poet (1819-1892)
  10. Virginia Woolf – writer (1882-1941)

Everybody’s journey is individual. If you fall in love with a boy, you fall in love with a boy. The fact that many Americans consider it a disease says more about them than it does about homosexuality.
— James Baldwin

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
— Eleanor Roosevelt, This Is My Story, 1937