Sarah van Gelder / The Revolution Where You Live
In late 2015, Sarah van Gelder drove through the American heartland, covering 12,000 miles over the course of four months, living in her tiny truck camper, exploring the plains and mountains of the west, Native reservations, rust belt cities, Appalachian hamlets, and southern cities. She stopped often and listened deeply, taking time to hear people’s worries and draw out their hopes and plans for change. Van Gelder called this immersive style of reporting "slow journalism." Please join us in welcoming Sarah as she presents the result of her journey: The Revolution Where You Live: Stories From A 12,000-Mile Journey Through A New America.
The Revolution Where You Live contains stories, mostly from so-called “red states," of the people building locally rooted economies, working for racial justice, and resisting mining and fracking projects. These stories offer hope for building a better world at a time when national politics is hostile and gridlocked. Van Gelder invites readers to be part of making the shift in their community. She finds hope in grassroots stories of people breaking through crippling isolation and overcoming historic divides, of people building a new economic foundation and discovering the power they have to make transformative change. She even provides a helpful list of tips for readers – "101 Ways to Reclaim Local Power" (see excerpt below).
“What the world needs today is a modern Odysseus -- one who speaks with the power and love of the feminine, listens from the heart, and acts from compassion. Sarah van Gelder is that hero, a woman who understands that the monsters blocking our paths are our own creations, that the way out of chaos is through soul-felt, community-centered involvement. The Revolution Where You Live is a song of modern redemption.” -- John Perkins, New York Times bestselling author of New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
“What a journey! Sarah van Gelder uncovers the real revolution unfolding across America: leaderless and leader-full, up against it and angry, but still willing to hope. A passionate, powerful account!” -- Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy and The End of Nature and cofounder of 350.org
“Journalist Sarah van Gelder says we can build the political revolution Bernie Sanders talks about from the bottom up, away from the iron grip of Wall Street and wealthy corporate interests. That’s a future we can all believe in.” -- RoseAnn DeMoro, Executive Director, National Nurses United, and National Vice President, AFL-CIO
10 Ways to Reclaim Local Power in your Community
Excerpted from the “101 Ways to Reclaim Local Power", featured in The Revolution Where You Live
- Learn about the original people whose land you live on. Acknowledge them.
- Walk. Pause to talk with people you encounter.
- Hold forums to set community priorities and then invite elected officials to respond to your agenda. Ask for commitments and report-backs.
- Have visioning sessions, “Imagine (your neighborhood or city),” where you meet to discuss not what’s gone wrong, but what you want to create.
- Find out the mechanics of voting and ballot access, and make sure both are fair.
- Learn about police practices in your community: Are people of color or immigrants disproportionately stopped, arrested, prosecuted, and sentenced? Are police confiscating property, or is people’s inability to pay fines resulting in extended prison time? What is the mechanism for civilian oversight?
- Find out who in your community is homeless; form a group to offer connection and support.
- Reclaim unused land for farming and foraging.
- Encourage retiring business owners to sell their businesses to their workers, and help the workers form cooperatives.
- Hold celebrations featuring the diverse foods, music, dance, and art from the cultures and traditions that make up your community.
Sarah van Gelder is co-founder and editor at large of award-winning YES! Magazine, where she writes a bi-weekly column, also called, “The Revolution Where You Live.” She explores the leading edge of change, writing and speaking internationally on topics ranging from cooperative economics to mass incarceration, from health to sustainable lifestyles. Van Gelder is a regular guest on public radio and has also appeared on the PBS NewsHour program, Thom Hartmann’s Big Picture, Democracy Now!, The Laura Flanders Show, and Free Speech TV. She is the editor of the books This Changes Everything: Occupy Wall Street and the 99 Percent Movement and Sustainable Happiness: Live Simply, Live Well, Make a Difference.
RSVP appreciated but not required. If you cannot attend the event, but would like a copy of The Revolution Where You Live, please order below and place your request in the comments section.