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MY100DayPlans Civic Action Organization Index

MY100DayPlans Civic Action Organization Index

Over the past 100 days our goal has been to promote some of the best and most effective organizations doing exceptional civic work all over the country, in all communities, on a wide range of causes. Below we’ve compiled a handy Civic Action Index of all 65 featured organizations for your reference.

The organizations and actions we highlighted in this campaign were selected to help you:

  • Resist the politics of fear, greed, xenophobia and authoritarianism.
  • Rebuild threatened Democratic institutions and damaged relationships between family members and communities.
  • Recharge your mind, body and spirit to stay grounded and refueled for the long haul.

Organizations range from government agencies under assault to small grassroots organizations to massive organizations and back to new fledgling movements born on that fateful election day of November 8, 2016. The list below is quite wide-ranging, but it doesn’t even include all the protests, films, books, and funny videos featuring tubists assaulting KKK parades which we’ve shared in this campaign to spark creative civic action.

If you care about the future of your family, your friends, your community and this country, odds are you’re going to find an organization here that fits your cause and that will provide the network for support to keep you engaged in the weeks and months ahead. Don’t be afraid to pick one or a few of these organizations or causes and dig in deep. Consider what talents and resources you have to give, what communities you have access to, and join forces with others to use your superpowers for good.

We need you. We need each other. We hope this helps you stay in the game.

Thanks especially to all the powerful people leading these organizations and working overtime to keep these vital movements afloat.

Resist! Rebuild! Recharge! And viva la Revolución!

 

Action Group Network

A nationwide network of action groups dedicated to moving the country progressively forward in the wake of a divisive election.

 

ACLU

Protect free speech and the right to protest. Fight relentless attacks on reproductive freedom. Push for reforms to our racially-biased criminal justice system

 

All Sides

Unlike regular news services, AllSides exposes bias and provides multiple angles on the same story so you can quickly get the full picture, not just one slant.

 

Americans for the Arts

Foster the arts. Protect civil society. Visit the Arts Mobilization Center for a set of advocacy talking points and tools.

 

The Amplifier Foundation

A visual media experiment dedicated to amplifying the voices of grassroots movements through art and community engagement.

 

Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect

The U.S. national organization in the worldwide network of Anne Frank organizations, addresses civil and human rights across America.

 

A​rch​itects / Designers / Planners for Social Responsibility

Working for peace, environmental protection, ecological building, social justice, and the development of healthy communities.

 

Ballotpedia

The Encyclopedia of American Politics.

 

Benefits.gov

Learn more about SNAP and other food assistance programs.

 

Black Lives Matter

A statement about raising awareness, and Black Lives Matter Media is exposing racism peacefully and proactively locally & worldwide.

 

Brand New Congress Effort

They want to replace nearly every member of Congress on the grounds that reps from both parties have failed America.

 

Can I Vote?

A nonpartisan website was created by state election officials to help eligible voters figure out how and where to go vote.

 

Catch a Fire

This organization makes it easy  for talented professionals to give their skills to mission driven organizations in need.

 

CPJ

The Committee to Protect Journalists is an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide.

 

Community Justice Reform Coalition

Community action to prevent gun violence.

 

Countable

Daily updates on your lawmakers and key developments on the issues you care about.

 

#DayOfFacts

An international social media campaign that took place on February 17, 2017. On this day, museums, libraries, archives, cultural institutions, science centers and other trusted public sources of knowledge shared mission-related content using the hashtag #DayofFacts.

 

Democratic Coalition

The Democratic Coalition Against Trump (DCAT) was formed in the Spring of 2016 with the main goal of making sure that Donald Trump never became President. DCAT now exists to hold the Trump White House accountable. Boycott app.

 

Digital Democracy

A free online platform offers a searchable database of state legislative committees hearings, allowing the user to search videos by keyword, topic, speaker, organization or date. A project of the Institute for Advanced Technology and Public Policy at the California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo.

 

The Drug Policy Alliance

The United State’s leading organization promoting drug policies that are grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights.

 

Fire the Fool

A Digital Demonstration online and around the world.

 

FlipFeed

A Google Chrome Extension that enables Twitter users to replace their own feed with that of another real Twitter user.

 

Girls Who Code

A national non-profit organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology.

 

Grab Your Wallet

Database of all the companies selling Trump products to boycott.

 

Headspace

An app to guide your meditation.

 

Here to Stay

Builds sanctuary spaces and deportation defense networks.

 

Improv Everywhere

High jinks that bring joy to our hearts. Improv Everywhere aims to surprise and delight random strangers through positive pranks, or “missions.”

 

Informed Immigrant

Immigrants and allies can learn about your rights and share with your family, friends, and community to stay safe, informed, and empowered.

 

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA

Delivers your postcard to a refugee child.

 

The Judicial Learning Center

Promotes public understanding of the function and value of the judicial branch of government, especially at the federal level.

 

Lady Parts Justice

The first not safe for work, rapid response reproductive rights messaging hub that uses comedy, culture and digital media to sound an alarm about the terrifying erosion of reproductive access so people will get off their asses and reclaim their rights.

 

Legal Aid Societies:

The Bronx Defenders

The National Immigration Law Center

National Legal Aid and Defender Association

 

March for Science

On Earth Day, May 22, 2017, the Science March in Washington DC and around the world took place. Visit their website for ongoing actions.

 

Mijente

A new political home for Latinx & Chicanx organizing.

 

MIT Media Lab

The lab is offering a $250K prize for rebels with a cause who break the rules to achieve positive change. Deadline May 1.

 

The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC)

Promotes the provision of high quality, comprehensive and affordable health care. They help medically underserved populations.

 

National Endowment for the Arts

An independent federal agency that funds, promotes, and strengthens the creative capacity of our communities by providing all Americans with diverse opportunities for arts participation.

 

National Priorities Project
Works to inspire individuals and movements to take action so our federal resources prioritize peace, shared prosperity, and economic security for all.

 

National Sexual Violence Awareness Center

Provides leadership in preventing and responding to sexual violence through collaboration, sharing and creating resources, and promoting research.

 

Peace Action

Peace Action is a national, grassroots organization committed to organizing a citizen movement working toward disarmament.

 

People’s Climate March

Join the People’s Climate Movement this April 29th in Washington, D.C. and across the country to stand up for our communities and climate.

 

Radical Teacher

Founded in 1975, is a socialist, feminist, and anti-racist journal dedicated to the theory and practice of teaching. It serves the community of educators who are working for democratic process, peace, and justice.

 

Register to Vote

You can register to vote here.

 

Remembering Trayvon

Toolkits to discuss Trayvon Martin’s death.

 

Resistance Calendar
A central listing of upcoming progressive events. Crowdsourced events are checked for accuracy and added to the calendar by a team of volunteers. They have no funding.

 

The Resistance Manual

Created by members of Campaign Zero and Black Lives Matter and crowdsourced publicly.

 

Resistance School

A free four-week practical training program to sharpen skills you need to fight back at the federal, state, and local levels.

 

Revolutionary Love Project

A volunteer-run project that offers calls to action, tools, inspiration, and support to fight for social justice through the ethic of love.

 

Students for a Sensible Drug Policy

An international grassroots network of students who are concerned about the impact of drug abuse on our communities, but who also know that the “War on Drugs” is failing our generation and our society.

 

Teaching Tolerance

Resources for educators on how to foster tolerance in class and out.

 

This is Hunger

A Jewish Response to Hunger’s interactive media experience aimed at eradicating hunger by Mazon.

 

Town Hall Project

Town Hall Project empowers constituents across the country to have face-to-face conversations with their elected representatives.

 

The Trayvon Martin Foundation

A social justice organization committed to ending senseless gun violence, strengthening families through holistic support, S.T.E.A.M. education for women and minorities and mentoring.

 

TRUMPINTELPRO

Brought to you by the Live Free Campaign, this action shows how to pass an ordinance in your city.

 

United Nations Disarmament

Information from the United Nations about disarmament.

 

United We Dream

The largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation.

 

The US Small Business Association

A resource that has great tips for minorities who want to start their own businesses.

 

VolunteerMatch

Find a cause that lights you up. Get in touch with a nonprofit that needs you.

 

Web Foundation

Blends powerful advocacy, cutting-edge research, and practical innovation to build a better web for all.

 

Witness

Trains and supports activists and citizens around the world to use video safely, ethically, and effectively to expose human rights abuse and fight for human rights change.

 

Women’s March

January 21, 2017 march supporting women across a spectrum of issues.

 

World Justice Project

Know of what the rule of law is, and decide for yourself how we are faring.

 

The Yes Men

More than just pranksters. They tackle global warming, gun control, government surveillance, and drug policy. They also empower and teach everyday citizens how to create, execute, and publicize their own activist pranks with Yes Labs.

 


100 Days and Beyond: Resources for Self-Education

100 Days and Beyond: Resources for Self-Education

By S. E. Fleenor

For many people, the election of the current administration served as a resounding wake up call. Millions of people, many of whom had never protested before, have been pouring into the streets in record numbers. In the first week of February, some congressional offices reported receiving as many as 1.5 million phone calls from concerned citizens. Many hope to sustain this work, but the question of momentum has reared its head: Can the diverse pockets of resistance maintain their energy or coalesce into a unified movement?

In response to this question, we must each ask ourselves how we will continue our engagement in resistance. One powerful way to fight ignorance and the rise of a demagogue is through self-education. By learning more about who we are and how we engage in society, we each chip away at the myopia that got us into this situation in the first place.

You may be asking yourself, “But, how?” Well, luckily, there are some sage folks who have been invested in this work and are bringing new folks into the fold. The path to equity may be rocky, especially if it is a new endeavor for you, but here are a few (of many!) organizations that can help you push into newfound territory, surrounded by community.

  • “Our country’s political leaders are poised to erode support for refugees, immigrants, trans and queer individuals, and de-fund women’s health initiatives,” says Nora Bashir, Executive Director at the Chinook Fund. The Chinook Fund and its programs, including the Giving Project, work to ensure “our most vulnerable communities are protected and heard.” Since 2015, Bashir has been leading the implementation of the Giving Project, an intensive six-month program that pairs a critical analysis of race and class with grassroots fundraising to move significant dollars to social justice initiatives. Participants are asked to commit six months to training in grant making, building a collective framework for understanding social justice, fundraising, and evaluating and granting funds to applicants through consensus. In turn, participants will learn about active organizations in their community, traditional philanthropy, and grassroots fundraising, to name a few. This program exists at various sites throughout the country, but originated at Social Justice Fund Northwest, an organization that has been training sister funds throughout the country to implement this innovative funding model. To get involved, reach out to a giving project near you!
  • Founded in 1998, Resource Generationis a nationwide organization that organizes young people with wealth and class privilege around economic equity. Neal Feldman, a member of the Leadership Team, describes how he came to Resource Generation, “I was at a point in my life where my class privilege was staring me directly in the face, and I knew I had to address it, to break social isolation and feelings of shame and guilt around it.” In that vein, according to Feldman, Resource Generation works to build “a community of like-minded people, and tools to take responsibility of our class privilege, and people to hold each other accountable to that responsibility.” Participants can expect to learn about fundraising, utilizing one’s privilege to create equity, including engaging in policy change. Feldman says, “We need to put ourselves on the line, financially and with our bodies, whenever it’s needed, because the current administration is already raising the stakes of struggle and waging so many negative impacts on most ordinary American peoples’ lives.” To get involved with Resource Generation, visit their website, find them on Facebook, and show up!
  • Meetup was launched in 2002 to leverage social networking to get people to meet in person. On February 13 of this year, Meetup released an email announcement to its members. In part, the email reads “after the recent executive order aimed to block people on the basis of nationality and religion, a line was crossed. At a time when core democratic ideals feel under attack, we feel a duty to spark more civic participation.” In that same email, the Meetup community took a groundbreaking step and announced the founding of #Resist Meetups, gatherings promoting opportunities to resist the current administration and rally around creating the world participants desire. With over 130,000 members participating in over a thousand Meetups, it’s safe to say the #Resist Meetups have taken hold. Participants can expect to connect with other passionate people around resisting the current administration. To get involved, simply log in and find a #Resist Meetup near you!

These are only three of the many resources out there to help you continue your self-education while being supported by community. We need each other not just to get the work done, but to be held accountable for the more ineffable, interior work we each must do to become a society that values each and every person. Moreover, having a community of people who are engaged in this work will provide you with a wellspring of energy, encouragement, and joy.

The president’s first 100 days may be drawing to a close, but our work has only just begun.

 S.E. Fleenor writes novels and non-fiction essays centering on feminism, pop culture and social justice. Fleenor is also Executive Director of a non-profit in addition to serving as a non-profit consultant and a copyeditor. Website: sefleenor.com

 


MY100DayPlans Film Club: Films to Help You Resist, Rebuild & Recharge

Welcome to the MY100DayPlans film club! As with our book club, we will update this post with recommendations from our network of activists, educators, movers & shakers to help you Resist, Rebuild & Recharge.

We would also love to hear from YOU. Tweet at #MY100DayPlans or drop us an email if you have any cinematic suggestions. What movies have opened your eyes on an issue? What films inspire and inform your civic action? Which ones help ground you and keep you sane?

Make some popcorn, kick back solo or have some friends over and get informed and ready for action with these awesome films.

  • HyperNormalisation
    Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fny99f8amM
    Why: Resist!
    Documentary filmmaker ​Adam Curtis constructs a winding theory of unreality and politics. Excellent recap on the dynamics of “post-truth politics” and how to handle the madness.
    Also, here’s a review of the film if you want a sneak preview.
  • 13th
    Watch: nflx.it/2lPi7J4
    Why: Resist!
    Brilliant, fast-paced, award-winning, Oscar-nominated film by Ada DuVernay on 150 years of oppression in 100 minutes, making the links from slavery to mass incarceration and pointing out the massive and brutal impact of one short phrase in the 13th amendment.
    Read a great interview with Ava DuVernay here: http://theatln.tc/2lPmXGo
    Consider getting involved with #Cut50, a national bipartisan effort to smartly and safely reduce America’s incarcerated population by 50 percent over the next 10 years.

MY100DayPlans Book Club: Readings to Help You Resist, Rebuild & Recharge

MY100DayPlans Book Club: Readings to Help You Resist, Rebuild & Recharge
Generated by the My100Days BrainTrust & compiled by Heather Lord

Welcome to the MY100DayPlans book club. Over the past 100 days we have collected 60 recommended reads from our network of activists, educators, movers & shakers to help you Resist, Rebuild & Recharge.

We asked: What books have opened your eyes on an issue? What books inform your civic action? What books help ground you and keep you sane?

This list includes fiction and non-fiction from classics to contemporary. Some you will know but we hope that there are a few you’ve never heard of that will inspire you. The list is far from comprehensive. Because we’ve missed some “must reads” at the bottom we’ve also provided some links to other lists: Wanna read more on how to stop Trump? Want to understand better the rise of global populism? Want to know what every informed voter should know? Just scroll down to the end.

Tweet @my100dayplans with your favorites — we’d love to know what you’re reading.

Resist, Rebuild, Recharge — and Read on, friends!

Note: we wholeheartedly encourage you to purchase these books from your local independent bookseller or join your local library. If this is not convenient for you, we have included links to the books from a mix of some of our favorite independent booksellers across the country (and a few major vendors if we couldn’t reliably find them from an indie).

Abolition of White Democracy – Joel Olson
Buy: https://www.semcoop.com/abolition-white-democracy
Why: Olson examines the American obsession with race according to its politics. He finds that despite protests by whites that America is a democracy, in reality it is divided into those who enjoy the benefits of full citizenship and others who do not.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian – Sherman Alexie
Buy: http://www.mcnallyjackson.com/book/9780316013697
Why: “Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.”

Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Buy: http://www.powells.com/book/americanah-9780307455925/1-4
Why: An immigrant story, a woman’s story, a feminist’s story, and an absolutely brilliant, fast-moving read. Provides powerful perspective on racial dynamics in America from the perspective of a young Nigerian woman who has recently moved here.

The Art of War – Sun Tzu
Buy: http://www.strandbooks.com/eastern-religions/art-of-war-081331951x/_/searchString/%20art%20of%20war
Why: A well crafted and astute study of organizations and conflict written over 2,000 years ago, The Art of War has become a go-to conflict and behavioral strategy manual used by politicians, governments and business people today. Fun fact: a Steve Bannon fave (ugh – but know your enemy).

Battle Cry of Freedom – James McPherson
Buy: https://www.semcoop.com/battle-cry-freedomthe-civil-war-era
Why: “Packed with drama and analytical insight, the book vividly recounts the momentous episodes that preceded the Civil War — the Dred Scott decision, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry — and then moves into a masterful chronicle of the war itself–the battles, the strategic maneuvering on both sides, the politics, and the personalities. Particularly notable are McPherson’s new views on such matters as the slavery expansion issue in the 1850s, the origins of the Republican Party, the causes of secession, internal dissent and anti-war opposition in the North and the South, and the reasons for the Union’s victory.”

Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates
Buy: http://www.powells.com/book/between-the-world-and-me-9780812993547
Why: Absolutely essential reading for all seeking to understand the pain, power, past & present of race in America. In the words of Toni Morrison, “I’ve been wondering who might fill the intellectual void that plagued me after James Baldwin died. Clearly it is Ta-Nehisi Coates.” And in his own words, “This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.”
Watch an interview with Coates: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUOPM8il7bQ
Read a review: https://newrepublic.com/article/122275/how-be-black-america

Blueprint for Revolution – Srdja Popovic
Buy: https://www.semcoop.com/blueprint-revolution
Why: The techniques described in this book, “have been adopted by democracy movements around the world. The Egyptian opposition used them to topple Hosni Mubarak. In Lebanon, the Serbs helped the Cedar Revolution extricate the country from Syrian control. In Maldives, their methods were the key to overthrowing a dictator who had held power for thirty years.”

Catch-22 (Heller)
Buy: http://www.strandbooks.com/david%2Dr/catch%2D22%2D50th%2Danniversary%2Dedition%2D1451626657/_/searchString/Catch%2022
Why: Catch-22 is a satire frequently cited as one of the greatest literary works of the 20th century. It cleverly reveals the tragic absurdity of war and military bureaucracies.

The City & The City – China Mieville
Buy: http://www.powells.com/book/city-the-city-9780330534192/68-1
Dystopic near future murder mystery novel on how we are trained to see or “unsee” people with whom we live side by side. It will make you see the people you are constantly “unseeing” every day.

Collected Essays – James Baldwin
Buy: http://www.strandbooks.com/essays/collected-essays-notes-of-a-native-son/_/searchString/james%20baldwin%20collected%20essays
Why: Collection of essays and excepts from books written by James Baldiwn, another brilliant and prominent 20th century critical thinker, reflecting upon and examining the roots of racism in American and its effects on both Black and white Americans as the stage setting for the Civil Rights Movement. Although a commentary on various elements from the Civil Rights Era and Movement, this book and other writings of Baldwin remain relevant in today’s context of the rise of overt and unapologetic white supremacy, immigrant rights, Native American rights and Black Lives Matter.

Critical Race Theory: Key Writings That Formed the Movement – Kimberle Crenshaw
Buy: http://www.powells.com/book/critical-race-theory-the-key-writings-that-formed-the-movement-9781565842717/7-2
Why: “Questioning the old assumptions of both liberals and conservatives with respect to the goals and the means of traditional civil rights reform, critical race theorists have presented new paradigms for understanding racial injustice and new ways of seeing the links between race, gender, sexual orientation, and class. This reader, edited by the principal founders and leading theoreticians of the critical race theory movement, gathers together for the first time the movement’s most important essays.”

Dark Money – Jane Mayer
Buy:http://www.strandbooks.com/nyt-notable-books-2016/dark-money-the-hidden-history-of-the-billionaires-behind-the-rise-of-the-radical-right/_/searchString/dark%20money
Why: Detailed and cogent investigative reporting on the people, families, institutions and companies leveraging their money and influence within the U.S political system in order to mold the US, its laws, politics and social ideologies in their likeness. She is a journalist for the New Yorker, doing a lot of very in depth research into the people behind the scenes in a lot of today’s politics (ie the Koch bros, Scaife, Olin, etc). Follow the money.

Deep Denial – David Billings
Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Deep-Denial-David-Billings/dp/1934390046
Why: “Part popular history, part personal memoir – documents the 400-year racialization of the United States and how people of European descent came to be called “white.” Author David Billings focuses primarily on the deeply embedded notion of white supremacy, and tells us why, despite the Civil Rights movement and an African American president, we remain, in the author’s words, ‘a nation hard-wired by race.’”

Democracy Despite Itself – Daniel Oppenheimer
Buy: https://www.semcoop.com/democracy-despite-itselfwhy-system-shouldnt-work-all-works-so-well
Why: Behavioral economics professor Dr. Oppenheimer’s book “explains the paradox of democracy – how can democracies be successful even when the voters are so uninformed and the system so noisy.”

Emotional Intelligence – Daniel Goleman
Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Emotional-Intelligence-Matter-More-Than/dp/055338371X
Why: This “brilliant report from the frontiers of psychology and neuroscience offers startling new insight into our “two minds”—the rational and the emotional—and how they together shape our destiny….” and our civic and political landscape.

The Enchanted – Rene Denfield
Buy: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-enchanted-rene-denfeld/1115554783
Why: An eye-opening novel about death row that is an exercise in deep empathy. “For the narrator locked inside an ancient prison, waiting for death, life is full of magic, from the golden horses that stampede underground to the tiny men who hammer away inside the stone walls. That the enchanted place is a death row matters less to him than the people he watches from the bars of his cage…”

Evicted – Matthew Desmond
Buy: http://www.strandbooks.com/nyt%2Dnotable%2Dbooks%2D2016/evicted%2Dpoverty%2Dand%2Dprofit%2Din%2Dthe%2Damerican%2Dcity/_/searchString/Evicted%20
Why: “A Harvard sociologist examines the challenge of eviction as a formidable cause of poverty in America, revealing how millions of people are wrongly forced from their homes and reduced to cycles of extreme disadvantage that are reinforced by dysfunctional legal systems.”

The Fourth Turning – William Strauss & Neil Howe
Buy: http://www.strandbooks.com/americana/fourth-turning-an-american-prophecy/_/searchString/%20fourth%20turning%20
Why: Both a historical examination of the cyclical nature of politics and social movements and a well calculated prediction of what this new millennium has in store for the current world order and the institutions that maintain it. Fun fact: a favorite of Steve Bannon that shed light, on his ideology and world view.

From Black Lives Matter to Black Liberation – Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
Buy: https://www.haymarketbooks.org/books/778-from-blacklivesmatter-to-black-liberation
Why: “The eruption of mass protests in the wake of the police murders of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York City have challenged the impunity with which officers of the law carry out violence against Black people and punctured the illusion of a postracial America…In this stirring and insightful analysis, activist and scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor surveys the historical and contemporary ravages of racism and persistence of structural inequality.”

Ghettoside – Jill Leovy
Buy: https://www.semcoop.com/ghettoside-true-story-murder-america
Why: This New York Times Bestseller helps readers understand our nation’s history and current issues with policing of the black community in a new and more comprehensive way.

The Great Influenza – John Barry
Buy: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/great-influenza-john-barry/1100549921?ean=9780143036494
Why: Fascinating from an epidemiology perspective, but the first third chronicles Wilson turning the US into a totalitarian state to create a war machine. His actions ramping up to the US engagement in WWI tell a different story and are frighteningly similar to what is happening around us today.

The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and American Capitalism – Edward Baptist
Buy: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-half-has-never-been-told-edward-e-baptist/1118232708?ean=9780465049660
Why: “Told through intimate slave narratives, plantation records, newspapers, and the words of politicians, entrepreneurs, and escaped slaves, The Half Has Never Been Told offers a radical new interpretation of American history.”

Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi
Buy: https://www.semcoop.com/homegoing-novel
Why: “The unforgettable New York Times best seller begins with the story of two half-sisters, separated by forces beyond their control: one sold into slavery, the other married to a British slaver. Written with tremendous sweep and power, Homegoing traces the generations of family who follow, as their destinies lead them through two continents and three hundred years of history, each life indelibly drawn, as the legacy of slavery is fully revealed in light of the present day.”

Hope in the Dark – Rebecca Solnit
Buy: https://www.semcoop.com/hope-dark-untold-histories-wild-possibilities
Why: “Hope in the Dark was written to counter the despair of radicals at a moment when they were focused on their losses and had turned their back to the victories behind them–and the unimaginable changes soon to come. In it, she makes a radical case for hope as a commitment to act in a world whose future remains uncertain and unknowable.”

Imagined Communities – Benedict Anderson
Buy: http://www.powells.com/book/imagined-communities-reflections-on-the-origin-spread-of-nationalism-9781784786755/62-0
Why: This book “remains the most influential book on the origins of nationalism… Cited more often than any other single English-language work in the human sciences, it is read around the world in more than thirty translations…Following the rise and conflict of nations and the decline of empires, Anderson draws on examples from South East Asia, Latin America and Europe’s recent past to show how nationalism shaped the modern world.”

Inside Newark: Decline, Rebellion, and the Search for Transformation – Robert Curvin
Buy: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/inside-newark-robert-curvin/1117334520?ean=9780813565712
Why: Civil Rights leader Robert Curvin was on the front lines of the 1967 Newark Riots/Rebellion, and has unique insights from his own experience and that of hundreds of Newark residents past and present which offer big picture lessons and a blueprint of sorts regarding the quest for social justice, the nature of social movements and the fate of America’s struggling cities.

Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison
Buy: https://www.semcoop.com/invisible-man-3
Why: Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time…the nameless narrator of the novel describes growing up in a black community in the South, attending a Negro college from which he is expelled, moving to New York and becoming the chief spokesman of the Harlem branch of ‘the Brotherhood,’ and retreating amid violence and confusion to the basement lair of the Invisible Man he imagines himself to be.”

The Jailing of Cecelia Capture – Janet Campbell
Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Jailing-Cecelia-Capture-Janet-Campbell/dp/0826310036
Pulitzer-Prize nominated novel by Native American author Janet Campbell about, “an Indian law student and mother of two, jailed on her thirtieth birthday for drunk driving. Held on an old welfare fraud charge, she reflects back on her life on the reservation in Idaho, her days as an unwed mother in San Francisco, her marriage to a white liberal, and her decision to return to college.”

Just Mercy – Bryan Stevenson
Buy: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/just-mercy-bryan-stevenson/1120199052?ean=9780812984965
Why: You already know the US criminal justice system is messed up, but Stevenson adds very moving – and outrageous – details on that story.

Native Son – Richard Wright
Buy: https://www.semcoop.com/native-son-0
Why: “Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic. Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Wright’s powerful novel is an unsparing reflection on the poverty and feelings of hopelessness experienced by people in inner cities across the country and of what it means to be black in America.”

No Logo – Naomi Klein
Buy: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/no-logo-naomi-klein/1116780781?ean=9780312429270
Why: “In the last decade, No Logo has become an international phenomenon and a cultural manifesto for the critics of unfettered capitalism worldwide…Equal parts cultural analysis, political manifesto, mall-rat memoir, and journalistic exposé, No Logo is the first book to put the new resistance into pop-historical and clear economic perspective.”

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century – Timothy Snyder
Buy: http://www.strandbooks.com/bestsellers/on-tyranny-twenty-lessons-from-the-twentieth-century
Why: “Post-truth is pre-Facism.” Sobering words from someone who would know. Yale historian Timothy D. Snyder is an expert on 20th Century genocides and dictatorships. He knows the past century’s failures and he knows the slippery, deceptive slope societies have gone down to cause some of the worst atrocities in recent history. “On Tyranny” is a powerful, easy-to-read, succinct handbook on 20 things you need to do in order to stop yourself and stop your country from disaster, including planning ahead for how you want to react should things get even worse. This is important. Read up.
For sneak preview, here is his interview on NPR and a good Vox article.

Oryx and Crake (Maddaddam Trilogy) – Margaret Atwood
Buy: http://www.powells.com/book/maddaddam-trilogy-box-oryx-crake-the-year-of-the-flood-maddaddam-9780804172318/62-0
Why: “Set in a darkly plausible future shaped by plagues, floods, and genetic engineering, these three novels take us from the end of the world to a brave new beginning. Thrilling, moving, and a triumph of imagination, the Maddaddam Trilogy confirms the ultimate endurance of humanity, community, and love.”

The Parable of Talents – Octavia Butler
Buy: https://www.semcoop.com/parable-sower-parable-talents
Parable of the Talents & Parable of the Sower tell the story of how, as the U.S. continues to fall apart, the protagonist’s community is attacked and taken over by a bloc of religious fanatics who inflict brutal atrocities.”

Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63 – Taylor Branch
Buy: https://www.semcoop.com/parting-watersamerica-king-years-1954-1963
Why: “Taylor Branch provides an unsurpassed portrait of King’s rise to greatness and illuminates the stunning courage and private conflict, the deals, maneuvers, betrayals, and rivalries that determined history behind closed doors, at boycotts and sit-ins, on bloody freedom rides, and through siege and murder.”

Peace is Every Step – Thicht Nat Hanh
Buy: powells.com/book/peace-is-every-step
Why: Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh shares short, readable, beautiful bursts of inspiration on how you can find and create peace in the midst of chaos. One of his pearls of wisdom, “Freedom is not given to us by anyone; we have to cultivate it ourselves. It is a daily practice… No one can prevent you from being aware of each step you take or each breath in and breath out.” Also check out this Oprah interview with Thich Nhat Hanh.

Pedagogy of the Oppressed – Paolo Friere
Buy: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pedagogy-of-the-oppressed-paulo-freire/1101317207?ean=9780826412768
Why: “The methodology of the late Paulo Freire has helped to empower countless impoverished and illiterate people throughout the world. Freire’s work has taken on especial urgency in the United States and Western Europe, where the creation of a permanent underclass among the underprivileged and minorities in cities and urban centers is increasingly accepted as the norm.”

People’s History of the United States – Howard Zinn
Buy: https://www.semcoop.com/peoples-history-united-states-0
Why: “Known for its lively, clear prose as well as its scholarly research, A People’s History of the United States is the only volume to tell America’s story from the point of view of–and in the words of–America’s women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, the working poor, and immigrant laborers. As historian Howard Zinn shows, many of our country’s greatest battles–the fights for a fair wage, an eight-hour workday, child-labor laws, health and safety standards, universal suffrage, women’s rights, racial equality–were carried out at the grassroots level, against bloody resistance.”

Player Piano (and other short stories) – Kurt Vonnegut
Buy: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/kurt-vonnegut-kurt-vonnegut/1121140356?ean=9781598531503
Why: Covering a range of issues from the inadvertently disastrous impacts of technology to the “the interplanetary adventures of the world’s wealthiest and most despised man” (nope – not President You Know Who but there are some parallels) this book holds 6 of Vonnegut’s “best short stories, gems that display his matchless talent for hilarious invention and caustic social criticism.”

The Politics of Uncertainty – Peter Marris
Buy: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-politics-of-uncertainty-peter-marris/1111880849?ean=9780415131728
Why: Blends attachment theory, community development, and capitalism to demonstrate how our structure and culture revolve around shifting uncertainty onto others because we have wrongly convinced ourselves that we’re a competitive species. He shifts the focus to cooperation and has a surprise ending that involves de-gendering concepts.

PRANKS (Vol 1 & 2) – Re/Search Publications
Buy: Pranks! #1 (1988) https://www.researchpubs.com/shop/pranks-paperback-also-rare-hardback-available-2-2/
Pranks! #2 (2006) https://www.researchpubs.com/shop/pranks-2-2/
Why: To inspire some creative #goodtrouble, check out PRANKS Vol 1 & 2, the ultimate “underground history of pranks, tricks, and acts of mischievous subversion.” Featuring a range of artists, activists and comedians including the Yes Men, Henry Rollins, Earth First!, Margaret Cho, John Waters, the Billboard Liberation Front & more. An iconoclastic classic! Here are some reviews: https://www.researchpubs.com/products-page-2/pranks-2-reviews/

The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions – Paula Gunn Allen
Buy: https://www.semcoop.com/sacred-hoop-recovering-feminine-amer-india
Why: An eye-opening book arguing “that women played a much larger role in Native societies than was recorded by the largely patriarchal Europeans in their writings.”

Sapiens – Yuval Noah Harari
Buy: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sapiens-yuval-noah-harari/1118611502?ean=9780062316097
Why: Sometimes it’s powerful to zoom out – way out – and consider our current urges and predicaments in the long history of our evolution as species. This book tackles big questions like, “How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations, and human rights; to trust money, books, and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables, and consumerism?”

Scoop – Evelyn Waugh
Buy: https://www.semcoop.com/scoop
Why: Prescient look at the role and foibles of the press in “Waugh’s exuberant comedy of mistaken identity and brilliantly irreverent satire of the hectic pursuit of hot news.”

Seeing Like a State – James Scott
Buy: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/seeing-like-a-state-james-c-scott/1111647780?ean=9780300078152
Why: “Compulsory ujamaa villages in Tanzania, collectivization in Russia, Le Corbusier’s urban planning theory realized in Brasilia, the Great Leap Forward in China, agricultural “modernization” in the Tropics—the twentieth century has been racked by grand utopian schemes that have inadvertently brought death and disruption to millions. Why do well-intentioned plans for improving the human condition go tragically awry?”

Sellout – Paul Beatty
Buy: https://www.semcoop.com/sellout-novel
Why: It’s acrobatic and hilarious and piercing. A best-seller across the board and “a biting satire about a young man’s isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, Paul Beatty’s The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. It challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality–the black Chinese restaurant.”

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace – Jeff Hobbs
Buy: https://www.semcoop.com/short-and-tragic-life-robert-peace-brilliant-young-man-who-left-newark-ivy-league
Why: “A compelling and honest portrait of Robert s relationships with his struggling mother, with his incarcerated father, with his teachers and friends The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace encompasses the most enduring conflicts in America: race, class, drugs, community, imprisonment, education, family, friendship, and love. It s about the collision of two fiercely insular worlds the ivy-covered campus of Yale University and the slums of Newark, New Jersey, and the difficulty of going from one to the other and then back again. It s about trying to live a decent life in America.”

Sister Outsider – Audre Lorde
Buy: http://www.strandbooks.com/product/sister-outsider/_/searchString/sister%20outsider
Why: “A collection of essays written by one the the 20th century’s most prominent woman critical thinkers providing intersectional commentary on the great social issues of our day (race, class, feminism, homophobia and access.) and dissects often overlooked nuances and exposes the truly insidious nature of the inner workings of each that still plague society as seen in our current electoral politics and state and federal legislative battles.”

Stamped from the Beginning by Ibrahim X Kendi
Buy: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stamped-from-the-beginning-ibram-x-kendi/1122344517?ean=9781568584638#productInfoTabs
Why: “In this deeply researched, provocative narrative, Kendi offers a comprehensive history of anti-Black racist ideas— their origins in fifteenth-century Portugal, their arrival in England in the mid-sixteenth century, and their blossoming in the United States, where they became the founding principles of our nation’s institutions and guarantors of its power.”

Strangers in their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right – Arlie Russell Hochschild
Buy: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/strangers-in-their-own-land-arlie-russell-hochschild/1124580624?ean=9781620972250
Why: “Strangers in Their Own Land, nominated for a National Book Award, grew out of Hochschild’s alarm over the country’s deepening political divide and her heartfelt interest in understanding, in her words, ‘how life feels to people on the right.’ Over a period of five years, Hochschild traveled to Louisiana bayou country from her Berkeley home to get to know a group of men and women she comes to refer to as her “Tea Party friends” and to understand why, in an area that’s suffered from calamitous industrial pollution, they put more faith in industry than in government.”

The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison
Buy: https://www.semcoop.com/bluest-eye
We should all read everything by Toni Morrison, but make sure you read Morrison s “virtuosic first novel asks powerful questions about race, class, and gender with the subtlety and grace that have always characterized her writing.” She somehow breaks and remakes your heart with every story.

Confessions of an Economic hitman – John Perkins
Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Confessions-Economic-Hit-John-Perkins/dp/0452287081
Why: “From the U.S. military in Iraq to infrastructure development in Indonesia, from Peace Corps volunteers in Africa to jackals in Venezuela, Perkins exposes a conspiracy of corruption that has fueled instability and anti-Americanism around the globe, with consequences reflected in our daily headlines. Having raised the alarm, Perkins passionately addresses how Americans can work to create a more peaceful and stable world for future generations.”

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate – Naomi Klein
Buy: https://www.semcoop.com/changes-everything-capitalism-vs-climate
Why: “Klein argues that climate change isn’t just another issue to be neatly filed between taxes and health care. It’s an alarm that calls us to fix an economic system that is already failing us in many ways”

Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead
Buy: http://www.powells.com/book/the-underground-railroad-9780385542364/18-0
Why: Cuz Oprah said so, cuz it won a Pulitzer and because, “Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre–Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day.”

We – Yevgeny Zamyatin
Buy: https://www.semcoop.com/we
Why: When Trump was elected, everyone was talking anew about the importance of reading books like Orwell’s 1984; well, how about reading the original Russian novel from which Orwell lifted much of the plot for 1984! Zamyatin’s short classic, “We” is  “at once satirical and sobering and now available in a powerful new translation. We is both a rediscovered classic and a work of tremendous relevance to our own times.”

Weapons of the Weak – James Scott
Buy: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/weapons-of-the-weak-james-c-scott/1101223727?ean=9780300036411
Why: “The constant and circumspect struggle waged by peasants materially and ideologically against their oppressors shows that techniques of evasion and resistance may represent the most significant and effective means of class struggle in the long run.”

Why Civil Resistance Works – Chenoweth & Stephen
Buy: https://cup.columbia.edu/book/why-civil-resistance-works/9780231156820
Why: Because it tells us why nonviolent resistance works!

Winner Take All Society – Why the Few at the Top Get So Much More Than the Rest of Us – Frank & Cook
Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Winner-Take-All-Society-Much-More-Than/dp/0140259953
Why: As Trump cuts taxes for the wealthiest, this is truly essential reading on how the heck we got here. “During the last two decades, the top one percent of U.S. earners captured more than 40 percent of the country’s total earnings growth, one of the largest shifts any society has endured without a revolution or military defeat. Robert H. Frank and Philip J. Cook argue that behind this shift lies the spread of “winner-take-all markets”—markets in which small differences in performance give rise to enormous differences in reward.”

Women and the Politics of Place – Wendy Harcourt
Buy: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/women-and-the-politics-of-place-wendy-harcourt/1101341187?ean=9781565492073
Why: “Harcourt and Escobar analyze women’s economic and social justice movements by challenging traditional views. The authors reveal how an interrelated set of transformations around body, environment, and the economy factors into place-based practices of women and how these provide alternative ways of advancement in these mobilizations.”

Writing My Wrongs – Shaka Senghor
Buy: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/writing-my-wrongs-shaka-senghor/1122785237?ean=9781101907313
Why: Many books talk *about* the US prison system, but Shaka Senghor is an extraordinary social justice leader who was raised in Detroit, sent to prison for murder and who, “during his 19-year incarceration, 7 of which were spent in solitary confinement, discovered literature, meditation, self-examination, and the kindness of others—tools he used to confront the demons of his past, forgive the people who hurt him, and begin atoning for the wrongs he had committed…a page-turning portrait of life in the shadow of poverty, violence, and fear; an unforgettable story of redemption, reminding us that our worst deeds don’t define us; and a compelling witness to our country’s need for rethinking its approach to crime, prison, and the men and women sent there.” Here’s Shaka’s moving interview on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday.