With this past year’s spontaneous eruptions of social action across the world from Occupy Wall Street to SlutWalk protests, from the revolution in Egypt to the Wisconsin labor fight, there is one thing that is evident: Activism is alive and kicking.
In the new fall issue of On The Issues Magazine, writers and thinkers take a look at the state of feminist and progressive Activism. In Unfurling the Progressive Banner: Where We Are, longtime progressive activist Leslie Cagan offers five essential keys for forward progress, while Stephanie Gilmore looks at the pros and cons of the Slutwalk phenomenon in Marcha de las Putas: Slut Walking Crosses Global Divides. Amanda Marcotte explains in Getting Over the Online v. Offline Debate why the synergy of technology-based and in-person organizing will define the future.
In Sexual Rights: Advocating for Vibrant Reframing, Juhu Thukral calls for adopting a model of sexual rights that can draw together concerns about gender violence, GLBT, reproductive freedom, sex worker safety and more. Margaret Morganroth Gullette asserts in Taking A Stand Against Ageism At All Ages: A Powerful Coalition that generational prejudice must be conquered in order to secure social justice.
In Patient Power: The Reluctant Revolution, Merle Hoffman describes how the emergence of Patient Power altered the doctor-patient relationship forever. Carol Downer recalls, in No Stopping: From Pom-Poms to Saving Women’s Bodies, her journey from cheerleader to an outspoken advocate for reproductive rights worldwide. In Challenging People to Think: Activism for Atheism, Sunsara Taylor explains why she wants to cut through religious mythology in her drive for revolutionary change.
Ileana JiminÃz shows how the concepts of women’s studies can be used in high schools to engage students in social justice activism in Teaching Feminism in High School: Moving from Theory to Action. Thaler Pekar writes in Stories Matter: How to Power Up Your Activism about the importance of using real-world experiences in enriching advocacy and outreach, while Anne Galisky in Filming Against Odds: Undocumented Youth “Come Out” With Their Dreams describes her experiences in making a film about immigrant youth as a Dream Act tool for activism.
In Food for the Soul: Poetry that Pierces Injustice, Sarah Browning describes how poetry keeps the mind limber for creative advocacy, while five poets selected by Poetry Co-Editor Judith Arcana sing of inspiring path breakers and guides in the The Poet’s Eye.
Eleanor Bader profiles Heather Ault, a visual artist who places reproductive justice at the core of her creative endeavors. Graphic journalist Susie Cagle, in What Every Woman Should Know, uses her visual and writing talents to portray the sly operations of anti-abortion Crisis Pregnancy Centers in the Bay. In “The Art Perspective”,curated by Art Editor Linda Stein, The Guerrilla Girls relate in slides, video and audio clips their decades of art poking fun at gender inequities.
Seasoned activist Laura Whitehorn writes in Letter to a Young Activist: Left to Learn from the ’60s about the hope that activists will embrace incarcerated political prisoners, particularly Black Panthers, whose voices were silenced by government targeting. Lindsey Hennawi, in Our Little Light: Letter From A Young Activist, describes how her activist tendencies were fostered by her mother’s insistence on speaking out against injustice. Gabrielle Korn, in Speak Out: Sharing Passions, Tips, Techniques, gathers a crop of impressive activists to reveal their insights, including Jennifer Baumgardner, Samhita Mukhopadhyay, Jaclyn Friedman, Sarah Elspeth Patterson, Catherine Sameh and Sarah Morison.
In On The Issues’ new feature, Students Think, we offer writings from “the academy” in response to On The Issues Magazine. The first entries come from the women’s studies seminar at Hobart and William Smith College, where students studied our edition on The Conning of the Feminists.
With bold new start-up efforts, feminist and progressive activism has seemingly heated up. But it also has been there all along, working away, creating ideas, keeping the fires burning, making change. For this fall issue, On The Issues brings these movements to life online.