Stand Up!

How to Get Involved, Speak Out, and Win in a World on Fire

Gordon Whitman (Author)

Stand Up!
Stand Up!
How to Get Involved, Speak Out, and Win in a World on Fire

A society that actively combats racism, treats climate change as a serious threat, and ensures that all people have a living wage and a decent life for themselves and their families is not a progressive pipe dream. Victories are being won every day, all over the country. But they didn't happen just by clicking “donate” on a website. Gordon Whitman says that fundamental change demands forming the kind of face-to-face relationships that have sustained every social movement in history.

For two decades, Whitman has been working with PICO National Network to equip tens of thousands to fight racial discrimination and economic injustice. He brings that experience to this book, describing five kinds of conversations that enable people to create organizations that can successfully overcome the forces of oppression and reaction.

The first conversation to have is with ourselves, to make sure we're clear about our purpose and in it for the long haul. Then we need to share the personal story of how we came to this point with others—there is no more powerful way to connect. They in turn will share
their stories, and then we can have the third conversation, about becoming a team. This team reaches out to people they know to talk about their concerns and priorities, building a broad base of supporters.. Then, with our base at our back, we can have that final conversation, directly confronting the powers that be.

Of course, this isn't as simple as it sounds. Appropriately enough, Whitman uses stories, his own and others, to illustrate how best to handle these conversations and to show how they work together to build a movement. We can't just sit on the sidelines sharing angry social media posts or signing online petitions. We need to get directly involved, reach out, knock on doors, and bring our whole selves to the table if the changes our country so desperately need are ever going to come.

Read more and meet author below



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Overview

Stand Up!
How to Get Involved, Speak Out, and Win in a World on Fire

A society that actively combats racism, treats climate change as a serious threat, and ensures that all people have a living wage and a decent life for themselves and their families is not a progressive pipe dream. Victories are being won every day, all over the country. But they didn't happen just by clicking “donate” on a website. Gordon Whitman says that fundamental change demands forming the kind of face-to-face relationships that have sustained every social movement in history.

For two decades, Whitman has been working with PICO National Network to equip tens of thousands to fight racial discrimination and economic injustice. He brings that experience to this book, describing five kinds of conversations that enable people to create organizations that can successfully overcome the forces of oppression and reaction.

The first conversation to have is with ourselves, to make sure we're clear about our purpose and in it for the long haul. Then we need to share the personal story of how we came to this point with others—there is no more powerful way to connect. They in turn will share
their stories, and then we can have the third conversation, about becoming a team. This team reaches out to people they know to talk about their concerns and priorities, building a broad base of supporters.. Then, with our base at our back, we can have that final conversation, directly confronting the powers that be.

Of course, this isn't as simple as it sounds. Appropriately enough, Whitman uses stories, his own and others, to illustrate how best to handle these conversations and to show how they work together to build a movement. We can't just sit on the sidelines sharing angry social media posts or signing online petitions. We need to get directly involved, reach out, knock on doors, and bring our whole selves to the table if the changes our country so desperately need are ever going to come.

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Meet the Author


Visit Author Page - Gordon Whitman

Gordon Whitman is Director of Policy for PICO National Network. As a community organizer, legal services lawyer and strategist, Gordon has helped working families build strong and effective community organizations for 18 years. A lawyer, he is the author of Making Accountability Work in the New York University Review of Law and Social Change (2003), Teaching Inequality: The Problem of Public School Tracking in Harvard Law Review (1987) and policy studies on U.S. school reform, urban credit markets, housing policy and international education reform. He has taught the History and Theory of Community Organizing as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania and has a BA in Urban Studies and History from the University of Pennsylvania and a JD from Harvard Law School. As a community organizer, legal services lawyer and strategist, Gordon has helped working families build strong and effective community organizations for 18 years. Gordon began organizing in Philadelphia in 1992 as the co-founder of the Eastern Pennsylvania Organizing Project, where he directed successful organizing campaigns to improve low-performing public schools, reverse bank redlining and revitalize housing in urban neighborhoods. He served as Director of Research for Democracy and the Associate Director of the Center for Public Policy at Temple University, where he conducted research projects on racial and socio-economic disparities in access to high quality teachers; economic models for eliminating blight and revitalizing neighborhoods; the impact of suburban sprawl on faith institutions; and teacher and parent attitudes toward school governance and decision-making. He was also the founding organizer of Flint Area Congregations Together, a PICO affiliate in Flint, Michigan. A lawyer, he is the author of Making Accountability Work in the New York University Review of Law and Social Change (2003), Teaching Inequality: The Problem of Public School Tracking in Harvard Law Review (1987) and policy studies on U.S. school reform, urban credit markets, housing policy and international education reform. He has taught the History and Theory of Community Organizing as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania and has a BA in Urban Studies and History from the University of Pennsylvania and a JD from Harvard Law School.

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