Effective Activist – An Evidence-Based Guide to Progressive Social Change: “Introduction: Why Read the Effective Activist Guide? Why do we engage in activism? For most of us, something that we love has been stolen. Climate change is ravaging the natural world and our communities. Jails are filled with Black and Brown men2whose only crime was being born of a different skin color. Our environment is filled with harmful chemicals that poison all living beings, with 95% of humans living in areas with unhealthy air. One in five women have been the victim of attempted or completed rape, and over 80% have been sexually harassed. Billions of animals endure a torturous existence in factory farms every year. Immigrant communities are torn apart by detentions and deportations. Schools in low-income neighborhoods are funneling children of color into the criminal justice system for minor offenses. The richest 1% of the world’s population owns almost half of the wealth. We feel unsafe when we go outside. We are worried for the well-being of our families and our neighbors. We miss being able to see the stars at night, to take a deep breath of fresh air, to sip clean water from our local stream. We watch the news in fear, anxiously awaiting the day another decision will be made that will further strip us of our rights. Today, 150 species of plants and animals will go extinct. Today, 2,000 people will commit suicide. Today, in the world’s poorest countries, 15,000 children under the age of five will die from a preventable illness. Today, 2,000 of those children will die from diarrhea, lacking access to the simple and enormously cheap treatment of water mixed with salt and sugar.
And today, the five highest earning CEOs will each earn almost $200,000—more in one day than 99.9% of the world earns in one year.1 Today, the 200,000 richest individuals in the world will spend $100 million just on jewelry, watches, sunglasses, and handbags—an amount that could save tens of thousands of lives if it was donated to charity instead. We engage in activism because we are tired of this. We engage in activism because we want to live in a better world, because we want to restore our planet, our neighborhoods, our connection with nature, and our lives. We engage in activism because we want the world to be governed by community and care, not by wealth and violence. This guide will tell you how to reclaim what you love…”