Equipping nonprofits to advance social change

Tag: Social Movements

Understanding Movements for Social Change:

This interview was conducted by Nell Edgington and reposted from Social Velocity. To read the full interview, click here. Nell: What is the role of leadership in movement and network building? How do you balance the need for organic and distributed power with the need for someone (or multiple someones)...more

#BlackLivesMatter: It’s more than a Hashtag

This week, I had the opportunity to join the Progressive Technology Project’s webinar on #BlackLivesMatter. BLM Co-Founder, Alicia Garza, explained how #BlackLivesMatter is a tool to address the dehumanization of black people throughout the United States. Armed with a robust social media strategy, #BlackLivesMatter provides a platform for...more

Celebrating Successes AND Failures of Occupy Wall Street at 2nd Anniversary

As we mark the second anniversary of the start of the first encampments in Zuccotti Park that sparked the movement now known as “Occupy Wall Street” (though its reach represented a much wider geographic area than downtown Manhattan), Rick Cohen at Nonprofit Quarterly reflects on the movement&rsquo...more

Webinar Recap! At the Crossroads: The Future of the LGBT Movement

Last Tuesday BMP hosted a webinar based on the findings of our recent report, At the Crossroads: The Future of the LGBT Movement.  Following the court strike-down of DOMA and Prop 8 late last month, we found the findings of our report- that movement leaders think marriage equality is but one step towards full inclusion for the LGBT community- were especially relevant.  We had over 60 people on the line last week, mostly from advocacy and organizing groups (both LGBT-based and non-LGBT), but with strong representation from grantmakers, consultants, and service delivery organizations as well.

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For Full Inclusion and Equality, Must Look Beyond Marriage

As the Supreme Court prepares to submit rulings on the two same-sex marriage cases awaiting decision right now, Sean Thomas-Bretifeld discusses the implications of these decisions and what they will mean for the LGBT movement moving forward.  A strike down of DOMA and California's Proposition 8 will mean a big win in the recent string of marriage equality victories. Yet Sean, citing the findings of our new report, argues that the legal changes represented in these marriage equality wins aren't enough to solve greater injustices or prevent other kinds of further discrimination, like housing and employment.  Instead, he argues that a movement based on a broader coalition that is focused on a more comprehensive social justice platform will do more to bring the LGBT community closer to full inclusion. 

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At the Crossroads

At the Crossroads explores how local, state, and national policy advocates and organizers see the future of the LGBT movement. The findings point to LGBT leaders’ desire to define movement making beyond the marriage moment. The respondents in our study, many of whom work  on marriage equality, are aware of the long road ahead, and there is a deep concern that the LGBT movement is not prepared to address a host of issues that prevent LGBT people from obtaining full equity and fairness.

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Learning How to ACT UP

Sean Thomas-Breitfeld reflects on what it was about the film United in Anger that motivated him to create an accompanying discussion guide for activists and organizers: I first saw the documentary United in Anger: A History of ACT UP a year ago. As I watched the film, I was engrossed in story of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power. I was inspired by the successes of this movement that made it possible for an HIV diagnosis to not be an immediate death sentence. But I was also moved to tears by the footage of activists scattering the ashes of those who lost their lives to the virus. When I reflected on the film though, what struck me the most was the willingness of the filmmaker, Jim Hubbard, to explore the internal divisions and debates that struggled to manage in the midst of its fight against widespread indifference by the government, researchers and healthcare industry. Although it would have been tempting to overlook the internal strife in service of a triumphant narrative about ACT UP, this complexity made the film both refreshing and instructive.

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United in Anger

United in Anger: A History of ACT UP is a moving and inspiring film, and a great resource for organizers and activists of all stripes. This packet of discussion guides is designed to help groups learn from the example of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power and apply the lessons of ACT UP’s organizing tactics and campaign strategies to their own movements today. The first guide in the packet is for a single viewing of the full film, with discussion questions and an activity. The second guide splits the film into four sections, for groups of activists who want to watch and reflect on the film over the course of a month of weekly meetings. No matter which discussion guide your organization uses, this film will help your members recommit to organizing and action on the pressing issues of today.

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