Radio Show broadcast: Sunday July 24, WMUA 91.1
Tune in to FOCUS on WMUA 91.1 (or listen live on the web) this Sunday, July 24 from noon until 1 pm (ET), to hear FOCUS co-host Leo Maley in conversation with long-time community organizer and author, Linda Stout. (Interviews begin following our theme song at approximately 12:03 p.m.)
We will be discussing Linda’s experiences with collective visioning and how to organize most effectively for progressive social change.
Linda explores these topics in her new book, Collective Visioning: How Groups Can Work Together for a Just and Sustainable Future.
This well-written, insightful, and provocative book is a must read for anyone interested in community organizing, social movements, and progressive social change.
Linda Stout grew up poor in North Carolina. Her father was a tenant farmer, later factory worker, and her mother worked in the textile mills until she became disabled when Linda was five. Growing up in poverty, and being 13th generation Quaker, Linda wanted to make her community better but thought the only way to do that was through prayer and making small changes. It was through the Quakers (Society of Friends) that she first became politicized and understood organizing for change.
Linda’s first job at the age of ten was working in tobacco and after high school, becoming a textile mill worker, and later a secretary where she began to get more involved in work for change. Linda went on to become a community organizer with a keen awareness about the need to speak the language of people who didn’t know the language of social change and organizing.
Her awareness of her own roots and of the people she wanted to reach let her create along with many others from the community Piedmont Peace Project. One of the most successful grassroots organizations in the Southeast in the 1980s, PPP was formed in the midst of a daunting mix of well-organized corporate interests, including textile giant Cannon Mills and icons of intolerance such as Senator Jesse Helms and the Ku Klux Klan.
PPP made historic political and social change in local communities and brought Linda experiences such as Piedmont Peace Project being featured in the PBS documentary, The Rage for Democracy; appearing on a panel with Hillary Clinton and Bill Moyers, and one of their proudest moments, being featured in Family Circle, a magazine most of her community read. Linda was appointed the Public Policy and then Bunting Fellow at Radcliff/Harvard. There she wrote her first book, Bridging the Class Divide: and Other Lessons for Grassroots Organizers, with a foreword by Howard Zinn (Beacon Press 1997).
Now, with Spirit in Action, the organization she founded in 2000, Linda follows her passion to make movements for change welcoming to people of all backgrounds working from a place of heart and values. She helps bring people together to build trust so that all voices are heard as part of creating a collective vision for the future.
“Focus,” a progressive weekly news and opinion program, airs Sundays from Noon until 1 p.m. on WMUA, 91.1 FM (Amherst, Massachusetts). Our signal can be heard throughout most of the Pioneer Valley.
The program also streams live on the web at www.wmua.org
FOCUS co-host Leo Maley works as a community organizer for the Massachusetts Nurses Association, a union of over 22,000 registered nurses and other health professionals.
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P.S. I highly recommend Linda Stout’s book. Consider ordering a copy of Collective Visioning: How Groups Can Work Together for a Just and Sustainable Future from your locally-owned independent bookstore (such as Food for Thought Books in Amherst, MA, or the Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, MA), or to order the book online click here.
P.P.S. I also recommend Linda’s earlier must-read book, Bridging the Class Divide and Other Lessons for Grassroots Organizing, which can be ordered from your locally-owned independent bookstore or can be purchased directly here.