“One of the best things about the book is its modular structure. […] You can wander, weaving between practice and theory, between the book and the web, forging your own path.”Paul Kuttner, CulturalOrganizing.org
Luckily, the people that came together to write Beautiful Trouble stayed together and became a dynamic network: an extraordinary alliance of artists and organizers, trainers and practitioners, sharing their best practices and schooling our movements in the most effective and strategic creative organizing approaches. Our network is growing in diversity, spanning the US from coast to coast, including 5 trainers in Europe/UK.
Senior Developer & Secret Weapon
Not so comfortable talking about himself in 3° person, Adrian would prefer to be closing a shell session having solved another data structure problem. Aspires to a life without machines, politicians or lawyers; sees their value for the time being.
Co-editor & Wrangler-in-Chief of the Beautiful Trouble Project
A long-time veteran of creative campaigns for social change, Andrew led the decade-long satirical media campaign “Billionaires for Bush” and co-founded the Other 98%. He's the author of a couple books: Daily Afflictions, Life’s Little Deconstruction Book, and the forthcoming I Want a Better Catastrophe: Hope, Hopelessness and Climate Reality. Unable to come up with with his own lifelong ambition, he’s been cribbing from Milan Kundera: “to unite the utmost seriousness of question with the utmost lightness of form.” You can find him at andrewboyd.com.
Andrew Slack is creator, co-founder, and executive director of the Harry Potter Alliance (HPA). Andrew was a founding partner, performer, and writer in a traveling comedy group where he produced three videos that have been seen more than eleven million times. Andrew has presented his theory of social change, cultural acupuncture, at TEDx in Rome, NPR's Morning Edition, Australia's Today Show, and is being studied at the University of Southern California. He has written for the LA Times, CNN.com, Huffington Post, and In These Times.
Andy Bichlbaum (AKA Jacques Servin) got his start as an activist when, as a computer programmer, he inserted a swarm of kissing boys in a shoot-'em-up video game just before it shipped to store shelves, and found himself fired, famous, and hugely amused. Now, Andy helps run the Yes Lab for Creative Activism as part of his job as professor of subversion at New York University. Bichlbaum once flew down the Nile in a two-seater airplane, bringing a live goat to a remote Sudanese village as a hostess gift for a homecoming party. (The party was fun and the goat was insanely delicious.)
Roxy Theater in San Francisco. Having won an animation contest sponsored by MoveOn.org, he went on to form Agit-Pop Communications & The Other 98% with partners John Sellers and Andrew Boyd. Andy was born in Texas, graduated from AAC in San Francisco, loves punk rock, the NFL and candlelit dinners. You can see Andy’s work at agit-pop.com.
Anna Lee is manager of filmmaker and partner services at Working Films, one of the leading independent media organizations focused on the art of engagement. Co-founded by Judith Helfand and Robert West, Working Films brings persuasive and provocative documentary films to long-term community organizing and activism. Since joining Working Films, Anna has worked on national audience engagement strategies for numerous high profile documentaries. She currently coordinates Reel Engagement (http://workingfilms.org/article.php?id=302), a ground-breaking, thematic residency series for filmmakers and nonprofits. Anna is also an organizer for educational, racial and environmental justice in Working Films’ hometown of Wilmington, NC where she lives with her husband and son.
Annie is about to get her Masters degree in International Human Rights from the Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. She is a nonviolent resistance nerd and spends her time researching and writing about peace and conflict issues and how we can overcome systems of dehumanization to move towards collective liberation. Other times she is being disruptive with her fellow Jews against the occupation at Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow. She is beyond excited to learn from the troublemakers at Beautiful Trouble.
Araceli Argueta is an activist, campaigner, trainer and manager for the last 3 years’ Global platform El Salvador and Central America. Araceli has trained across languages and cultures engaging and mobilizing youth through campaigns, participatory learning and action building. She has worked with different individuals, social movements and grassroots organizations. As an internationalist analyze problems from a global perspective to a local strategy and implementation. She has been involved in campaigns related to gender, environment, and taxation.
Ariel Vegosen is a professional workshop facilitator, gender inclusivity and diversity trainer, educator, strategic nonviolence and direct action trainer, writer, mentor, consultant, performance artist, and ritualist. Ariel is the founder and director of Gender Illumination(www.genderillumination.com) an organization dedicated to creating safer spaces for Trans and gender-queer people through the tools of education and policy change. For the past 15 years Ariel has facilitated trainings, workshops, and retreats for organizations, corporations, tech companies, nonprofits, schools, health-care providers, policy institutes, communities, and places of faith. This work has taken Ariel all over the US and internationally. Ariel is an ordained Kohenet Priestess and has a certificate of Spirituality and Social Change from the Pacific School of Religion ChangeMaker Fellowship. Ariel's work focuses on intersectionality, gender justice, environmental justice, and creating communities across diverse cultural backgrounds. Ariel uses theater, performance, and art as tools of education and liberation. Everywhere Ariel goes there is sure to be beautiful trouble, glitter, and positivity. Ariel is available for trainings, workshops, teaching, rituals, performing, and speaking engagements and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Artúr van Balen is an artist and troublemaker in love with everything that inflates. He co-founded the artist group Eclectic Electric Collective (2009-2012) and founded the art-activist platform Tools for Action (2012-present), in which he gives participatory skillshare workshops on how to make inflatables for community building and as a tool for intervention. He is currently researching the technological evolution of inflatables.
Brad Newsham is the author of two round-the-world travel memoirs (All the Right Places and Take Me With You). Since 1985 he has been a San Francisco taxicab driver, and is currently the owner/driver of Green Cab #914. His first human mural (one thousand people spelling out "IMPEACH!" in 100-foot lettering) was created on Ocean Beach in San Francisco, on January 6, 2007 — two days after San Francisco's Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the US House of Representatives.
Brian Fairbanks began his professional journalism career at the age of fifteen as a staff writer for The Hartford Courant. After serving as an assistant/librarian to Dr. Stephen Ambrose and Douglas Brinkley, and working on the collected letters of Hunter S. Thompson and the journals of Jack Kerouac, he became an activist with Billionaires For Bush and local grassroots campaigns in New York City. After several years in the Nixon-esque political wilderness, he ended up where most of society’s outcasts do: in television. You can haunt him on Twitter.
Brigette DePape is a community organizer and writer. You may know her from holding up a Stop Harper sign in the Parliament of Canada. Based out of Vancouver, she is the lead organizer for the youth network ShitHarperDid. She has coordinated a number of actions, including with PowerShift Canada.
Oracle of Outreach
Brittany is a recent graduate from McGill University in Literature and Communication Studies. She has also studied at King’s College London and Sciences Po. Paris, a political science university where she completed The Undergraduate Journalism Program and wrote about feminism, art and politics during France’s 2012 presidential election. In Montreal, Brittany worked on the editorial board for Alternatives International Journal, where she covered stories on the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) and related environmental issues. She has also worked at Vehicule Press, a Canadian small-press. Her interest in media, politics and cultural studies has led her to work for Beautiful Trouble, where she puts her skills in editing, journalism, research, and Canadian-courtesy to the test.
Brooke Singer creates platforms for local knowledge to connect, inform and conflict with official data descriptions. She works across media and disciplines, engaging technoscience as an artist, educator, nonspecialist and collaborator. Her work lives on- and offline in the form of websites, workshops, photographs, maps, installations and performances that involve public participation in pursuit of social change. She is associate professor of new media at Purchase College, State University of New York, fellow at Eyebeam Art + Technology Center, and co-founder of the art, technology and activist group Preemptive Media.
Bryan Farrell is an editor at Waging Nonviolence, where he writes about environment, climate change and people power. His work has also appeared in Slate, Mother Jones, The Nation, Grist and Earth Island Journal.
Caio Tendolini graduated in economics, but was always passionate about innovation and collective projects capable of generating a positive impact on society. He currently is at a creative house called Estufa, where he works on Catarse (a Brazilian crowdfunding platform) and other disruptive projects.
Celia Alario is a communications strategist, spokesperson coach and seasoned troublemaker. She enjoys collaborating with grassroots organizations, filmmakers, artists and authors, and scheming about how to engage key audiences and change the world with stories, while tapping both traditional media/marketing and new media/web 2.0 tools. Alario teaches Environmental Communications Strategies and Tactics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and serves on the board of directors of the Independent Television Service (ITVS) and the smartMeme Training and Strategy Collective, and on the advisory boards of BEN (Business Ethics Network) and IVAW (Iraq Veterans Against the War).
Training Coordinator, Oracle of Outreach
Chelsea graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2012 and spent the next two years training, organizing, and empowering student leaders for the betterment of Arizona’s public education system before joining the rebel-rousers at Beautiful Trouble where she now coordinates trainings and manages communications. Chelsea lends a hand to other organizations including CODEPINK and Woman's Way Red Lodge and manages campaigns around demilitarization and just economic transition. Chelsea advocates for the self-determination of all people and is passionate about intersectionality politics, capacity building, and creative engagement.
Chris Carlsson, co-director of the multimedia history project Shaping San Francisco (now a wiki at foundsf.org), is a writer, editor, and historian. He has written two books (After the Deluge, Nowtopia) edited five books, (Reclaiming San Francisco, The Political Edge, Bad Attitude, Critical Mass: Bicycling’s Defiant Celebration and Ten Years That Shook the City: San Francisco, 1968-78). He has produced weekly Public Talks since January 2006 and also conducts award-winning bicycle history tours.
Chuck Collins is an organizer, researcher, agitator and veteran of a number of theatrical and creative action campaigns and actions. He co-founded Billionaires for Bush in 2000 and brought a creative action focus to his leadership of United for a Fair Economy. Since 2006, he has been a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies where he directs the Program on Inequality and the Common Good. See www.inequality.org. He’s involved with US Uncut, the Other 98 Percent and the Occupy Wall Street movement — and is not afraid to dress funny or go undercover or do stand-up comedy when the seriousness of the moment requires something different.
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers is a community-based farmworker organization headquartered in Immokalee, Florida. The CIW’s Campaign for Fair Food identifies the links between the brutal farm labor conditions in the fields and the multi-billion dollar retail food brands that buy the produce grown in those fields. By mobilizing farmworkers and consumers, the campaign seeks to enlist the resources of retail food giants to improve farmworker wages and to harness their demand to reward growers who respect their workers’ rights. This ongoing effort is bringing about considerable industry-wide change and improving conditions at tens of thousands of harvesting jobs in Florida’s tomato fields.
Cristian Fleming is a graphic designer, creative strategist, mischief enthusiast, and founder of The Public Society, an ethically grounded branding and design company based in Brooklyn, NY. He also works often with activist groups like The Yes Men to make stuff happen in the service of making the world a little better.
Cy Wagoner is a Dine’ Artist and Founder of the Black Sheep Art Collective. He is currently on staff at Greenpeace Actions Team. He works with IP3, the Indigenous People’s Power Project, The Ruckus Society and others.
Trainer, Beautiful Trouble Europe
Dan Glass is an activist, academic, performer and writer who was named one of Attitude Magazine’s campaigning role models for LGBTQI youth and a Guardian ‘UK youth climate leader’. An agitator from the Training for Transformation educational programme born out of the Anti-Apartheid movement, the core of Dan’s activism and facilitation is the development of critical consciousness and creativity to spur people 'to read their reality and write their own history'. In the last five years Dan has developed a vast pool of training resources and helped organise and facilitate over 250 trainings, including: ‘Strategies of Protest’ (George Padmore Institute, 2010, London); ‘The Art of Activism’ (Politika, 2014, Manchester, UK); ‘People Power, activism and the imagination’ (Headline at Shoko Festival, 2013, Harare, Zimbabwe), and ‘Direct Action and New Tactics for Environmental and Social Justice’ (Harvard University, 2011).
Dana Balicki is a cherry bomb, communications and vision strategist, bold creative-type and certified empowerment life coach (!!!) with a passion for building vibrant movements. She has over ten years experience in campaign strategizing, event producing, big idea generating/executing, and media relations. Among many other adventures in organizing, she worked 6+ years with CODEPINK, has presented and lectured at universities around the country, adapted Alice Walker’s essay ‘Overcoming Speechless’ for the NYC stage, spent two years with the intrepid Occupy Wall Street PR team, and once placed Karl Rove under Citizen’s Arrest at Radio City Hall in front of a sold-out crowd (she took the stage, the audience was rapt). She’s committed to helping her clients fall in love with the process and not just the desire for the result. Dana’s been called an idea machine, a graceful revolutionary, and the Secretary of State you wished Hillary and Condi could be. She approves of this message.
Daniel Hunter is a trainer and organizer with Training for Change, which practices a direct education style rooted in popular education, helping each person find their own wisdom and strategic brilliance. He has trained thousands of activists including ethnic minorities in Burma/Myanmar, pastors in Sierra Leone, independence activists in northeast India, environmentalists in Australia, and Indonesian religious leaders. As an organizer, he recently pioneered a successful nonviolent direct action campaign to halt a politically-connected $560 million casino development project — and has led direct action campaigns with local community groups, national unions, and broad coalitions. His home is west Philadelphia.
Daniela Teixeira is an artistic, political, and cultural public producer in love with the streets and its many forms of occupation. Romantic and practical, Daniela believes that everyone can adjust their actions for the benefit of others, and that the only paths for this adjustment are creative forms of awareness. Daniela worked on Pimp My Carroça as Production and Content Coordinator, and above all, as an enthusiastic participant.
Danielle Endres is a professor of rhetoric and argumentation at the University of Utah. Her teaching and research examines discourse (verbal and nonverbal), persuasion (rational and irrational), activism, and social movements. Her research investigates climate change activism, Native American activism, and environmental justice. When not performing her day job, Danielle spends the majority of her time trying to encourage radical thinking and an expanded sense of the possible in her two young kids.
Editorial Director & Political Corrections Officer
Dave Oswald Mitchell is the Editorial Director of the Beautiful Trouble project, including serving as managing editor of both Beautiful Solutions and Beautiful Rising. He edited the Canadian activist publication Briarpatch Magazine from 2005 to 2010, and his writing has been published by a smattering of small, radical magazines and journals with space to fill. His interests include books, beer, brevity, alliteration, free association, lists of things, and going elsewhere.
David Proto is an artist, activist, cultural agitator, and active member of the Enmedio Collective, which is dedicated to the investigation of the artistic practices that are found in the midst of politics, aesthetics, and new technologies. He is also a founder and strategist of the cultural association Memetro.net, which is dedicated to the investigation and creation of collaborative tools of civil disobedience against the abuses of public transport fares. He also specializes in the development of creative systems of artificial intelligence in networks, and in the struggle for recognition of the social rights of new life forms based in AI.
Diana is a designer and problem solver who appreciates tackling a complex challenge. Currently working at The Public Society in Brooklyn, NY and leading the implementation of design processes and frameworks for Beautiful Rising. Her role is to ensure that users of this toolbox are at the center of the solution by working to design with them rather than for them!
Dmytri Kleiner is the author of The Telekommunist Manifesto, and a contributing artist to the “Miscommunication Technologies” continuing series of artworks in collaboration with the Telekommunisten Network. “Miscommunication Technologies” address the social relations embedded in communications technologies by creating platforms that don’t quite work as expected, or work in unexpected ways. Most recently, Dmytri has started an initiative to create an International Debtors’ Party.
Doyle Canning was struck by a tear gas canister in the streets of Seattle in 1999, and has never been the same since. She is a creative strategist with a deep commitment to building broad-based movements for social justice and an ecological future. Doyle is a co-founder of the Center for Story-based Strategy (formerly known as smartMeme). She delivers training, coaching, facilitation and framing to high-impact networks who are taking on greedy corporations, corrupt politicians, racist laws and polluting policies. Doyle is co-author of Re:Imagining Change with Patrick Reinsborough. She lives with her husband in Boston, where she enjoys practicing yoga, cooking, and making music.
Duncan Meisel is a strategic troublemaker who lives in Brooklyn, where he conspires on how to respond to the impending end of the world. He is particularly interested in trying to stop the warming of the earth, ending the impoverishment of America by corporate power, and putting an end to the prison system as we know it. He is honored to have been a part of campaigns such as Tar Sands Action, US Uncut, The Other 98% and several different “Billionaires for X or Y” efforts.
Co-Editor, Beautiful Solutions
Elandria Williams is Co-Editor of Beautiful Solutions and staff member of the Highlander Research and Education Center, where she is also on the Organizational Leadership Team. Elandria coordinates the Southern Grassroots Economies Project, co-leads the Governance and Economics curriculum, and supports community leaders and organizers in the South and Appalachia. She serves on the Coordinating Committee or Board for the U.S. Solidarity Economy Network, the Democracy at Work Institute, the Appalachian Studies Association and the Pedagogy of the Theater of the Oppressed. She also leads and develops trainings and curricula on popular education, organizing, anti-oppression, anti-racism, leadership development, and political analysis. Elandria lives in Knoxville, TN.
Co-Editor, Beautiful Solutions
Eli Feghali is Co-Editor of Beautiful Solutions and Communications Director for the New Economy Coalition (NEC). He is a Lebanese-American who spent two months in 2011 occupying a park in Boston to prove another world was possible. Through NEC and Beautiful Solutions, Eli works to tell the story of what that other world could look like -- and how we can get there. Despite his love for pizza, he is vegan.
Elisabeth Ginsberg holds a master's in cultural studies and journalism from NYU. Being an over-educated Dane, she just finished her second Master’s degree, this time from the University of Copenhagen. In an attempt not to dry out completely, she wrote her thesis on Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. She lives in Copenhagen, always in close proximity to her Mac.
Erdem Gündüz is a Turkish dancer, actor, performance artist, choreographer and teacher who as a result of his actions during the 2013–14 protests in Turkey has become "the face of the protest movement against the Turkish government." He became internationally known as "The Standing Man" in June 2013 when he stood quietly in Istanbul's Taksim Square as a protest against the Islamist government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Gündüz is interested in the use of "improvisation, ritual, and public action as tools for investigating political realities and social movement."
Eric Stoner is an adjunct professor at St. Peter’s College and an editor at Waging Nonviolence, a blog that covers nonviolent action around the world. His articles have appeared in The Guardian, Mother Jones, The Nation, Sojourners, In These Times and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, among other publications. He is on the national board of the War Resisters League.
Esteban Kelly is a visionary leader and compassionate strategist who inspires organizers by drawing on science fiction, social theory, and collective liberation. Uniting close friends and long-time co-organizers, Esteban was inspired to co-create AORTA the Anti-Oppression Resource & Training Alliance; culling together his creative energy and organizational skills for expanding food sovereignty, solidarity economy & cooperative business, gender justice & queer liberation, and movements for racial justice. In addition to working for AORTA, he is the Co-Executive Director for the US Federation of Worker Co-ops (USFWC), and a co-founder and current board President of the cross-sector Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance (PACA). Internationally, Esteban has advocated for workplace democracy through the ICA (International Cooperative Alliance) and CICOPA (the international worker co-op federation), and for land reform and other social movements from Canada to Brazil. After many years as a PhD student of Marxist Geographers at the CUNY Graduate Center, Esteban has left academia with a Masters in Anthropology. Most recently, Esteban worked as Development Director and then Staff Director for the New Economy Coalition. From 2009-2011, Esteban served as Vice President of the USFWC, and a board member of the Democracy At Work Institute (DAWI) and the US Solidarity Economy Network. He is also a previous Director of Education & Training and Board President of NASCO (North American Students for Cooperation) where he was inducted into their Cooperative Hall of Fame in 2011. He currently serves on the boards of the Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF) and the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA–CLUSA), and is delighted to be an advisor to the network of artist-activist trainers, Beautiful Trouble. Firmly rooted in West Philly, Esteban’s skills and analysis of transformative justice stem from his decade-plus of organizing with the Philly Stands Up collective. Similarly, Esteban worked through a major food co-op transition as a worker–owner at Mariposa Food Co-op, where he co-founded its Food Justice & Anti-Racism working group (FJAR) and labored to institutionalize the Mariposa Staff Collective. In light of these efforts, Esteban became a Mayoral appointee to the Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council (FPAC), and works to advance education, systemic thinking, and anti-oppression organizing into all of his food advocacy work.
Favianna Rodriguez is a transnational interdisciplinary artist and cultural organizer on a mission to create profound and lasting social change in the world. Her works address patriarchy, migration, global politics, economic injustice, and interdependence. She lectures globally on the power of art, cultural organizing and technology to inspire social change, and leads art workshops at schools around the country. When Favianna is not making art, she is directing CultureStrike, a national arts organization that engages artists, writers and performers in migrant rights. She is a member of the national arts collective, Justseeds, and co-editor of Reproduce and Revolt!, an unprecedented collection of 600 political images for royalty-free creative use, with cultural critic Josh MacPhee.
Federico Hewson has been an activist, actor, performance artist, dancer, educator and social entrepreneur. He's not quite sure what that all adds up to, but at the moment he's happily getting a Masters in Art Education at NYU with an emphasis in activism. He's glad to live in a time where gay people can come out of the shadows and make a visible and recognized contribution to society.
Frank is a native Texan, born and raised in San Antonio, but his parents were originally from elsewhere so he's drawl-less. He has a degree in Philosophy from USC and would impatiently contemplate the nature of time while sitting in LA traffic. He lived in Austin for a few years and played in a band called Conquistador Incorporated. They were tragically underappreciated. Then he moved to New York for almost three years and was excited every time he caught a glimpse of the Chrysler Building at night. He's now in law school in NYC but still feels older, wiser and in less of a hurry.
Gabi Juns is an activist for equality and diversity, and a co-founder of the Escola de Ativismo. She acts to create new ways of communicating, learning and collaborating. Daily cultivates chaos in the order, always believing "tomorrow will be bigger."
Gaby Pacheco is an undocumented American and an immigrant rights leader from Miami, Florida. In 2010, she and three friends walked 1,500 miles to bring to light the plight of immigrants in this country, and to urge President Obama to stop the separations of families and deportations of DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act eligible youth. This walk was dubbed the Trail of DREAMs. She currently leads a national project, Education not Deportation (END), to stop the deportation of DREAMers. Gaby is in the process of publishing two children’s books and aspires to be a musical therapist and work with people with mental disabilities.
Trainer, Shadowy Figure
Gan Golan is a NY Times bestselling author, artist and agitator. His books include the smash hit ‘Goodnight Bush’ and the critically-acclaimed graphic novel ‘The Adventures of Unemployed Man’. Among his creative interventions, he founded the totally fake sports team ‘The Corporate Tax Dodgers’ which were then put on display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He also founded ArtIsMyOccupation, an arts organization which directs resources to artists creating work on the front lines of the struggle for Economic Justice. After finally getting his dream job on Wall Street—occupying it—he is now bringing Beautiful Trouble (aka “Occupy! in a Box") to the next generation of activists.
George Monbiot is an English writer, known for his environmental and political activism. He writes a weekly column for The Guardian, and is the author of a number of books, including Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain (2000) and Bring on the Apocalypse: Six Arguments for Global Justice (2008). He is the founder of The Land is Ours campaign, which campaigns peacefully for the right of access to the UK countryside and its resources. In January 2010, Monbiot founded the ArrestBlair.org website which offers a reward to people attempting a peaceful citizen’s arrest of former British prime minister Tony Blair for crimes against peace.
Gideon Rosenblatt writes about the impact of technology on people, organizations and society at Alchemy of Change. He is a technologist with a background in business and social change. For nine years, Gideon ran Groundwire (www.groundwire.org), a mission-driven technology consulting group, dedicated to building a more sustainable world. Previously, he spent ten years at Microsoft in various marketing, product development and management positions, where he developed CarPoint, one of the world's first large-scale e-commerce websites. Gideon was raised in Utah, lived and worked in Japan and China for several years, and now lives in Seattle with his wife and two boys.
Web Editor, Beautiful Solutions
Greta Neubauer is Web Editor for Beautiful Solutions and a co-founder and the Reinvestment Campus Campaign Coordinator for the Fossil Fuel Divestment Student Network. She works with students and community partners building a political and economic program that facilitates a transition out of the extractive economy. Greta loves outfits composed almost entirely of glitter and harbors a not-so-secret aspiration to be in the next Star Wars movie.
Gui Bueno is a native of Brazil and completely crazy for theoretical discussions about the media, its central role in capitalism, its disadvantages and (why not?) benefits. He works for Open Knowledge Foundation Brazil where he takes care of communications (but learns much more than he communicates). Interested in “artivism,” he was lucky to be Andy Bichlbaum’s student and to absorb a lot from him.
Harsha Walia is a South Asian activist, facilitator, writer and legal researcher based in Vancouver, occupied Indigenous Coast Salish territories. She has been active in (unpaid) community-based grassroots migrant justice, feminist, anti-racist, Indigenous solidarity, anti-capitalist, Palestinian liberation, and anti-imperialist movements for over a decade. She works with women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, the poorest neighbourhood in Canada. Her writings have appeared in a number of newspapers, anthologies and academic journals, and she recently co-created a short film on poverty and violence against women. Harsha believes in overgrowing the logic of the state.
Isa began teaching at the age of four, when her father made a black board for her dolls. Twenty five years later having become a Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at Birkbeck university, London, she deserted academia to focus on her real passion : popular education and creative activist trainings, specialising in group dynamics and facilitation for horizontal movements. She has worked as an organiser and media strategist in the UK climate camp and is the co-founder (with John Jordan) of art activist collective The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination (www.labofii.net). Co author of the book/film Les Sentiers de l'Utopie (Paths Through Utopias), she is now setting up a commune and school of creative resistance in rural France, where the artistic spirit of the Bauhaus hopes to merge with the resistant courage of Highlander Folk School.
Janice Fine is associate professor of labor studies and employment relations at the School of Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers University where she teaches and writes about low wage immigrant labor in the U.S., historical and contemporary debates regarding federal immigration policy, dilemmas of labor standards enforcement and innovative union and community organizing strategies. She is the author of Worker Centers: Organizing Communities at the Edge of the Dream (2006) published by Cornell University Press and the Economic Policy Institute. Before becoming a professor, Fine worked as a community, labor, coalition and electoral organizer for more than twenty-five years.
Monarch of Moola
Jason is a numerical wizard with over 10 years of management experience in the financial service business (although we try not to hold that against him). He holds degrees from Medgar Evers College and Columbia University, and has worked with various NYC-based businesses and non-profits, including Flatbush Action Day Care, Standard Architects, Community Impact, and The Abyssinian Fund. When not crunching numbers, he's eating his way through Brooklyn, offset by rigorous daily workouts.
Jeffery R. Webber teaches politics at Queen Mary, University of London. He is the author of Red October: Left-Indigenous Struggles in Modern Bolivia (Brill), and From Rebellion to Reform in Bolivia: Class Struggle, Indigenous Liberation and the Politics of Evo Morales (Haymarket, 2011). He is a socialist activist in London and sits on the editorial boards of Historical Materialism, Latin American Perspectives, and Capitalism, Nature, Socialism.
Jeremy Varon is a professor of history at the New School. He is author of Bringing the War Home: The Weather Underground, the Red Army Faction, and Revolutionary Violence in the Sixties and Seventies (2004) and teaches classes on social movements and civil disobedience. He is also a longtime activist, having worked with Billionaires for Bush and, most recently, Witness Against Torture. He therefore favors, by turns, comedy and tragedy.
Jesse Barron is an assistant editor at Harper's. He writes for the Paris Review Daily, Bülent, the Observer, and elsewhere.
Jessica Solomon is a systems-thinker, creative facilitator and instigator of arts and social change projects. As the Executive Director of Art in Praxis, she leverages art, culture and design in the practice of organizational and community development. Based in Baltimore, MD but working nationally, Jessica is recognized as a skilled creative facilitator and emerging leader in community cultural development. She has served as a grant panelist, steering committee member, and advisor to several arts and cultural institutions including the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Alternate ROOTS and The Clarice Performing Arts Center. Jessica is the Chief Weaver of Social Fabric at the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture and a 2015 National Arts Strategies Creative Community Fellow. She received her MS in Organization Development from American University.
Jodie Evans has been a peace, environmental, women’s rights and social justice activist for forty years. She has traveled to war zones, promoting and learning about peaceful resolution to conflict. She served in the administration of California Governor Jerry Brown and ran his presidential campaigns. She published two books, Stop the Next War Now and Twilight of Empire, and produced several documentary films, including the Oscar and Emmy-nominated “The Most Dangerous Man in America” and “The People Speak.” Jodie co-founded CODEPINK: Women for Peace, is the board chair of Women’s Media Center and sits on many other boards, including Rainforest Action Network, Institute for Policy Studies, and Drug Policy Alliance.
John Ewing is a new media artist merging public art with activism and education. He worked for two years in El Salvador, using the arts to organize and inspire dialogue about human rights. Recent projects include Virtual Street Corners (www.virtualcorners.net), winner of the Knight News Challenge Award and selected by Americans for the Arts as one of the most significant public art projects of 2010. He was a co-founder of Ghana Thinktank (www.ghanathinktank.org) , a collaborative, decade-long project that was a finalist for the Cartier Award. Ewing has a BFA from Cornell and an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design.
John Jordan was co-founder of Reclaim the Streets (1995-2001) and now works with the Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination, a collective that merges art, activism and permaculture. He loves to apply creativity to social movements such as Climate Camps and has invented various new direct action methodologies such as the Rebel Clown Army. Co-author of We Are Everywhere: The Irresistible Rise of Global Anti-capitalism (Verso), he has just brought out a new book-film with Isabelle Fremeaux exploring Europe’s utopian communities, Les sentiers de l’utopie (Editions Zones/La Découverte). Balancing on the tightrope between art and activism, creativity and resistance, is where he’s most at home.
John Sellers is co-founder of The Other 98%, a founding partner of Agit-Pop Communications, and president of the Ruckus Society. John worked for Greenpeace in the early 90s before leaving to help start Ruckus. He has had the great fortune to be integrally involved in powerful peaceful actions all over the world: from the high seas with the Rainbow Warrior to the streets of Seattle in the uprising against the WTO. He works from home on Vashon island in the Puget Sound where he and wife Genevieve unschool their twins Sam and Hazel.
Jonathan Matthew Smucker served as the first Training Director for Beautiful Trouble. A long-time participant, organizer, trainer, and theorist in grassroots movements for social, economic and ecological justice, Smucker has trained thousands of change agents in campaign strategy, framing and messaging, direct action, and other grassroots organizing skills. He is co-founder and Director of Beyond the Choir, a strategy and training organization. He is also a doctoral student of sociology at UC Berkeley.
Josh Bolotsky is an online organizer, blogger, comedic performer/writer and occasional voiceover artist, currently serving as new media director for Agit-Pop Communications and its Other 98% Project. While at Agit-Pop, he has worked on creating and spreading projects that include the RepubliCorp effort for MoveOn, and Target Ain’t People, the very first Depeche-Mode-inspired take on the Citizens United decision to break a million views on YouTube. Josh also serves as part of the national volunteer collective that manages Living Liberally, a network of progressive social groups and activist resources in all fifty states. He enjoys vegan chili and writing about himself in the third person.
Joshua Kahn Russell is an organizer and strategist serving movements for social justice and ecological balance. He is an action coordinator, facilitator & trainer with the Ruckus Society, and has trained thousands of activists. Joshua has written numerous movement strategy essays, chapters for several books, and a few organizing manuals, most recently Organizing Cools the Planet: Tools and Reflections to Navigate the Climate Crisis, with Hilary Moore (PM Press 2011). He has helped win campaigns against banks, oil companies, logging corporations, and coal barons; worked with a wide variety of groups in a breadth of arenas, from local resiliency projects, to national coalitions, to the United Nations Climate Negotiations.
Judith Helfand, a Peabody Award-winning filmmaker, is best known for her ability to take the dark, cynical worlds of chemical exposure, heedless corporate behavior and environmental injustice and make them personal, resonant, highly charged and entertaining. Her films include “A Healthy Baby Girl,” its sequel “Blue Vinyl” (co-directed with Daniel B. Gold) and “Everything’s Cool” (also co-directed with Gold). Educator, “field explorer” and social entrepreneur, Judith co-founded both Working Films and Chicken & Egg Pictures.
Kathryn Blume grew up improvising radio dramas on a tape recorder and pretending the trees were talking back. A little while later, she finagled a self-designed degree from Yale in environmental studies and theater, and it’s been pretty much stuff like that ever since. She is co-founder of the radio show Earth on the Air, and the Lysistrata Project, the first worldwide theatrical event for peace. She has had essays published in numerous books, blogs, and magazines. Kathryn’s also a solo performer, climate activist, yoga teacher, wedding officiant, haphazard gardener, and irresponsible cat owner.
Kevin Buckland is an artist, artivist organizer and the "Arts Ambassador" for the grassroots global network 350.org. He has worked with the International Youth Climate Network to promote creative communication and beauty in the call for climate justice across the globe. Harkening on the call to "make this movement as beautiful as the planet we are fighting to save,” he employs comedy, tragedy, farce, satire and a great deal of cardboard in his attempts to end empire and globalize justice. Videos, writings and participatory projects can be seen on his website.
Khalil Secker worked as the Campaigns officer at the University of Manchester Students’ Union from 2012/13 and co-founded the Save Our NHS campaign to defend local health services from government cuts. He was formerly one of the London representatives for the doctors’ trade union the British Medical Association.
Kristen Ess Schurr took her first professional journalism job as a rock critic in Seattle. She moved on to be Palestine Bureau Chief for KPFA’s Flashpoints and also corresponded for several Pacifica affiliates while running the English department of the Palestine News Network in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Her writing has been translated into seven languages and can be found in independent journals and the anthology Live From Palestine. She is now residing in Los Angeles and working on CODEPINK’s Stolen Beauty (www.stolenbeauty.org) and Boycott SodaStream campaigns (www.codepink.org/boycottsodastream).
L.M. Bogad is a lifelong creative strategist (guided and goaded by Harpo, Groucho and Zero), co-founder of the Rebel Clown Army, founding director of the Center for Artistic Activism (West Coast), and professor of political performance at the University of California, Davis. He writes, performs, and strategizes with the Yes Men, Agit-Pop, and La Pocha Nostra. Author of Electoral Guerrilla Theatre: Radical Ridicule and Social Movements, Tactical Performance (forthcoming), the play COINTELSHOW: A Patriot Act, and works about the Spanish Civil War, Haymarket Square Riot, Pinochet coup, and the Egyptian revolution. He has led his Tactical Performance workshops in revolutionary Cairo, Reykjavik, Buenos Aires, and across the US and Europe.
Lane Hall is a writer, artist and educator who blogged the Madison Uprising and gathered signatures in the failed attempt to recall Wisconsin's rightwing junta. He co-founded the original Overpass Light Brigade with fellow artist and partner, Lisa Moline. They open-sourced the idea from the beginning, and are excited to see it expand into a movement. Occupy Riverwest co-founder Joe Brusky joined the Overpass Light Brigade several months after its inception, and has been instrumental in the Overpass Light Brigade's continued growth.
Lauren Larken is a songwriter, performer and social entrepreneur with a knack for helping individuals and groups accomplish their goals through grassroots community organizing. As an uncanny motivator who thinks outside of the box she has worked as a creative campaign manager with: the House of YES, Yes Men, and Rock the Bike. She holds an MFA in Performance and Interactive Media Arts from Brooklyn College and founded Altaer Education and Band of Bicycles.
Leónidas Martín Saura is a professor at Barcelona University where he teaches New Media and Political Art. For many years, he has been developing collective projects between art and activism, some of them well known internationally (Las Agencias, Yomango, Prêt à Revolter, New Kids on the Black Block...). He writes about art and politics for blogs, journals and newspapers, has created several documentaries and movies for television and internet, and is a member of the cultural collective Enmedio (www.enmedio.info). Last but not least, he is an expert at telling jokes, often using this divine gift to get free beers and avoid police arrest.
Levana Saxon is an organizer and educator with Practicing Freedom, using participatory action research, popular education and Theater of the Oppressed to generate collaborative community-led change. Over the last seventeen years she has trained and facilitated thousands of children, youth and adults. Some of the groups she has worked with include the Paulo Freire Institute, Rainforest Action Network, Center for Political Education, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Youth In Focus, El Teatro Campesino and multiple Oakland Public Schools. She currently co-coordinates the Ruckus Society’s Arts Core and facilitates trainings and dialogues with the White Noise Collective (www.conspireforchange.org), which she co-founded. She can be found at www.practicingfreedom.org.
Lisa Fithian has organized since 1975, weaving together strategic creative nonviolent actions, anti-oppression work and sustainable practices in student, environmental justice, workers rights and peace and global justice struggles. Whether it was shutting down the CIA, White House, Supreme Court or the WTO or working on Justice of Janitors, Camp Casey, Common Ground Relief or Wall Street banks, Lisa has supported tens of thousands of people in accessing their power and gaining the experience and skills they need to fight for justice, no matter how great or small the cause. Her website chronicles much of her work and offers great resources.
Lisa Savage is an author, organizer, educator, actress, and citizen journalist; a local coordinator for CODEPINK Women for Peace; a vigorous campaigner to bring our war dollars home; and a videographer to Occupy Everywhere. With another teacher she co-authored Buggy, a book about teenagers coping with their father’s war trauma while trying to win an entomology contest, and she is currently working on a utopian novel set in the present. She works as a literacy coach, and one of her hobbies is teaching kids how to be locavores. She blogs at Went 2 the Bridge.
Apprentice Wizard of the Hive
Lowell is a painter, sculptor, and recent graduate in St. Louis. He spends his time working on creative ways to enchant groups of people, supporting local businesses with green practices, and pretending to be an eagle. He is active in St. Louis’ art scene, and uses his mediums to promote change in subtle ways. Though Lowell likes to advocate for multiple causes, he is, at heart, an opportunist, and wants to see more action in the world. Especially if that action involves pretending to be an eagle.
Project Administrator, Web Editor, & Mistress of Consequences
Mara is an editor, scientist, environmentalist and water guru, and is probably in New York, Oaxaca, or Michigan. Or maybe somewhere else.
Margaret Campbell is a freelancer of many trades, but carries with her the spirit of engaged journalism, and a closely-held belief in the capacity of public art to heal and unite. She has had the opportunity to travel toward a deep understanding of her home community of Minneapolis/ St. Paul, and to work extensively on the White Earth Ojibwe Reservation in Northwestern MN on media and environmental justice initiatives. She is a staunch supporter and budding practitioner of the earnestly-funny approach to activism advocated in this book. She is currently stuck somewhere between the Mini Apple and the Big Apple.
Margaret Maloney is an offline supporter of activists who does odd jobs like proofreading and image research, keeping a workspace in working order, and making sure activists and organizers eat. She is working toward a career in medicine, and maybe someday she’ll keep activists and organizers in good health, too.
Marina Sitrin is the editor of Horizontalism: Voices of Popular Power in Argentina. She has been active in occupy and horizontal movements worldwide. She is a lawyer and postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Globalization and Social Change at the City University of New York. She is also a writer, teacher, dreamer and militant. Her new book, Everyday Revolutions: Horizontalism and Autonomy in Argentina looks at the past ten years in Argentina, examining the challenges of the state, particularly incorporation, cooptation and repression, and then how that relates to the desire to build autonomy, autogestion and horizontalidad. Most of all she believes in the power of the imagination.
Mario Ortega is a graphic designer, pop activist and co-founder of the Enmedio Collective. In his work he investigates the transformative power of images and stories, experimenting with forms of political expression that draw from the languages of design and publicity. He has helped develop some of the most popular communication campaigns of the last few years in Spain, such as "No vas a tener casa en la puta vida" y "Sí se puede, pero no quieren" (the graphic design campaign for the protests by the Platform for Mortgage Victims), both in relation to the problem of housing.
Marisa Jahn is an artist, writer, and activist of Chinese and Ecuadorian descent. The lead artist of both New York and national nanny hotlines, she is also currently an artist in resident with The National Domestic Workers Alliance. A graduate of MIT, Jahn’s work has been presented at venues including The White House, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Modern Art, Walker Art Center and reviewed in media such as ArtForum, BBC, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. Jahn is the Executive Director of REV-, a nonprofit studio whose public art projects combine creativity, bold ideas, and sound research to address critical issues.
Mark Read is a filmmaker and professor of Media Studies at NYU, with a focus on video as a tactical tool in community organizing. In other incarnations he has also been a community gardens activist; a Union Square Park defender; a Critical Mass rider and organizer; a coordinator of large spectacles in public spaces such as subway train parties; and a core organizer and propagandist for Reclaim the Streets NYC.
Marybeth Onyeukwu is an undocumented activist and local community organizer with ONE DC where she works with longtime D.C. residents to fight for and win better housing policy. Born in Nigeria she migrated to the United States at the age of two. Her experience within the immigrant justice movement forced her to view immigration from a racial justice framework. She is a proud member of the Black Immigration Network – an alliance of African-Americans and Black immigrants dedicated to creating tangible change for communities of African descent. She has appeared in major media outlets such as the Washington Post, BET Online and Colorlines.com.
Matt Meyer is a long-time leader of the War Resisters League and a founder of the anti-imperialist collective Resistance in Brooklyn (RnB). His solidarity and writing includes co-authorship with Pan-African pacifist Bill Sutherland of Guns and Gandhi in Africa, of which Archbishop Tutu commented: “Sutherland and Meyer have begun to develop a language which looks at the roots of our humanness.” Meyer’s work in education includes a ten-year stint as Multicultural Coordinator for NYC’s Alternative High Schools, and work on the Board of the Peace and Justice Studies Association. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Maurice Mitchell is the coordinator of the New York State Civic Engagement C3 and C4 table, a hub for collaboration and technology sharing across more than 40 organizations. Maurice previously served as the downstate organizing director for Citizen Action of New York and spent seven years at the Long Island Progressive Coalition organizing a number of electoral and issue-based campaigns. While studying at Howard University he led organizing efforts against police brutality and divestment from private prisons, and founded the local Amnesty International Chapter. Maurice has also been a member of Malcolm X Grassroots Movement’s people’s self-defense campaign and Critical Resistance‘s New York Chapter. Maurice sits currently on the boards of the Brooklyn Movement Center, Community Voices Heard, and North Star Fund‘s Community Funding Committee. Included in Maurice’s interests are Capoeira, music composition, Vipassana meditation, and building Black networks.
Maxine Schoefer-Wulf recently moved eastward, from the CA Bay Area to NYC, in search of adventure and a more rugged climate. In her studies, she focused on art, critical pedagogy, and women’s studies and worked closely with the UCLA Art|Global Health Center to bring arts-based sexual health education to L.A. high schools. She has taught self-defense to youth in Oakland, literacy to children in L.A., and English to tots in Rodenäs, rural northern Germany. She is a firm believer in art that sparks laughs and conversation and leaves a mark.
Melanie Crean is an assistant professor of media design at Parsons in NYC, teaching classes in experimental time based work, mobile media and gaming. Her art work deals with the politics of perception and the capacity of speech and language to produce political change. As the former director of production at Eyebeam, she founded a studio that worked with socially-based moving image, sound, public art and open source software. Crean has received grants and commissions from Art in General, Bronx Arts Council, Harvestworks, NYFA, NYSCA, Performa, Rhizome and Creative Time.
Jack of all trades
Michael Pineschi is an activist based in San Francisco. He recently graduated from The New School Graduate Program in International Affairs where he focused work on media studies and worked on several projects in the Yes! Lab. His thesis and coursework examined the relationship between art and politics; particularly activist art its use of the media.
Mike Bonanno (né Igor Vamos) is a guy from Troy, New York, who spent his formative post-childhood years making mischief. Mike once purchased hundreds of talking GI Joe and Barbie dolls, switched out their voice boxes, and created a media firestorm that had God-fearing Americans up in arms about the shadowy “Barbie Liberation Front.” This escapade caught the attention of lazy queer hackers like Bichlbaum, and together they formed the Yes Men. When not involved in tomfoolery, Bonanno is also a professor of media art at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with a Scottish wife and two babies.
Mike Prokosch is a popular economics and creative action trainer who’s worked with unions, youth and community groups. He has also designed posters, painted houses, co-created street theater, organized US support for the Salvadoran revolution, and published a community newspaper. When these strands collide, new genres like radical calligraphy and political performance yoga can emerge. Mike does climate justice work in Boston and coordinates a national network to move money from the Pentagon to our communities.
Monica Hunken is a writer, performer, educator and activist. Over the past 12 years living in NYC, she has organized with Time’s-Up! Direct Action Environmental Group to promote bicycling, as Action Captain for Reverend Billy and The Church of Stop Shopping's creative disruptions in chain stores and banks throughout the world, with the Occupy Wall Street movement as a trainer in nonviolent creative tactics, in the fight against the fossil fuel extraction industry, as an educator about fracking, and as a co-founder of the local chapter of Occupy the Pipeline, targeting the Spectra pipeline. She writes and performs solo plays that she tours globally on bicycle while also teaching storytelling.
Monique has been working as an artist in residence, creativity consultant and imagination advocate for 25 yrs in both the public and private education, business and community sectors. She teaches interdisciplinary art methodologies to ages 3-103. In addition she is a lecturer at the University of Saskatchewan (College of Education), empowering primary/secondary teachers to advocate, implement and live creatively in every subject area. From her artist's bio, " Multidisciplinary artist and educator Monique Blom lives and works “in the wild woods of Saskatchewan [where] her practice includes chopping wood, building ponds and creating edges.” http://www.moniqueblom.ca/pages/bio
Morrigan Phillips is an organizer, writer, trainer and social worker living in Boston, MA. Over the years, she had been a campaign and direct action organizer against the IMF and World Bank, the war in Iraq, and the WTO and free trade, as well as an editor with Left Turn Magazine. Currently, Morrigan is working in the HIV/AIDS community in Boston by day and supporting climate justice, public transit and health justice direct action organizing by night. On the weekends she is a trainer and activist. Nationally, Morrigan is a coordinator of the I Heart Print Media track at the Allied Media Conference and is part of a network of trainers and writers developing tools for using visionary fiction for direct action and social change work. She has been published on-line and recently in the book We Are Many from AK Press. She can be found @mbotastic on Twitter.
Mundano is an artivist working with grafitti and the recycling process. He prints his tags in São Paulo and around the world through creative manifestations that blur the frontiers of traditional collective artistic interventions regarding social engagement. It was with this spirit that he created Pimp My Carroça, where he combined the upgrading of the carts used to collect solid waste with medical and psychological assistance for the catadores in a political action that fought for better working and living conditions for these professionals. The result was a successful crowdfunding campaign that inserted grafitti as a new form of activism in the São Paulo agenda that Mundano is trying to spread with actions, exhibitions and lectures worldwide.
Nadine Bloch is currently Training Director for Beautiful Trouble. She is an innovative artist, nonviolent practitioner, political organizer, direct-action trainer, and puppetista. Her work explores the potent intersection of art and politics; where creative cultural resistance is not only effective political action, but also a powerful way to reclaim agency over our own lives, fight oppressive systems, and invest in our communities — all while having more fun than the other side! Her affiliations include work with Greenpeace, Labor Heritage Foundation, Nonviolence International, Ruckus Society, HealthGAP and Housing Works, and Bread & Puppet Theater. She is a contributor to Beautiful Trouble book and We Are Many, Reflections on Movement Strategy from Occupation to Liberation (2012, AK Press). Check out her monthly column on WagingNonviolence, “The Arts of Protest.”
Nancy L. Mancias is a campaign organizer for CODEPINK. An anti-war advocate, Mancias has been actively trying to bring the troops home from their overseas misadventures. She has also been part of the movement against torture and a proponent of closing the prison in Guantánamo. She is a believer in accountability for war crimes. She alerts people around the country when war criminals will be speaking, encouraging them to try to make a citizen’s arrest or some ruckus. Like many in the anti-war movement, Mancias views her work against drones as a natural extension of her peace efforts.
Nat Sowinski is a Seattle-based organizer who currently organizes for a teacher's union. She is a co-founder of New Jersey United Students, New Jersey's statewide student association, and has done work around education access, tuition affordability, immigrants' rights and economic justice. In her spare time, Nat likes making weird art and having experiences.
Nathan Schneider is an editor of Waging Nonviolence, a blog about nonviolent conflict and militarism, as well as of Killing the Buddha, an online literary magazine about religion and culture. He has written for Harper’s, The New York Times, The Nation, The Catholic Worker, the Boston Review, The Guardian, Religion Dispatches, and elsewhere. Most recently, he covered Occupy Wall Street from the early planning stages, and is finishing a book for University of California Press about the search for proof of the existence of God, past and present.
Oriana Eliçabe currently lives and works as a freelance photographer in Barcelona and is part of the artivist collective Enmedio, where she coordinated the Photography in Action Workshop TAF! Her work departs from defining photography as a tool for social change, focusing on exploring processes of social and political transformation and especially exploring social struggles of apparently disenfranchised groups in Latin America, Europe and Africa. In many of her projects she approaches contemporary cultural and social conditions as a narrative, the thread linking stories of struggle and resistance to the neoliberal system that generates economic and social apartheid. She has been widely published and exhibited in many international cultural venues, and has taken part in various artist and activist collectives and networks. (Las Agencias, Yomango, New Kids on the Black Block, Enmedio etc.)
Patrick Reinsborough is a strategist, organizer and creative provocateur with over twenty years of experience campaigning for peace, justice, indigenous rights and ecological sanity. Patrick has helped organize countless creative interventions, including mass direct actions that shut down the Seattle WTO meeting in 1999 and protested the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. He is the author of numerous essays on social change theory and practice, including co-writing Re:Imagining Change (PM Press 2010). He is the co-founder of the Center for Story-based Strategy (formerly known as smartMeme), a movement support organization which harnesses the power of narrative for fundamental social change. He lives with his family in the San Francisco Bay area.
Paul Kuttner is an educator and researcher, working at the intersection of art, culture, education, and social change. Currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Utah College of Education, Paul earned his doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Prior to his doctoral studies, Paul taught theater, creative writing, and civic engagement in schools and community organizations across Chicago, where he co-founded the non-profit arts organization Communities Creating Change. Paul is a co-author of A Match on Dry Grass: Community Organizing as a Catalyst for School Reform (Oxford, 2011), and a co-editor of Disrupting the School-to-Prison Pipeline (HER, 2012). His work has been published in academic and popular venues, including Curriculum Inquiry and the Journal of Curriculum Theorizing. He is a former co-chair of the Harvard Educational Review (HER) Editorial Board, a board member of the Mestizo Institute of Culture & Arts, and Minister of Cultural Scholarship for the US Department of Arts & Culture.
is an entrepreneur and writer who has founded and led several successful companies. Barnes began his career as a reporter on The Lowell (Mass.) Sun, and was subsequently a Washington correspondent for Newsweek and West Coast correspondent for The New Republic. In 1976 he cofounded a worker-owned solar energy company in San Francisco, and in 1985 he cofounded Working Assets Long Distance (now Credo Mobile). His books include Capitalism 3.0: A Guide to Reclaiming the Commons (2006), Who Owns the Sky? (2001), and Pawns: The Plight of the Citizen-Soldier (1972).
Phil Aroneanu has been working on solving the climate crisis since he was sixteen. In 2008, with author/activist Bill McKibben and a small group of fellow students, he helped launch the innovative 350.org campaign. In the lead-up to the 2009 United Nations climate talks in Copenhagen, 350.org pulled off over 5,200 simultaneous public events in 181 countries in what CNN called “the most widespread day of political action in history.” Since then, Phil has led national and global campaigns to push back against corporate polluters and build an authentic grassroots climate movement. Phil currently serves as U.S. Campaign Director at 350.org.
Web Maker & Project Agitator
Phillip Smith is a veteran digital publishing consultant and online advocacy specialist. For more than a decade and a half he has provided expert advice and hands-on help to innovative and progressive publishers around the globe, for example High Country News, Global News, Grist.org, Mother Jones, New Internationalist, OR Books, Rabble, and the award-winning daily online news site, The Tyee. Phillip frequently delivers workshops on a range of topics, including effective online communications, advocacy, and fundraising. He has planned, produced, and delivered workshops to leaders of the northwest environmental movement, student organizers at MIT, and campaigners in Canada's national capital that share his experiences supporting online campaigns for the Billionaires for Bush, Greenpeace's "Kleercut" campaign, and Ralph Nader's presidential campaign in 2008. In addition to shepherding the Knight-Mozilla partnership into existence in 2010, Phillip co-founded the Toronto chapters of Hacks/Hackers and The Awesome Foundation.
Co-Editor, Beautiful Solutions
Rachel is Co-Editor of Beautiful Solutions, a web platform, book, and training program designed to give people tools to create the world we want. She was Director of Programs at the New Economy Coalition, where she worked to build broad community, movement and organizational engagement in creating solidarity economies that are healing to people, places and the planet. She learns and communicates best when in motion. Someday, she would like to be a heron or a whale. Rachel lives in Cambridge, MA.
Enthusiast-at-Large, Free Radical
Rae Abileah is a social change strategist, community organizer, activist, writer, and advocate for human rights, environmental justice, and community wellness. She was the co-director and national organizer of CODEPINK Women for Peace for eight years fighting the good fight against the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. She’s an active member of Jewish Voice for Peace and cofounded the youth wing of the organization. Her creative work with the anti-war and environmental justice movements has led her to pop up in Congress speaking truth to politicians on the daily, run an activist house in DC, take the bullhorn at marches, compose innumerable song parodies and flashmobs, share some hearty sound bites with the media, lead delegations to the Middle East, learn a little html, create activist training camps and ruckus raising skill shares, and put her body on the line for justice. She’s a contributing author to Beautiful Trouble, Beyond Tribal Loyalties, 10 Excellent Reasons Not to Join the Military, and Corporate Complicity in Israeli Occupation. She is based in San Francisco.
Rae Breaux is the Lead Climate Justice Organizer for National People's Action (NPA). Rae works with NPA's network of affiliates to develop state and local campaigns and to build bridges between NPA affiliates and other allies in the climate and environmental justice movement. Rae has over a decade of experience as an campaigner, organizer, and trainer. Her focus has been on developing intersectional, cross-movement strategies around race, class, gender, and the systemic drivers of the climate crisis. She has worked for Greenpeace USA, Rainforest Action Network, 350.org, Rising Tide North America, and others. Rae also has a strong background in creative direct action and movement photography, with activities ranging from running trainings to coordinating mass mobilizations. She was one of the lead organizers for the Tar Sands Action, a three-week mass civil disobedience in opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline which took place in Washington, DC in 2011.
Rajni Shah is an artist working in performance and live art. Whether online, in a public space or in a theater, her work aims to open up new spaces for conversation and the meeting of diverse voices. From 2006-2010, she conducted a three-year inquiry into the relationship between gift and conversation in public spaces called small gifts. From 2005-2012 she produced a trilogy of large-scale performances (Mr. Quiver, Dinner with America and Glorious) addressing the complexities of cultural identity in the 21st century.
Ryan Acuff grew up in Chicago, IL but has been in Rochester, NY for the last six years participating in community organizing and pursuing graduate work in psychology (M.A). Currently his organizing is focused on homelessness, foreclosure and affordable housing rights, including work with University of Rochester Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), Genesee Valley Earth First!, Food Not Bombs, Rochester Free School, Healthcare Education Project, 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, Rochester Police Accountability Coalition, Rochester Copwatch, Occupy Rochester and Take Back the Land Rochester.
Sally Kohn makes the world safe for radical ideas. As a veteran community organizer turned political commentator, Sally makes complex political issues accessible for everyday audiences. Sally is a grassroots strategist actively engaged in movement building for equality and justice. She is a regular on Fox News and MSNBC. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post, USA Today, CNN.com, FoxNews.com, Reuters, The Guardian and the American Prospect, among other outlets.
Samantha Corbin is actions director for The Other 98% and national coordinator of the US Uncut network, as well as a non-violent direct action trainer with The Ruckus Society and a founding member of the New York Action Network. She has coordinated scores of affinity group actions including banner hangs, blockades, and street theater actions; led several large-scale actions including the 5,000-strong Powershift 2011; and developed and delivered countless trainings in creative non-violent direct action, affinity group organizing, strategic planning, scouting, and high tech action. Throughout the fall of 2011, she was organizing and training with Occupy Wall Street. Sam is based in New York City.
Sarah Jaffe is a journalist, rabblerouser, and Internet junkie. She is currently an associate editor at AlterNet.org, where she writes about economic justice, activism, and more. She lives in Brooklyn with a rescue dog and too many books.
Shani S.P. Smith is Senior and Community Outreach Organizer for Service Employees International Union Healthcare Illinois and Beautiful Trouble trainer. Shani has deepened commitment to movement building, wagging struggle, and nonviolent resistance to work toward achieving racial, economic, and gender justice for underserved and underrepresented communities. Shani is an African-American Women born and raised on the Southside of Chicago. Living in and organizing around poverty throughout her life, it is Shani’s passion to ensure the issues, viewpoints, concerns, experiences, and voices of people of color, wome, LGBTQ, workers, persons living with physical and mental impairments, and other underrepresented communities are uplifted; furthermore, that they are addressed in all aspects of her work and collaborative movement building efforts to achieve racial, economic, and gender justice. Shani has studied Non-Violent Direct Action for the past 12 years; currently, an emerging voice for women of faith and color in Chicago. The New York Times and Chicago Tribune, and Mayor 1% and Democracy in Black are a few of many publications and books which have highlighted her humanitarian efforts to fight economic iniquities. Shani has engaged diverse communities and mobilized hundreds of supporters around civil rights and economic equality issues. She has successfully played key roles in both local and national social justice campaigns including Occupy Wall St. (New York), Liberate the South Side (Chicago), Take Back the Capitol (Washington D.C.), Shareholders Spring (Michigan), Showdown in Ohio, Democracy Spring Action on the Capitol (Washington DC), 99% Rise March on Sacramento (California), No DAPL (Chicago), Civilian Police Accountability Council (Chicago), and Movement for Black Lives Against Racial Policing (Chicago). Shani has had the distinct honor of training with world renown action strategists Lisa Fithian and Nadine Bloch. She has trained under Civil Rights leaders Dr. Rev. James Lawson and Mary KIng. She has also trained with UC Berkeley Labor Center, under the direction of Dr. Steven Pitts around building Black Worker’s Centers. Her esteemed mentor and colleague is Jaquie Algee, the 2016 recipient of Chicago Federation of Labor’s Labor Woman of the year award. Outside of her work with SEIU Healthcare, Shani is also recognized as the Co-Founder of Women Gathering for Justice, a women’s collective fighting for racial, economic, and social justice. Where she helped organize more than 80 members within months of organizational launch. Shani has a strong desire to alter public policy to promote women’s rights and catalyze active participation of women of faith in non-violent direct action. She served as the Safety & Marshal Coordinator and trainer for the 2017 Women’s March on Chicago, which was the third largest Women's March in the Nation with more than a quarter of a million in attendance. She recently trained and help support organizing efforts for Democracy Spring at the Capitol, Tax Marches, Climate March, May Day March, and the Science March.
Sidd Joag comes from backgrounds in the visual arts and social sciences. Before joining freeDimensional (fD), he spent several years working with community arts projects in New York, India, China and co-founding an artist residency/exchange program in southwestern China focused on ethnic minority cultural preservation in the China-Burma borderlands. Sidd has an MSc in Sociology from the London School of Economics and a B.A. in sociology from New York University. His paintings, installations and experimental films have been seen in the United States, Canada, India, the Philippines, China and Northern Ireland.
Silas Harrebye is finishing up a PhD on creative activism and its potential to facilitate new forms of democratic participation. He has a master’s degree in political philosophy and international development. Today the consultancy skills that he acquired as a project manager in Africa and Eastern Europe are used to advance social entrepreneurship. Silas writes for international journals and is frequently used by the Danish media to comment on the implications of social movements around the world. He lectures widely on the same topic. He currently lives in Copenhagen with his partner and their two kids. Write him (firstname.lastname@example.org) or google his name to find his profile.
Simon Enoch is director of the Saskatchewan Office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. He holds a PhD in Communication and Culture from Ryerson University in Toronto. Simon has previously published in Foucault Studies, Cultural Logic, Capitalism, Nature, Socialism and Socialist Studies. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Simon Roel holds a BA in Philosophy from the University of Copenhagen where he did not only study, but also got to socialize with all sorts of crazies (i.e. philosophers), including the founders of the Nihilist Democratic Party. Determined to become a film director, he did an intense one-year filmmaking program at the New York Film Academy. His thesis short film DARK ROOM, dealing with a dangerous mix of pizza, porn, and philosophy, got Simon into the prestigious American Film Institute Conservatory where he is currently completing his MFA in Directing.
Project Manager - Beautiful Rising
Dad, political organiser, strategist, facilitator and Rosa Luxemburg lover. Commander of Operations on the Beautiful Rising project. Currently working with ActionAid. Holds a MA in Political Science with a thesis on civil disobedience. Learning to spell bald and not balled or is it the other way around?
Stan Goff spent over two decades in the U.S. Army, mostly special operations, from 1970-1996. He has worked as Organizing Director for Democracy South, a 12-state coalition working on money and politics (1996-2001), and as an Organizational Development Consultant with Iraq Veterans Against the War (2004-2006). Married, with four grown children and four grandchildren, he is the author of four books including Hideous Dream: A Soldier's Memoir of the US Invasion of Haiti (Soft Skull Press, 2001) and Sex & War (Lulu Press, 2006).
Starhawk is an author, activist, permaculture designer, and one of the foremost voices in earth-based spirituality. Her twelve books include The Spiral Dance, The Fifth Sacred Thing, and The Earth Path, and her first picture book for children, The Last Wild Witch. She has lived and worked collectively for thirty years, and her book on group dynamics is just out: The Empowerment Manual: A Guide for Collaborative Groups. She directs and teaches Earth Activist Trainings, www.earthactivisttraining.org, which combine a permaculture design certificate course with a grounding in spirit and a focus on organizing and activism.
Stephen Duncombe teaches the history and politics of media at New York University. He is the author or editor of six books, including Dream: Re-Imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy and the Cultural Resistance Reader. Duncombe is a life-long political activist, co-founding a community based advocacy group in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and working as an organizer for the NYC chapter of the international direct action group, Reclaim the Streets. He co-created the School for Creative Activism in 2011 and is presently co-director of the Center for Artistic Activism www.artisticactivism.org.
Stephen Lerner is architect of the Justice for Janitors campaign. He serves on the executive board of the Service Employees International Union. He has been a labor and community organizer for over thirty years and is working with labor and community groups in campaigns that challenge Wall Street’s and big corporations’ domination of the political and economic life of the U.S. and global economy. His latest thinking here: How We Can Mobilize To Be the Greedy 1%'s Worst Nightmare
Steve Lambert’s father, a former Franciscan monk, and mother, an ex-Dominican nun, imbued in him the values of dedication, study, poverty, and service to others — qualities which prepared him for life as an artist. He co-founded the Center for Artistic Activism, was a senior fellow at New York’s Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology from 2006-2010, developed workshops for Creative Capital Foundation, and is a faculty member at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Steve is a perpetual autodidact with (if it matters) advanced degrees from a reputable art school and well-respected state university. He dropped out of high school in 1993.
Sydney Arndt is a performer, creative writer, arts journalist, dramaturg, and activist based in NYC. She is the Co-founder and Artistic Director of The Grace Period Blog (thegraceperiodblog.com), a digital platform and performance collective that fights student debt with art-making. She holds a Masters in Performance Studies from NYU where she studied dramaturgy and theatre-making as social activism in diverse communities.
Terry Marshall has been involved in youth and social justice struggles for over 15 years. In 2008 Terry became the Lead Youth Organizer of the Healthcare Education Project, an initiative of 1199 SEIU in New York City. While there he led the innovative “Young Voices For Healthcare” campaign to involve young people in the healthcare reform struggle. Terry is the Co-founder and Co-editor of Occupy Comix, a bimonthly comic book that depicts the stories of the 99% and is working on a book presented by his Intelligent Mischief project depicting creative activists of color.
Todd Lester is the founder of freeDimensional (fD) and the Creative Resistance Fund. He currently serves as consultant to the Astraea Lesbian Justice Foundation. Todd holds a Masters of Public Administration from Rutgers University and is a graduate of the Refugee Studies Centre’s Summer School in Forced Migration at Oxford University. He lends his energy and advice to several residencies, foundations, artist-led projects and networks. Todd received the Peace Corps Fund Award for his work starting freeDimensional, was named “Architect of the Future” by the Waldzell Institute in 2008, and serves as a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute.
Tracey Mitchell facilitates creative and courageous conversations for community organizations. Based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, Tracey uses engaging techniques to help groups establish and accomplish goals, build teams, develop leadership skills and make decisions together. Tracey is also a forum theater practitioner (aka a “joker”) and has developed plays with groups around issues of poverty and social justice. She is also a campaigner, zinester, organizer, reader and board game player. Tracey lives and works from her home in Saskatoon.
Virginia Vitzthum has written for the Village Voice, Ms., the Washington City Paper, Elle, Time Out New York and was a columnist for salon.com and for washingtonpost.com. She's also written two books, including I Love You, Let's Meet, a screenplay, and a play and edited many publications. She was recently dramaturg/actor/songwriter for Pedagogy of the Oppressed: The Musical! — an original production by Falconworks theater in Red Hook, Brooklyn: http://www.redhooktheater.org/. She currently edits Represent, a national magazine written by and for youth in foster care: http://www.representmag.org/.
Vitor Leal is a campaigner and storyteller. In order to tell stories, he's used everything from direct mail to blogs, video, literature, poetry, social media, and anti-social media. A social communicator with an MBA in Sustainability Management, he's found himself an activist within the Critical Mass movement, and his interest for learning processes at the School of Activism. Formerly in charge of planning and implementing innovative campaign projects at Oxfam in Brazil, he now works for the Climate and Energy campaign at Greenpeace Brazil.
Yutaka Dirks is a tenant and community organizer and writer living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He has been active in anti-poverty, workers rights and international solidarity movements, as well as offering legal support to social justice movements through the Movement Defence Committee of the Law Union of Ontario. His writing has appeared in Upping the Anti and Briarpatch Magazine as well as Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine.