Community & Government

Turning Rage Into Action

Amanda and Gloria discuss the role of anger in social movement building, as well as how you can begin to pen your own legislation and inspire others by speaking out.

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Topics include: Turning Rage Into Action


- Anger and rage have a very important piece to play in social movement building. [MUSIC PLAYING] - I think women often have a hard time expressing anger, because we are supposed to be supportive, nurturing, helpful, and those are not qualities that encourage you to state your own boundaries and anger, and feelings. And just the very idea of anger in a woman is criticized, without looking at the reason she is angry. So of course social justice movements are a collective way of expressing anger and using it positively. - Rage, for me, although it was the jumpstart of my activism, did not sustain. It was hope. The rage ran out. It was hope for a better tomorrow, hope in organizing that kept me til now. After President Obama signed our federal law, we heard from over a million people, survivors from around the world and around the United States, that said, hey, you don't look like what it means to be a lawmaker. You are in your 20s, you are a woman of color, you are a woman. How did you do that? And if you can do that, can I do that too? So what we did was we set up an accelerator for civil rights where we train organizing strategies so that people can spend their own civil rights into existence, too. And we've worked with people from a whole range of issues, including the Parkland survivors and community members to pass gun violence reform. And the Tennessee Alliance for Black Lawyers to work on voting rights. Rise is a civil rights accelerator. So what that means is we help activists, we give them seed funding, we mentor them. And the model was actually chosen off of how entrepreneurs get help within Silicon Valley. Based on the merit of their idea, they get seed funding, mentorship, basically the barrier to entry to the market lowered for them. And that should exist for civil rights activists. The people who have the solutions to the world's most pressing problems are the people that live that problem every day. And there's a huge gap between those people and the people who actually hold the pen to write these laws. There's also a huge industry, lobbying, paid lobbying, that gives democracy for the highest bidder. What we do at Rise is put that pen back into the people's hands. If you're interested in writing your own law, it's really important to understand the rules of the game in order to win. When are the deadlines to submit your proposed bill? Who actually controls putting the bill onto the agenda? All of these things are critical. And if you know them, then you're already leagues ahead in getting your bill into law. - Rise has passed more than one bill now, right? - 34. - Do you want to describe the scope of the progress? - I remember our first law. That's the Sexual Assault Civil Rights in the federal arena. But now when we come and testify, there are so many people who have shown up. We have at our organization a phrase, it's called Theory of Hope Bill. And it means that s...

About the Instructor

Women’s rights activists and political changemakers Gloria Steinem, adrienne maree brown, Amanda Nguyen, and Tina Tchen know there’s strength in numbers—especially in the fight for equality. Now, they’re coming together to dissect the issues women have faced in the U.S., talk about their advocacy efforts and personal challenges, and introduce ways you can play an active role in the feminist movement in your everyday life.

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Gloria Steinem, adrienne maree brown, Amanda Nguyen, and Tina Tchen

Four women’s rights activists discuss the feminist movement in the U.S., ways they’re creating change, and how you can join the fight for equality.

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