It may seem at times like there’s a thousand movements to be a part of, a thousand and one tragedies in the news. How do we keep ourselves accountable to the communities we truly care about? Is “diversity” enough? And how do we stop ourselves from panicking? Laura’s guest this week, celebrated journalist and author Jeff Chang takes on some of these questions. According to Chang, hope isn’t yet lost and really, we’re going to be alright — if we work together.
Connecting the dots between modern American resegregation, the 2016 elections, the Black Lives Matter Movement, and the “hip-hop generation,” Chang paints a picture of distress. Yet, there’s power in this, says Chang. Collaboration, the likes of which we see in successful movements everywhere (Movement for Black Lives, #NoDAPL), can ebb the flow of oppression. Jeff Chang is the co-founder of CultureStr/ke and Colorlines. He currently serves as the executive director for Stanford University’s Institute for Diversity in the Arts. latest release, “We Gon Be Alright,” from Picador, is in stores now.
Also in this episode, we see a movement in practice at Standing Rock in Očhéthi Šakówiŋ territory. Indigenous activists and nations across the country are joining together in a historic effort to protect the water and defend the land against corporate energy. These indigenous leaders can teach us a lesson about doing radical work, even when facing improbable odds.