Stand Up!: How to Get Involved, Speak Out, and Win in a World on Fire (Paperback)
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"Grassroots organizing is our best hope. If you're serious about making change from the bottom up, read Stand Up! and pass it on."
--Congressman Keith Ellison
Each of us faces a moment of truth--at a time of crisis, do we stand up and speak out or retreat into our private lives? This book is for those frustrated by what they see happening in the world but not sure what they can do about it.
Veteran organizer Gordon Whitman shows that we have the power we need to create a racially and economically just society. But it won't happen if we stay on the sidelines sharing social media posts and signing online petitions. We win only if we're willing to join other people in the kind of face-to-face organizing that has powered every successful social movement in history.
Whitman describes five types of conversations that enable people to build organizations that can solve local problems and confront the greatest challenges facing our country--from gun violence to climate change. The book is a road map for standing up to the bullies who've hijacked our democracy and divided us against each other.
Find your voice, make it heard, create lasting change, and live your purpose in the world!
About the Author
Gordon Whitman is deputy director of Faith in Action (formerly PICO National Network), with a membership of 3,000 faith institutions and 2.5 million people. As a community organizer, legal services lawyer, and strategist, he helps working families build strong and effective multiracial community organizations.
“A manual for a multiracial movement that combats racism and economic inequality as two sides of the same coin, Stand Up! is a road map for moving from resisting to governing.”
—Heather McGhee, President, Demos
“Stand Up! is just the kind of book we need right now. This is a guide for working people who want to make a difference.”
—Mary Kay Henry, International President, Service Employees International Union
“Gordon Whitman’s book is a summation of years of great organizing and an invaluable resource for anyone who is ready for action.”
—Ai-jen Poo, Executive Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance, and author of The Age of Dignity
“Stand Up! is full of good sense about how people with the most on the line can use their leverage to create change.”
—Carlos Saavedra Diaz, cofounder of Movimiento Cosecha and Lead Trainer, Ayni Institute
“Gordon Whitman has done what organizers almost never do: turned his years of practice into a valuable resource for engagement, learning, and action.”
—Marshall Ganz, Senior Lecturer in Public Policy, Kennedy School of Government
“Who belongs?’ is the most important question of our time. Adopting this as a challenge, Stand Up! charts a way toward a more inclusive society through five necessary conversations. Part organizing strategy, part research, part biography, and part history lesson, Stand Up! is an important guide for our troubled times.”
—Professor john a. powell, University of California, Berkeley, Director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society
“Stand Up! presents a framework for change that is both practical and inspiring. Group-based, grassroots organizing is the most powerful way you can effect change, and Whitman provides a clear description and explanation of the organizing tools you need to stand up with others in your community.”
—Ezra Levin, Co-Executive Director, Indivisible
“Stand Up! is a terrific guide for those who want to make this a more just world.”
—Heather Booth, organizer and founder of Midwest Academy
“Upset about the state of the world? Unsure what you can do about it? Read this book! You will be a changed person and more prepared than ever to help change the world.”
—George Goehl, Codirector, People’s Action
“Whitman’s book is a must-read antidote for anyone who is struggling to understand how to live a life of purpose or anyone who feels the calling but is not sure what to do.”
—Professor Hahrie Han, University of California, Santa Barbara
“We need to bring everything we know about people-led social change to the table—that’s why Stand Up! is such an important book for this moment. It is a must-read for organizers working to develop leaders, build multiracial teams, and win campaigns.”
—Saru Jayaraman, cofounder of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United and Director, Food Labor Research Center, University of California, Berkeley
“If you believe now is the time to resist, then this book about organizing and building lasting power is for you. Stand Up! links our work across the issues of racism, economic inequality, and climate change. It gives me hope and the tools to build a society in which everyone belongs and can thrive.”
—Lindsey Allen, Executive Director, Rainforest Action Network
“Equal part how-to and inspiration, Stand Up! shows how to build democratic multiracial organizations that are both humane and effective.”
—Scott Reed, Executive Director, Faith in Action (formerly PICO National Network)
“Gordon Whitman has given a gift to all of us who yearn to bring people together across lines of difference to redeem the soul of our nation. Stand Up! offers both a sacred call to action and a path forward.”
—Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
“For those interested in fighting for the social justice so desperately needed in our world today, Stand Up! teaches how to build power to make impactful change, combining examples of successful organizing efforts, specific steps to developing power, and a compassionate reflection on the real challenges to social change work.”
—Professor Paul Speer, Vanderbilt University