The morning after the election, I had the good fortune to hear Van Jones -- executive director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights -- speak on a panel assessing the fallout of November 2. I'd heard Van speak several times over the past year or so and have always found his eloquence -- and his ability to weave together environmental justice, the "incarceration economy," clean technology, sustainable business, progressive politics, and other topics -- to contain equal parts inspiration and enlightenment.
The morning of November 3 was no different: His words that morning went a long way to helping me move beyond Electoral Shock.
What he said that morning -- and much more -- can be found in a remarkable article that graces the current cover of Yes! magazine. It's remarkable in part because of how quickly it found its way into print; I read the first draft of this piece just two days after the election. But its true healing powers come from Van's positive and empowering perspective of the progressive movement -- and the great synergies that remain to be tapped among a wide range of disparate players.
For too long, progressives have been divided into lots of fragmented, single-issue groups. We have lots of leaders and groups. But we don’t know how to work together. Fortunately, that is beginning to change. Serious progressives don’t ask whether we should now work across lines of race, class, gender or issue. They ask how to do it effectively. This is immensely promising. Combining into relevant, effective coalitions could instantly multiply progressive power a thousand-fold.
I strongly urge you to read it -- and share it -- in the hopes that it will help heal others.