After reading Runaway Inequality, what next?

A friend writes: “I have a small book club reading Runaway Inequality as part of our Indivisible Suffragists Group. We will finish the first week in November. What should our next steps be? There are four of us.”

We asked some Reversing Runaway Inequality trainers for their suggestions.

Margarita Hernandez said: “There is a huge tax fight right now that folks should plug into. It’s not enough they learn about runaway inequality but now it’s time for them to step up to fight back. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders talk about the plan in a video here.

She should try to do short presentations at her local community groups about runaway inequality and ask folks to plug into the tax fight.”

Cesar Leyva added: “I agree with Margarita about the Take on Wall Street. It’s a very clear and easy ask of folks.

She should try to spin off an umbrella group in her town that deals with economic justice and the fight to reverse runaway inequality. She can hold monthly meetings, potluck, movie nights, lobby visits, etc.

We should also get her the one-hour video of your demo in Wilmington, NC. (Here it is.)”

Michael Merrill said: “Yes, of course, action. Plugging into fight back efforts is good and, fortunately, there seem to be a lot right now. Our RevolutionThe Resistance.MoveOn.org. Etc.

But reading is also taking action. I think that she also needs to keep her book club reading.  If we are going to have a better future, we need to imagine it. And there are few better ways to do so than engaging in serious reading and thinking about it. There are lots of books out there right now. Matthew Desmond, EvictedElisabeth Rosenthal, An American Sickness.Jane Mayer, Dark MoneyEtc. And these are only the ones I have been looking at recently. The list goes on and on. People who read together, resist together!”

We’ve Updated the Trainers Map!

We have 26 new members who would like to participate in Train the Trainer sessions to Reverse Runaway inequality. They’ve signed up from across the country.

New to the map!

Meanwhile we’re working with local groups and Trained Trainers to bring trainings to areas with enough interest across the country. Here’s the full map of interested trainers on the continental US.

419 Potential Trainers

Activism 101—Les Leopold in Boone North Carolina, October 19th.

When: Thursday, October 19th. 12:30 PM to 2 PM

Where: HOW Space. 182 Howard St., Boone, North Carolina 28608

What: Facilitated by Les Leopold, co-founder of the Labor Institute in New York, this nuts and bolts workshop provides an opportunity to learn more about developing successful grassroots campaigns for social and economic justice.

+ learn skills to create effective campaigns and actions
+ explore the historical context for social justice movements and contemporary organizing
+ develop concrete tools you can use in your own work

Leopold is a veteran activist with over 40 years of dedication to labor rights as well as social and economic justice causes. His current book, “Runaway Inequality: An Activist Guide to Economic Justice”, is a solutions oriented guide to the wide ranging problems associated with economic inequality in the US. He is currently helping to build a national economic educational train-the-trainer program with unions and community groups. All proceeds from his current book go back into this campaign.

A report from our Wilmington NC appearances and training

Les was in Wilmington NC on September 19 and 20. George Vlasits, one of the event’s organizers, sent us a report about what went on:

On September 19th and 20th a coalition of 15 labor and community groups sponsored a book tour on Runaway Inequality by Les Leopold in Wilmington, North Carolina.

The two public events, one at the ILA Union Hall and the other at the University of North Carolina – Wilmington, drew 200 activists and students to hear Les’ presentation on “What Happened to the American Dream?” Les also spoke to a sociology class at UNCW and was interviewed on the student TV station at UNCW

The events were preceded by an intensive campaign that included a radio interview with Les on the local NPR station; an interview of two of the organizers on Wilmington’s black radio station; book sales for Runaway Inequality at meetings of participating groups; an op/ed piece in the local newspaper and an article in the UNCW student newspaper; a joint press release with the progressive candidate for the US House of Representatives, NC-D7 and use of social media. All the co-sponsors also publicized the events to their membership.

Among the attendees were several elected officials, announced candidates and local Democratic Party officials. With a signup list of over 100 expressing interest in finding out ways they can help spread the word, the organizers are planning a one day “train the trainers” workshop in conjunction with the CWA and State AFL-CIO in Wilmington sometime in November.

The SENC CLC is also funding edited videos of both a press conference held in Wilmington and the presentations at the two events.

Click here to see the press conference the afternoon before the training.

Here is the video of the whole training.

Train the Trainer: Open Oakland CA Session

While in Oakland for the CWA, USW, Sierra Club, Bluegreen Alliance trainings, in September 2017, RI also held its first training open to the community. 

While in Oakland we also held our first at-large train-the-trainer, open to anyone in the community. Most of the twenty-four participants came from the Bay area, a few from further afield in California, and three traveled all the way from Ashland, Oregon.

Participants were former, current, and new activists involved in organizations like The Incorruptibles, Equitable Food Initiative, Indivisible, Democratic Socialists of America, the Longshore & Warehouse Union, the National Nurses Union, or no organization at all.

Michael Bingham, one of the Oregonians, said, “The ‘Ashland OR Chapter’ is energized and ready to go to work. It’s wonderful to sit in a room of like-minded folks and get my hope tank filled. I had been running on empty for far too long. “