George Lakey

George Lakey has been active in direct action campaigns for over six decades. Recently retired from Swarthmore College, he was first arrested in the civil rights movement and most recently in the climate justice movement. He has facilitated 1,500 workshops on five continents and led activist projects on local, national and international levels. His 10 books and many articles reflect his social research into change on community and societal levels. His newest book is the memoir “Dancing with History: A Life for Peace and Justice.”


What should we do with the perpetrators of the climate crisis?

Chuck Collins’ new book “Altar to an Erupting Sun” may be fiction, but it poses a very topical, real-world challenge for readers: What’s the right way to act when facing an existential challenge like climate change?

July 19, 2023

Cuban missile crisis meeting

How activists can fight through doom and gloom to be more effective

One of the most frequent questions I get from Sunrise Movement members and other young activists is: “How do you keep going considering all the tough situations you’ve been through?”

May 11, 2022

Reimagine Appalachia

Envision or perish — why we must start imagining the world we want to live in

But without a bold vision that’s inclusive and down-to-earth enough to make intuitive sense to the great majority of Americans, not even the best of strategies will be enough to carry the day.

February 11, 2021

Black Lives Matter protests

Today’s Progressive Movements must Learn from Black Lives Matter — and Join Together

The initiative of the Movement for Black Lives needs to be picked up by others. The vision can be enlarged to advance key goals of each of the progressive movements operating today.

June 22, 2020

Norwegian fishing village

US Opinion is Shifting in Favor of the Nordic model — Can Activists Keep Up?

It’s in the interests of the 1 percent that we not use the Nordic model as a way to talk about vision. They’ve watched with alarm the growing public appeal of Medicare for All and the Green New Deal, which are partial versions of the Nordic model. Especially now, they don’t want us to expand, to talk in an appealing way about system-change.

April 10, 2020

Boston Tea Party

Why Doesn’t American Political Culture Understand the Power of Direct Action Campaigns?

Campaigns are perfect for turning away from defensive fights and moving back into what works: Going on the offensive by framing an issue into a demand, choosing a decider, planning a series of actions then escalating and growing. The issue can be local, regional, national, highly ambitious in its demand or less so. We get to choose — it’s an existential move of empowerment.

December 19, 2019

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