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Political Activism: Beyond Shouting And More than Silence with Sam Daley-Harris

Program Number: 3627

In these times of intense political polarization, civic despair is rampant. How does this affect our democracy and how can we counteract this apathy? Daley-Harris has been working tirelessly to provide trainings for ordinary citizens to empower effective political action and to help citizens be most effective in reshaping the issues they most care about. He gives the example, “A recent poll found that 96% of Americans want money out of politics but 91% said it isn’t possible. That’s the politics of resignation. But the politics of resignation gives us a way forward. If we can find a way to thaw the resignation, we can find a way to winning.” Daley-Harris describes the political process that goes beyond holding on to one’s position and talking at one another. His kind of activism goes beyond attacking one another and even beyond “mouse-clicking” and petition signing activism. He tells us to find an organization and group with whom we can associate and then together learn effective methods. It starts with respect. It may be a tougher mountain to climb if your congressional member is on the other side of the issue than you. You still have to do your research and find something that you can thank them for and start building, little by little, a relationship with them. He gives many practical examples of effective activism which will lift you from despair into empowerment. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Sam Daley-Harris is the founder of RESULTS and RESULTS Educational Fund. RESULTS is an international grassroots citizens lobby committed to healing the break between people and government, and creating the political will to end hunger and the worst aspects of poverty. He is the director of the RESULTS Educational Fund’s largest project, The Microcredit Summit, a campaign to reach 100 million of the world’s poorest families, especially the women of those families, with credit for self-employment and other financial and business services.

Sam Daley-Harris is the author of:

To learn more about the work of Sam Daley-Harris go to http://civiccourage.org/.

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • Why feelings of helplessness may be the most dangerous problem we face today
  • What is his advice to move us beyond feelings of helplessness and resignation
  • What did R. Buckminster Fuller say about getting money out of politics
  • What is the Citizen’s Climate Lobby and how did it become a bi-partisan issue
  • What is his advice in getting beyond attack activism and/or mouse click activism
  • What is his advice when your congress person either agrees or disagrees with the issues you most care about
  • What are some suggestions for finding a group with which to affiliate
  • How might we better understand the bias that media is presenting

Host: Justine Willis Toms             Interview Date: 11/14/2017              Program Number: 3627

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