Dear Reader,

Permit me a personal moment. Like you, I often wonder why I do what I do. And because I’ve done it for so long, I sometimes wonder whether it all was worth it. Well, make no mistake. It was and is. Especially when the reasons are so graphically and emotionally recorded on film. Let me explain.

Last night I watched — online — the second episode in a remarkable series co-produced by The Nation magazine and Brave New Foundation. The site where you’ll find all this is This Brave Nation. At a time when nearly everyone’s blaming the internet for sapping civic spirit and the desire to learn, rather than play games, on the part of today’s young folks, here is a remarkable counter argument.

This Brave Nation, in the words of The Nation editors, "brings together the most intellligent, passionate and creative voices of one generation with the activists, journalists and artists of the next to dialogue on loves, lives, politics and history."

Here at The Agitator we write a lot about techniques, trends, accountability and other important stuff for non-profit CEOs, comms people and fundraisers. But, at the end of the day our intention is only to offer the insight and advice necessary to support missions and content. And, regardless of whether you’re a die-hard leftie like me or some other form of zealot (you’re forgiven in advance), here’s a classic example.

Print married with film. Film and print married with the internet. Internet married with text, audio and video. Text, audio and video married with ACTION.You don’t need a user’s manual to get the beauty of all this integration. Beginning on June 1 the first episode of a five part video series — eventually to be produced in a DVD boxed set — aired.

Regardless of your ideology — or maybe especially because of your ideology — I urge you to watch ’em all. Last night’s episode was a moving interchange between singer-songwriter-activist Bonnie Raitt and union organizer-humanitarian-feminist par excellence Delores Huerta.

For the next generation — today’s 18 to 35 year olds– it’s important to understand the roots and motivation of modern social change and why the agitators and sparkplugs behind that change do what they do. You’ll find it here, especially in the conversation between Bonnie Raitt and Delores Huerta. Not only is their colloquy of how they got into the movements and what drove them emotionally moving; their explanations will surely attract the next generation.

 

And to make sure there’s an opportunity, This Brave Nation is sponsoring a contest to name today’s future movement leaders — limited only by age. Past 30 you’re out of luck. Featured in these five episodes are Carl Pope longtime leader of the Sierra Club, Van Jones, founder of the Ella Baker Center, of course Delores Huerta and Bonnie Raitt, activist and folk singer Pete Seeger, along with environmental justice organizer Majora Carter, ACLU executive director Anthony Romero along with teenage peace activist Ava Lowery, and activist/politician Tom Hayden along with Nation columnist Naomi Klein.

Whoever at The Nation or Brave New Films came up with this concept, so beautifully executed, to inspire us all, you deserve a raise!!!!

Roger

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