Millions of people around the world are dedicating their lives and creativity to furthering human evolution – keeping the Movement moving – what many have begun to call The Great Turning. Once you start looking for ways to plug in, you’ll find literally thousands of organizations, websites, books, movies, magazines and more to guide your steps along the path of service. You’ll probably only want to choose a few that speak to you, because one snare awaiting the enthusiastic beginner is that of getting entangled in too much information. Here are the ones that speak to me; they’re as good a place to start as any. At the very least, all of them need and deserve financial support; please give what you can.
Yes! magazine. Each quarterly issue of Yes! picks a different theme and explores how people everywhere are inventing workable solutions and organizing a new society driven by positive values. You can also subscribe to an email newsletter and participate in events sponsored by the magazine. No advertising, no paywall. Published by the Positive Futures Network since 1996.
Mother Jones magazine. The grandmother of investigative journalist publications, this bimonthly magazine dives deep into a wide range of issues of concern to political progressives. Continuously in print since 1976. Available on Zinio, Kindle, Magzter, Nook, and AppleNews+. Published by the nonprofit Foundation for National Progress.
Communities magazine. This quarterly magazine covers the intentional communities movement worldwide, showcasing its diversity and relevance as a laboratory for alternative forms of human culture and society. You’ll learn about income-sharing communes, upscale cohousing, religious orders, ecovillages, consensus process, and more. Each issue is devoted to a different theme. In print since 1972, it’s now published by the U.S. branch of the Global Ecovillage Network.
The Sun magazine. This amazing ad-free monthly literary magazine has been in print for 50 years. It consists mainly of high-quality fiction, poetry, black-&-white photography, and personal essays, but what keeps it high on my list are the eye-opening interviews on a wide range of topics that open each issue. You can read selected articles on the website, but I highly encourage subscribing to get the whole package via U.S. mail. An email newsletter is also available.
Progressive News/Views. This digital clipping service delivers a compilation of articles from diverse online sources every Sunday, ranging from technological breakthroughs to progressive politics, climate change to culture wars. Subscriptions are free. Subscribe or just drop in to check the latest offerings.
Reader Supported News. A project of Marc Ash, co-founder of Truthout, this online compendium of news and opinion sends out emails almost daily with links to dozens of articles. It includes articles from The Guardian, The New Yorker, Al Jazeera, Democracy Now!, the Washington Post, Rolling Stone, the Intercept, and many more, as well as original content. Satirist Andy Borowitz is frequent contributor. Subscribe or just browse the website.
Daily Kos. This community of writers and cartoonists offers an ever-changing smorgasbord of news, investigation and commentary on the hot topics of the day, not to mention a steady stream of editorial cartoons. Like RSN, you can subscribe to get a daily collection of links, or just visit the site to browse. But the similarities end there; most Daily Kos material originates at Daily Kos. One exception is the marvelous historical insights of Thom Hartmann.
Sierra Club. The world’s oldest environmental group is still at the forefront of progressive activism, though it has broadened its scope to recognize the urgency of racial justice and gender diversity in the movement. It publishes an excellent quarterly magazine as well as autonomous publications of its affiliates in each state. I receive the Georgia Sierran, which contains legislative updates and a calendar of member outings to wilderness preserves.
Black Lives Matter. This is not an organization but a movement, energized by local chapters, all focused on the systemic racist violence and discrimination that has propped up U.S. prosperity since the beginning. Though invisible to most white folks, this foundation of white supremacy becomes glaringly evident with every murder of Black citizens at the hands of the police, the modern equivalent of random lynchings.
Greenpeace. Founded with the goal of ending legal whaling, this venerable direct-action group has accomplished that goal and expanded to tackle forest and ocean protection, sustainable agriculture, climate action, phasing out plastic, shutting down nukes and lots more. Their fleet of ocean-going ships and daring banner-drops are legendary. Current campaigns include bans on deep-sea mining and private jets.
350.org. Co-founded by Bill McKibben, the granddaddy of climate activists, this grassroots coalition is leading the charge to shut down the fossil fuel economy and transition to 100% renewables. The name comes from 350-parts-per-million, the absolute limit of carbon in the atmosphere that scientists consider safe for life on Earth. The bad news is that we are fast approaching that limit. The good news is that community groups are uniting around a coordinated global effort to turn back from the brink.
Nuclear Watch South. My own primary activist commitment, NWS monitors both nuclear weapons and nuclear power in Georgia and surrounding states. We work on multiple levels to inform the public, give voice to citizen opposition, expose the fraudulent claim that nukes can help slow climate change, and proclaim the vision of a non-nuclear world. Our legal intervention with Georgia’s Public Service Commission has registered public outrage in the public record throughout the construction of Plant Vogtle 3 and 4, the country’s first new nuclear reactors in 30 years. We also vigil regularly at Kings Bay Naval Base, home port of the east coast Trident submarine fleet, and observe Nagasaki Day each year in Atlanta.
Get Off the Grid Fest. The world’s premier solar-powered music festival takes the stage every other August in a different Southeastern city. It features several stages with a wide variety of musical genres, as well as speakers, workshops, panel discussions, solar vendor exhibits, and lots more. The “grid” at issue includes not just the centralized power grid powered by dirty fuels, but the corporate-controlled infrastructure of health care, agriculture, and politics, which turns the festival into a celebration of people’s culture and alternative economics.
The Rainbow Family Gathering. For fifty years, this counterculture reunion has invited the world to remote and beautiful places in the U.S. National Forests every July. Thousands of people of every imaginable type converge to construct a temporary village of outdoor kitchens, camps and trails, centered around a powerful morning of Silence and prayer circle for world peace and healing on the Fourth. Afterward, a dedicated crew stays to restore the site to its original condition. My regional Rainbow tribe gathers to celebrate the Summer Solstice in the southern Appalachian every June. Since attending my first Gathering in 1981 I have never missed one if I could help it.