A few suggested books

…although you can choose any books on peace and justice you want!

Here are a few that have particularly inspired our executive director at the OPC:

cover_leftThe Next American Revolution, Grace Lee Boggs: “The new book by 99-year-old philosopher/activist Grace Lee Boggs. “A world dominated by America and driven by cheap oil, easy credit, and conspicuous consumption is unraveling before our eyes. Drawing from seven decades of movement-building experience, Grace Lee Boggs shows how to create the radical social change we need to confront new realities. From her home in Detroit, she reveals how hope and creativity are overcoming despair and decay within the most devastated urban communities.”

downloadBlueprint for a Revolution, Srdja Popovic: ” In BLUEPRINT FOR REVOLUTION, Srdja Popovic outlines his philosophy for implementing peaceful world change and provides a model for activists everywhere through stories of his own experience toppling dictatorships (peacefully) and of smaller examples of social change (like Occupy Wall Street or fighting for gay rights). Through examples of using laughter and music (e.g., Pussy Riot) to disarm the opposition and gather supporters, to staging a protest of Lego Men in Siberia (when flesh-and-blood people would have been shot), to a boycott of Cottage cheese in Israel to challenge price inflation while organizing around rice pudding to overthrow the dictator of the Maldives, Popovic uses true and sometimes outrageously clever examples of the ways in which non-violent resistance has achieved its means. Popovic argues in favor of non-violent resistance not for ideological reasons (as persuasive as those are) but because non-violence actually works better than violence. This is an inspiring (and useful!) guide for any activist–and a thoroughly entertaining read for any armchair politico. In addition, the stories Popovic tells here are hilarious, accessible, inspiring, and at times outrageous. Aside from his own experiences, he includes little-known stories from the lives of Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Harvey Milk, Martin Luther King Jr., etc.”

TS-Book-CoverTrauma Stewardship by Laura van Dernoot Lipsky with Connie Burk. “The essayist E. B. White once wrote that the early American author, naturalist, and philosopher Henry Thoreau appeared to have been “torn by two powerful and opposing drives—the desire to enjoy the world, and the urge to set the world straight.” This book is written for anyone who is doing work with an intention to make the world more sustainable and hopeful—all in all, a better place—and who, through this work, is exposed to the hardship, pain, crisis, trauma, or suffering of other living beings or the planet itself. It is for those who notice that they are not the same people they once were, or are being told by their families, friends, colleagues, or pets that something is different about them.”

9781630263232Embracing Cultural Competency, Patricia St. Onge, lead author. “No “how-to” manual exists on cultural competency. And, compared to other topics in nonprofit management, little exists on the skills and strategies needed to address racism and inequity. Building cultural competency is an ongoing journey that nonprofit leaders choose to take because they know the end result will be a more inclusive, connected, and effective organization. Patricia St. Onge and her contributing authors help readers grapple with the urgent issues that can transform capacity builders into change agents in the nonprofit sector. Embracing Cultural Competency starts the dialogue on how organizations can start building capacity.”

Locking+Up+Our+Own+book+jacketLocking up Our Own, James Forman, Jr. “A former D.C. public defender, Forman tells riveting stories of politicians and community activists, police officers, defendants, and crime victims. He writes with compassion for individuals trapped in terrible dilemmas—from the men and women he represented in court to officials struggling to respond to a public safety emergency. Locking Up Our Own enriches our understanding of why our society became so punitive and offers important lessons to anyone concerned about the future of race and the criminal justice system in this country.”