Book Talk: Jane McAlevey
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
UC Berkeley Labor Center
2521 Channing Way
“Meaningful change can only happen with organizing that puts ordinary people at the center of their own struggle: there are no shortcuts to lasting social change.”
Join us for a conversation with organizer Jane McAlevey to talk about her new book, No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age.
Drawing upon her experience as a scholar and longtime organizer in the student, environmental, and labor movements, McAlevey examines cases from labor unions and social movements to pinpoint the factors that helped them succeed – or fail – to accomplish their intended goals. McAlevey makes a compelling case that the great social movements of previous eras gained their power from mass organizing, a strategy today’s progressives have mostly abandoned in favor of shallow mobilization or advocacy. In order to win, progressive movements need strong unions built from bottom-up organizing strategies that place the power for change in the hands of workers and ordinary people at the community level.
“For those of us grappling with the near-overwhelming difficulties of the “how-to” of changing our workplaces, communities, and society, No Shortcuts is an invaluable resource. It should be read, passed on, discussed, constructively challenged, and acted on.”
– Sam Gindin, Jacobin Book Review
“McAlevey’s decades as a labor and community organizer means that she knows what organizers do, or should do. This book lifts the lessons McAlevey takes from that craft into the intellectual realm of power and politics. This book is for anyone who wants a democratic society in which ordinary people share power.”
– Frances Fox Piven, author of Challenging Authority: How Ordinary People Change America
Jane F. McAlevey is a Post Doctoral Fellow in the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School. A longtime organizer in the environmental and labor movements, she is also the author of Raising Expectations (and Raising Hell): My Decade Fighting for the Labor Movement.