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The YES! Breakthrough 15

Inside Our Winter Issue

The YES! Breakthrough 15
YES! Magazine Issue 60 Winter 2012

Breakthrough 15 logo


Meet the justice warriors, eco-innovators, happiness architects, and change artists who are transforming the way we live.

 

 

 

TOC Heroes



15 Extraordinary People Transforming the Way We Live

To celebrate 15 years of YES! Magazine, we asked some of our longtime heroes to choose 15 people whose ideas and work are transforming the way we live. Here’s who they picked.

New Economy Bar
TOC Poo


Ai-jen Poo: Organizing Labor—With Love

HOW TO BREAK THROUGH : “It’s precisely the people who are considered the least ‘likely’ leaders who end up inspiring others the most. Everyday people and everyday acts of courage eventually change everything.” —Ai-Jen Poo







Line

Nominated by


 
Eve EnslerVan Jones

 

“To me she symbolizes what a true activist is.  She does not believe in dominating with power, but … in sharing it. The domestic workers’ movement has been transformed by her fierce yet humble leadership." —Eve Ensler


TOC Henry Red Cloud


Henry Red Cloud: Solar Warrior







Line

Nominated by


Naomi Klein

“Tribes are under intense pressure to allow their lands to be punctured by fossil fuel development. Red Cloud is showing that there is another path out of poverty."

HOW TO BREAK THROUGH: “Hope is the most important thing that people need to regain. I just want to be one example of someone who overcame hardships—one source of hope. That’s all we need to start seeing possibilities for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren.” —Henry Red Cloud


TOC Deepak Bhargava


Deepak Bhargava:
A Voice for the Grassroots
Inside the Beltway







Line

Nominated by


Pramila Jayapal

“Deepak lifts up real leadership from the grassroots. He is one of those people I am certain will change the world dramatically for the better."

  • PLUS: "The wealth of this nation is created by all of us together. We will rise or fall as a community. Together, we can build an economy that rewards and cares for all of us." -download the poster with Deepak Bhargava's quote

HOW TO BREAK THROUGH: “Throughout history, social change—abolition, suffrage, civil rights, and worker rights—has depended on the work of millions of people. We are called today to build another such movement for a just society—and each and every person can make a unique and powerful contribution.” —Deepak Bhargava

Planet Bar

TOC Will Allen


Will Allen: Growing Justice
in Food Deserts







Line

Nominated by


Regina Seigel
 

“I feel this is one of the most important issues today, and he has the answers right there in his home-made systems."

HOW TO BREAK THROUGH: “Go out and take action regardless of how perfect your initial project will be … go into action, because we as a society have got to the point where we like to sit around and plan things and do feasibility studies and lock them away in a closet. Now is the era for going into action.” —Will Allen


TOC Wes Jackson


Wes Jackson: The Seeds of a Perennial Revolution







Line

Nominated by


Wendell Berry

“I know of nobody who has thought more carefully or responsibly about the problems of agriculture and their possible solutions.”

HOW TO BREAK THROUGH: “Most people want to see immediate results from our work. At the Institute, we like to joke with each other: ‘If you’re working on something you can finish in your lifetime, you’re not asking the right questions.’” —Wes Jackson


TOC May Boeve


May Boeve: Friendship to Carry Us Through Crisis







Line

Nominated by


Colin Beavan

“The global climate protests of 350.org grew from friendship among May Boeve and a group of college kids who wanted to help the world. They show us what we, too, can achieve through community.

HOW TO BREAK THROUGH:“Believe that the world can change, and commit to your part of the solution. Look at the world with clear eyes, but remain hopeful, and celebrate! When you feel challenged, reach out and reach in.” —May Boeve


TOC Jason McLennan


Jason F. McLennan: Bringing Buildings to Life







Line

Nominated by

 


David Korten

“Jason’s ability to combine breakthrough thinking with large-scale practical application exceeds that of any of the extraordinary social innovators it has been my privilege to know.”

HOW TO BREAK THROUGH: “I believe in the 3/4-baked philosophy. People chase perfection—trying to ‘fully bake’ their ideas before they share them with the world. Too many people end up never sharing their ideas, songs, dreams, novels, and inventions. The 3/4-baked philosophy is about finding that right time to share your work—letting the community fully bake it. The more you do this, the more you put yourself out there, the more success you have.” —Jason F. McLennan

Happiness Bar
TOC Lily Yeh


Lily Yeh:
Beauty in Broken Places







Line

Nominated by


Terry Tempest Williams

"I nominate Lily Yeh as a transformative leader because she is a healing grace on the planet who is fearless. She reminds us not only what is possible but necessary."

HOW TO BREAK THROUGH: “My light doesn’t shine bigger than anybody else’s. Kindle the light in other people, so we shine together. The light from all of us will transform the darkness of ignorance and greed in our world into compassion and joy.” —Lily Yeh


TOC Nipun Mehta


Nipun Mehta:
An Economy to Feed Your Soul







Line

Nominated by


Meg Wheatley
 

“Because he embodies what he’s teaching, he meets the classic definition of a true spiritual teacher.”

HOW TO BREAK THROUGH: “In practice, there is no grand chasm to cross. Just do the small act of kindness for the person in front of you, right now. Small acts may or may not change the world, but they definitely change you.  And when you look at the world with fresh eyes, it’s a whole new realm of possibilities.” —Nipun Mehta

People Power Bar

TOC Tim DeChristopher


Tim DeChristopher: Sacrifice—
It's Not Too Much to Ask







Line

Nominated by


 
The Yes Men

 “We’re sure Tim’s version of monkey-wrenching would have made Edward Abbey whoop and holler with delight. His actions have inspired a generation of new climate activists."

HOW TO BREAK THROUGH: “We think we have no power when in fact we have more than enough power.” —Tim DeChristopher


TOC Deb Richter


Dr. Deb Richter:
The Universal Cure







Line

Nominated by


Madeline Ostrander
 

“She packed up and moved her life and family so she could push for the only health care solution that makes sense to us: single-payer health care.”

HOW TO BREAK THROUGH: “I never felt like I had a choice about getting involved in this struggle …
I couldn’t stop and I never will.” —Dr. Deb Richter


TOC Alison Smith


Alison Smith:
Elections Money Can't Buy







Line

Nominated


Paul Loeb

 “An ordinary citizen who found her voice, became a leader, and showed us it’s possible to confront the intractable: money in politics.”

HOW TO BREAK THROUGH:“I kept showing up because something about the work fed my soul … Everyone can show up for something. And who knows where it will lead?” —Alison Smith 

Peace & Justice Bar

TOC Eboo Patel


Eboo Patel: Crossing the Divide—With Faith







Line

Nominated by


Parker Palmer

“Eboo's personal offering of heart and mind, and his widely lauded work on interfaith cooperation, give me hope in a world dangerously fragmented by religion-driven animosities.”

HOW TO BREAK THROUGH: “Have big dreams but focus only on what you can control: your own thoughts, words and actions. This was Gandhi’s way … in the words of Buddhist poet Gary Snyder, our job is to move the world a millionth of an inch.” —Eboo Patel


TOC Lucas Benitez


Lucas Benitez:
Dignity in the Fields







Line

Nominated by


Frances Moore Lappe
 

“Lucas shows us that no matter the odds, we have a choice. He chose courage, now thousands of others have discovered theirs.”

  • PLUS VIDEO: Fair Food Fight
    How the Coalition of Immokalee Workers fights abuses in the fields.

HOW TO BREAK THROUGH: “Never think that you can’t do something without even trying first.” —Lucas Benitez


TOC Grace Boggs


Grace Boggs:
96 Years of New Ideas
























Line

Nominated by

 


Pete SeegerVince Harding

“Grace Boggs has showed hundreds of thousands of people how they can save their families by saving their home neighborhoods, and thus the world, and thus our human race.” —Pete Seeger

HOW TO BREAK THROUGH: “We must be convinced that the power of ideas is greater than that of the Pentagon and political parties. We must embrace the conviction that each one of us has the power within us to create the world anew.” —Grace Boggs


More from the Winter 2012 issue ...

Coffee Strong photo by Paul Dunn

A Brewing Resistance to War

Near the gates of Fort Lewis, anti-war veterans serve up support and solidarity (along with double-tall lattes) to their friends in uniform.

PLUS VIDEO: Grounds for Resistance
Veteran-run coffee houses give service personnel a place to express their frustrations and find help outside the military.


TOC Farming Goes Wild

Farming Goes Wild

Beyond organic—these farmers are giving nature space to run free.

PLUS PHOTO ESSAY: Farming With the Wild: How how agriculture and wildlands can both flourish—together.

Pete Seeger New Book and Poster. Available Now in the YES! Store. Click Here.

Wisdom of Nature. Carl Sagan, Rumi, and Chief Crowfoot. Set of 3 Posters. Available Now at the YES! Store. Click Here.

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