Summer 2014

Table of Contents

The Storytelling Issue

From the Editors

How Stories Shape Our World

This issue of YES! looks at the ways new voices are being heard, and at how their stories are transforming our culture.

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Comic: How Big Media Drowned Out the Rest of Us

Today, six corporations own most of our media—but we could be poised to take it back.
Daniel Wolf

Can We Keep the Internet Free?

The struggle to save the world's greatest communication network.
Candace Clement
Cameron Esposito does stand up at the Crown Tap Room in Chicago. Photo by Erin Nekervis/Flickr.

From Stand-up to Twitter, A New Generation’s Fresh Take on Storytelling

Today's storytellers show that each of us can be part of something more powerful, diverse, and creative than we might have imagined.
Sarah van Gelder
Wayne Barlowe Wild Seed

Change Is Divine: How Sci Fi Visionary Octavia Butler Influenced This Detroit Revolutionary

“The ideas in Butler’s fiction challenge us to contend with our own choices and take responsibility for our own power.”
adrienne maree brown
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

The Young Turks on YouTube: Keepin’ It Real and Beating Out Corporate News

With over one billion views on YouTube and counting, The Young Turks prove that successful, independent, online news is possible.
Kali Swenson
Longhouse media

These Native American Filmmakers Are Telling Their People’s Stories—Their Way

Longhouse Media helps indigenous artists step behind the camera and document their lives.
Christine St. Pierre
Photo by Jacobito / Flickr.

Zydeco and Justice: Louisiana’s Hyperlocal KOCZ Builds Community and Self-Reliance

Low-power FM radio stations bring a much-needed focus on local issues and culture.
Christine St. Pierre
Photo of Japanese Americans

Protecting the Truth: The Japanese American Legacy Project

Many Japanese Americans were incarcerated in concentration camps during World War II. Densho is preserving their stories and the cultural knowledge that comes with them.
Kali Swenson
Photos copyright Edward Burtynsky

The Eerie Beauty of Landscapes Devastated by Industry

Edward Burtynsky documents the environmental effects of oil extraction through striking landscape photography.
Christine St. Pierre
Brown Planet

Fear of a Brown Planet: Watch This Stand-Up Comedian Explain ‘Reverse Racism’

Bullying, police brutality, and everyday insensitivities are regularly lampooned with Australians Aamer Rahman and Nazeem Hussain's weapon of choice: comedy.
Kali Swenson
Photo by Piero F. Giunti

This East LA Band’s Rebel Version of “La Bamba” Speaks Out Against Racism

Las Cafeteras uses acoustic instruments and punk attitude to spread their message of social justice and equality.
Christine St. Pierre
Seattle Repertory Theatre production of "My Name is Rachel Corrie." Photo by Chris Bennion.

11 Years After Her Death, This 23-Year-Old Peace Activist Keeps Inspiring Us

Rachel Corrie was killed in 2003, but her passion for peace lives on in her writings.
Kali Swenson
Felipe Matos and husband

First He Came Out as Undocumented. Then As Gay. Here’s What It Means For Immigration Debate.

Felipe Matos told his story in three words: "I am undocumented." It was an act of desperation—but it gave him a sense of agency and power.
Kristin Moe
Photo by David Bjorgen / Flickr.

Return of Hometown News: Old-School Reporters and Citizen Journalists Unite to Bring it Back

Filling a void left by big city newspapers, online projects combine community news, journalism, and conversations with our neighbors.
Dan Kennedy
Photo from Free Range Studios

Talking Cows Take on Factory Farms—Matrix Style

The viral success of "The Meatrix" shows how a good story trumps a mountain of facts.
Jonah Sachs

Solutions We Love

Explore Section

Infographic: Why Social Security’s Not Going Broke

Making Social Security solvent in the long run isn't that hard. But who should bear the cost?
Doug Pibel
DeChristopher with Paul Dunn

The Boomers “Failed” Us: Climate Activist Tim DeChristopher on Anger, Love, and Sacrifice

First the anger, then the love—overcoming generational anger to find the courage required for the difficult work ahead.
Sarah van Gelder
Woman in Field photo from Shutterstock

FabLabs, Time Banks, and Other Hidden Treasures You Didn’t Know You Owned

Self-organized commons are undergoing a renaissance today as one of the most robust alternatives to modern-day capitalism.
David Bollier
Embroidered image of a soldier and child by Betsy Greer.

These Craftivists Are Making A Statement—With Knitting

Craftivism: “a way of looking at life where voicing opinions through creativity makes your voice stronger, your compassion deeper, and your quest for justice more infinite.”
Kali Swenson

Culture Shift

Explore Section
Photo by Walter Corno / Flickr.

Gar Alperovitz on Why the New Economy Movement Needs to Think Big

His new book, "What Then Must We Do?" imagines how a new economic system might actually emerge, from the bottom up, in the next few decades.
Scott Gast

The Seed-Saving Farmers Securing the Future of Food

The problems of—and the solutions for—our industrialized food system start at the most basic level: the seed.
Erin Sagen

How Mischief-Makers Built Australia Through Pranks and Protests

In his new book "How to Make Trouble and Influence People," Iain McIntyre offers readers an alternative version of Australian history.
Madeline Ostrander
Illustration by Jem Sullivan

Too Many Political T-Shirts? 6 Ways to Repurpose Them

The messages may be eternal, but T-shirts aren't forever. These DIY projects can give them new life.
Christine St. Pierre & Kali Swenson
Conversation illustration from Shutterstock

When It Comes to Shaping Public Debate, What Can a Magazine Do?

"Education Uprising," the Spring issue of YES!, connected people across the country and helped catalyze the movement to reclaim education—a living example of how national conversations can change.
Fran Korten