Resistance alone is a losing strategy. You have to have a positive alternative—something to move toward, instead of away from. This founding principle of YES! Media has guided our coverage for the past 25 years. Since 1996, we’ve published stories about positive alternatives, solutions that can help us to achieve the better world we know is possible, albeit in the silos in which they exist.
But 2020 jolted us all: Movement spaces, grassroots organizations, activists and non-activists alike—even governments, corporations, and philanthropic spaces—have responded to the needs of the people. That jolt thrusted us together in a way that we’ve not experienced in recent history. The calls for reparations, the redistribution of land, defunding the police and investing in public safety, prison abolition, an end to fracking, a universal health care system, and universal services have not only grown louder, but also collective.
We’ve known for a long time that our now-crumbling political and economic systems are insufficient for staving off climate disasters and ending state violence: Of course, corporations are not “too big to fail,” and our government is in place to help us, not to control us. We’re now learning that our siloed people’s movements focused on their own agendas are also not sufficient to meet this moment. Civil society’s global response to the pandemic as well as its rise against racism showed a new way to make just, equitable, and compassionate change: collaborate, intersect, move together.
We’ve been seeing this cross-pollination happening not only among movements and community organizers, but also foundations, corporations, governments, and individuals who’ve amassed generational wealth through the exploitation of others. It needs to happen more. We need radical inclusivity to move toward the great transformation that is possible. We need resistors, yes, but we also need reformers, builders, and healers.
Alienating sectors as evil is part of the old social justice movement. A new social justice movement organizes and mobilizes with those sectors and influences those spaces’ healing and rebuilding to transform a new way of being.
The winter 2022 issue of YES! Magazine will explore these spaces and collaborations and share the stories of where this is working, how, and if it’s not working, what needs to be done to make it so.
Reporters, what’s happening in communities near you? Send us your leads and pitches for reported stories on initiatives or groups that cultivate collaboration.
All of the stories we seek will be examples of excellent journalism and storytelling: stories with compelling characters that are well-researched, and demonstrate struggle and resolution. Hurry and send your pitches to [email protected] by Aug. 9 to be considered for the winter issue. (After that, you can continue to send them to [email protected].)
YES! Editors are those editors featured on YES! Magazine’s masthead. Stories authored by YES! Editors are substantially reported, researched, written, and edited by at least two members of the YES! Editorial team.