To engage in social change at this moment in time requires consistent attention, deep reflection, and committed collective action. Social Change Now is a powerful roadmap for individuals and organizations who are ready to deepen their commitment to social justice from racial justice advocate Deepa Iyer.

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Product Code: 5491
ISBN: 9781558969421
Format: Spiral bound
Publisher: Skinner House Books
Pages: 172
Size: 8.75 x 7
Published Date: 07/30/2024
Availability: Not currently available.
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Price: $22.00

To engage in social change at this moment in time requires consistent attention, deep reflection, and committed collective action. Social Change Now is a powerful roadmap for individuals and organizations who are ready to deepen their commitment to social justice from racial justice advocate Deepa Iyer.

We are living in a period of overlapping social, economic, and environmental crises, accompanied by failures in public systems and institutions. It's not surprising, then, that when we attempt to engage in social change efforts, many of us feel like we are on a seesaw, swinging from outrage to overwhelm. For those who are just beginning their social change journeys to those who are weary and disillusioned, how can we effectively anchor our commitments to equity, solidarity, and justice?

This is the entry point for Social Change Now, Deepa Iyer's heartfelt offering to individuals and groups seeking to initiate or deepen their actions in service to social change values. Relying on two decades of work supporting social movements, Iyer introduces the social change ecosystem framework, which includes a map of ten roles, from builder to storyteller to disrupter to experimenter, as well as practices to identify values and strengthen our social change ecosystems. Since its original publication, people and organizations around the world have used the framework to respond to the pandemic, express solidarity during the uprisings against anti-Black racism, and support multiracial coalitions struggling for reproductive rights, immigrant and refugee protections, and climate justice around the world.

Social Change Now goes well beyond presenting ideas and frameworks. It's also a practical guide that contains detailed descriptions and real-world examples, reflection prompts with room to write responses, and accessible tips that can immediately be put into action. Social Change Now is a resource that will accompany indivduals and organizations not only in times of crisis, but throughout their lifelong social change journeys to build connected communities and equitable systems in our world.

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The Time Is Now

Introducing the Social Change

Ecosystem Framework

Mapping Social Change Roles

Frontline Responders










For Now, and for the Long Haul


5 Steps to Use the Framework

Uses and Permissions

More Maps and Notes Pages


Process Note


The Time Is Now

My friend Kevin Fong, who is a healer and weaver, once shared a story with me about Grace Lee Boggs, a Detroit-based Asian American activist and scholar. At the start of community meetings, Grace would begin with a question: “What time is it on the clock of the world?” When I reflect on that question, I often have the palpable and sometimes urgent feeling that the time is ripe, the time is now, the time is immediate for social change.

We are living through a time that demands our attention and requires our consistent action. People around the world are confronting wars, climate disasters, and economic inequity at unprecedented levels. Here in the United States, we face an almost daily barrage of attacks and restrictions on the rights, bodies, and livelihoods of people. The violent insurrection at the US Capitol in 2021 came on the heels of a polarizing presidential election that followed four years of bans, walls, and raids against communities. The global pandemic has exposed the weaknesses of public systems and institutions that we have long relied upon, from education to housing to public health. The visible presence of white nationalist groups is spurring fear. Transgender youth feel unsafe in schools and on streets. Climate change is a continual threat to everyone on the planet.

As I finalize this guide, we are in the midst of a six-week period that includes the massacre of Black people at a supermarket in Buffalo, a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that killed young children and teachers, an economic crisis leaving many people unable to pay their monthly bills, a mounting crisis of homelessness and mental illness related to the pandemic, and the evisceration by the United States Supreme Court of the right of people to make reproductive choices. All of these overlapping crises stem from similar root causes: anti-Black racism, imperialism and colonialism, extractive capitalist models, and histories of oppressive treatment towards communities. People over generations have been addressing and eliminating many of these root causes, and there is still much more work to be done. I am often reminded of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s quote about “the urgency of now,” a phrase that is in conversation with Grace Lee Boggs’s question about the time on the clock of the world. In his famous 1967 speech on Vietnam, Dr. King said: “We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late.”

How can each of us contend with the urgency of this time with effectiveness, sustainability, and strong connections?

How can we embody grace, joy, and accountability even when the external forces of division and inequity are relentless?

Being part of social change is one of the most important ways we can connect with each other at a time when society insists upon compartmentalizing us into silos of identity, thought, political alignment, and geography. When we engage in social change, we resist these silos and choose connection and solidarity. Together, we can change unfair and unjust systems, increase access and opportunity, share knowledge, celebrate and express joy, and create pathways to sharing power.

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