American history is rich with stories of social change inspired by the actions of motivated individuals and organized groups. Today’s activists are no different—facing long odds against powerful and systemic special interests. In this edition of Moyers & Company, Bill Moyers talks with young but very experienced organizers George Goehl, Ai-Jen Poo, and Sarita Gupta, all involved with a nationwide citizens’ initiative called the 99% Spring, which took place the week of April 9, 2012. Organizers aimed to train 100,000 Americans to teach about income inequality in homes, places of worship, campuses, and the streets. The program concludes with a Moyers essay on what citizens can do to find out who’s paying for all those political ads running on their local television stations. Broadcast date: March 30, 2012. (56 minutes)
“Moyers & Company: Social Activism 2.0—How Citizens Are Standing Up for Democracy.” Films Media Group, 2012, fod.infobase.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?wID=97865&xtid=48984. Accessed 12 Dec. 2019.
Sustainable fishing is important for the millions of fishermen who depend on the oceans for their livelihood and to the billions of people who eat fish. But at the moment there is little sustainable fishing. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) was set up with the dual task of convincing both fishermen and consumers of the importance of sustainably caught fish. In this episode of Helping Social Entrepreneurs, Alvin Hall’s task is to help the MSC to convince both fishermen and consumers of its importance. We travel to Japan – the biggest consumer of fish and where more than forty percent of all fish sold is now imported. The oceans are under extreme pressure and many fear we are running out of fish. A grim example of this is the experience of the Grand Banks Cod Fishery, off the east coast of Canada. It had been landing tens of thousands of tonnes of cod every year for centuries. But in the early 1990’s, one of the world’s most abundant populations of the fish suddenly collapsed, leading to a total fishing moratorium.
Aside from the technical details of reservoir site selection and the engineering virtuosity of dam and aqueduct construction, this film is concerned with putting contemporary circumstances into historical context and asks 'how did we get here?' Interviews with tribal members reveal the abiding sense of stewardship many feel is constitutive of their identity as Indian people not just 'from' this region, but profoundly 'of' it as well. Discussions with environmentalists demonstrate that beyond the passionate rhetoric, long-range priorities are essentially consistent with those of other interest groups, e.g., farmers, municipalities and even some industries dependent upon natural resources such as timber, tourism and commercial fisheries.