by Mariame Kaba and Kelly Hayes
What fuels and sustains activism and organizing when it feels like our worlds are collapsing? Let This Radicalize You is a practical and imaginative resource for activists and organizers building power in an era of destabilization and catastrophe.
Longtime organizers and movement educators Mariame Kaba and Kelly Hayes examine some of the political lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the convergence of mass protest and mass formations of mutual aid, and consider what this confluence of power can teach us about a future that will require mass acts of care, rescue and defense, in the face of both state violence and environmental disaster.
The book is intended to aid and empower activists and organizers as they
attempt to map their own journeys through the work of justice-making. It includes insights from a spectrum of experienced organizers, including Sharon Lungo, Carlos Saavedra, Ejeris Dixon, Barbara Ransby, and Ruth Wilson Gilmore about some of the difficult and joyous lessons they have learned in their work.
Includes a foreword by Maya Schenwar and an afterword by Harsha Walia
"In this time of perpetual crisis, when too many of our movements are imploding and the work often feels soul crushing, Kelly Hayes and Mariame Kaba have turned decades of collective wisdom and experience into the text we desperately need right now. This book will radicalize even the 'radicals' by reminding us that to be radical is not to have all the answers or some special portal into transcendent knowledge. It is about seeing and moving differently in the world. It means having the courage to imagine, make mistakes, to trust, listen, learn, think, and rethink; to resist punditry, pedestals, and perfection; to reject cynicism and embrace critical analysis; to plot, to hold on, to care and commune, to show up, to love. They teach us to mourn and organize, and that we who believe in freedom have to rest. And they understand better than anyone what Dr. King meant when he called on us to 'rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter, but beautiful, struggle for a new world.'" -- Robin D. G. Kelley, author, Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination
"Let this Radicalize You is geared toward helping young organizers learn to strategize, make critical analyses, and to act effectively and with integrity in the communities they work with. Perhaps most important of all, it shows the need to go beyond having a nuanced critique or organizing one-off events--it is a text that teaches us how to build a movement. The authors have more than succeeded in meeting their task: Let This Radicalize You should be required reading for anyone entering social movements and wishing to eradicate harm and create more liveable futures. But this book is also a movement encyclopedia for anyone who is oriented toward liberation or even slightly curious about what it might mean for us to get there. This is a necessary text for the freedom dreamers, the poets, the seasoned activists, the rebels, and the community builders from all walks of life, because it shows us what it means to be transformed in the service of liberation. Kelly Hayes and Mariame Kaba show us that freeing ourselves and freeing one another is work, but, importantly, that it is work that can and must be done together." -- Robyn Maynard, coauthor, Rehearsals for Living
"Kelly Hayes and Mariame Kaba have produced one of the most essential treatises on mutual aid ever written. It begins and ends with the reality that any movement that truly wants to remake the world has to be founded on one unshakeable principle: care. Let This Radicalize You is a letter addressed to our vulnerable hearts, reminding us that our love, support, and solidarity really can build a whole new world." -- Shane Burley, author, Why We Fight: Essays on Fascism, Resistance, and Surviving the Apocalypse
About the Authors:
Mariame Kaba is an organizer, educator, librarian, and prison industrial complex (PIC) abolitionist who is active in movements for racial, gender, and transformative justice. Kaba is the founder and director of Project NIA, a grassroots abolitionist organization with a vision to end youth incarceration. Mariame co-leads the initiative Interrupting Criminalization, a project she co-founded with Andrea Ritchie in 2018. Kaba is the author of the New York Times Bestseller We Do This Til We Free Us: Abolitionist Organizing and Transforming Justice, Missing Daddy, Fumbling Towards Repair: A Workbook for Community Accountability Faciltators with Shira Hassan, See You Soon and No More Police: A Case for Abolition with Andrea Ritchie.
Kelly Hayes is a Menominee author, organizer, movement educator, and photographer. She is also the host of Truthout's podcast Movement Memos. Hayes is a cofounder of the Lifted Voices collective and the Chicago Light Brigade. Her written work is featured in numerous publications and multiple anthologies, including Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? Police Violence and Resistance in the United States, Education in Movement Spaces: Standing Rock to Chicago Freedom Square, and The Solidarity Struggle: How People of Color Succeed and Fail at Showing Up for Each Other in the Fight for Freedom. Hayes also coauthored an essay with Mariame Kaba in Kaba's book We Do This 'Til We Free Us: Abolitionist Organizing and Transforming Justice. Hayes's movement photography is featured in the Freedom and Resistance exhibit of the DuSable Museum of African American History.