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Creating the Conditions for Belonging and Breathing in a Toxic Environment | john a. powell

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Bridging or breaking? That is the sharp choice we face today as a society and as individual citizens. john a. powell, Director of the Othering and Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley, has long been one of our nation’s leading and most original thought leaders. He has delved deeply into the complexities of civil rights and liberties, structural racism, poverty, housing, racial and ethnic identity, inclusivity, spirituality and social justice, as well as the needs of citizens in a democratic society. john goes beyond the personal and interpersonal to consider some of the cultural systems that push us to break and polarize.

He illuminates how instead we can bridge to transform and heal these destructive impulses and the current toxic political atmosphere by cultivating new ways of thinking and by building social structures conducive to Belonging and Breathing.

john a. powell delivered this talk at the Bioneers 2020 Conference, introduced by Kenny Ausubel.

Watch more keynote videos at: https://bioneers.org/2020talks/ 

john a. powell's latest book is: Racing to Justice: Transforming our Concepts of Self and Other to Build an Inclusive Society. To learn more about john's work, visit the Othering and Belonging Institute: https://belonging.berkeley.edu/

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Films For Action is a library for people who want to change the world.

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Goal: To rapidly transition to a just, ecologically sustainable, holistic way of living as fast as possible.

We believe the first step to achieve this goal should be an information delivery network that can amplify the impacts of all our efforts 1000 fold. 

Although Films For Action is centered around film - its true objective is the transformation of the world. This means moving away from the unsustainable paradigm we have now to a regenerative paradigm, as fast as humanly possible.  

Film is the medium of delivery -- the catalyst, the metabolizing agent to speed up, amplify and multiply the effects of every transition movement on the planet. And of course, "transition" contains it all - social justice, ecological regeneration, true democracy, egalitarian economics, universal empathy, less cultural insanity and more happiness and well-being.

All of these movements need a media ecosystem that supports this transition, rather than the media we have today which marginalizes it, ignores it, sanitizes it, suppresses it, or actively fights it. There is certainly good coverage across many different news outlets, and the quality and depth varies, but in terms of volume, the good stuff is easily lost in the deluge of superficial concerns.

Watch any network TV channel for 24 hours or read the newspaper for a week, and you will see what we mean. The dominant narratives which drive the national debate and become "common knowledge" is more often superficial, focused on symptoms rather than root causes, and reinforces the conventional "two sides" within the status quo. The lies and spin promoted by figures in power become well known, while voices that challenge and expand the range of debate rarely get heard. But most importantly, the level of repetition and volume of coverage is what counts. What gets covered day after day, and what gets covered once and is forgotten, or not covered at all? That's why we need a media movement that's dedicated to elevating the voices that aren't getting heard. We need media alternatives that make social change its primary focus. That's why Films For Action exists.

Ultimately, we're just one star in this growing constellation of new media, but we aim to do our part by cultivating the best video library dedicated to transition online, and we hope you'll join us