In conversation with Varshini Prakash
Active in grassroot campaigns for social change for more than seven decades, sociologist and Quaker organizer George Lakey was first arrested at a civil rights demonstration in 1963 and most recently arrested just last year during a march for climate justice. At 84, he only recently retired from Swarthmore College, where he was the Eugene M. Lang Visiting Professor for Issues of Social Change. He is the author of several books, including Viking Economics: How the Scandinavians Got It Right—and How We Can, Too; How We Win: A Guide to Nonviolent Direct Action Campaigning; and Are We Done Fighting?: Building Understanding in a World of Hate and Division, which he co-wrote with Matthew Legge. His many honors include the Peace Educator of the Year Award, the Paul Robeson Social Justice Award, and the Martin Luther King Peace Award. A memoir about the struggles and triumphs of a life spent on the front lines of social movements, Dancing with History tells the story of Lakey’s singular life.
Varshini Prakash is the executive director and co-founder of Sunrise, a youth-led political nonprofit dedicated to stopping climate change and electing leaders who promote environmental health for future generations. Named to the 2019 TIME 100 list and a co-winner of the 2019 Sierra Club John Muir Award, she is co-editor of the book Winning the Green New Deal: Why We Must, How We Can. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Democracy Now, and The Washington Post, among other places.