Movements That Move

“Movements that don’t focus on the acquisition of power are movements in name only” –Dr. Clarence B. Jones, Civil Rights Pioneer and author of the first draft of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech.

At the recent Communications Network annual conference in San Diego, I was moved by the passion and insight of Keynote speaker Dr. Clarence B. Jones who at 85 still has the fiery power to move an audience to take to the streets.

He addressed our nation’s legacy of slavery, removing from the South Carolina statehouse the confederate flag and the true meaning of “Black Lives Matter.”

Most tellingly was his critique of false social movements that really don’t have the acquisition of power as part of their plan.  How many movements in name only do we have today?  How many “movements” have reached a stage of bureaucratization decline and decrepitude and require rebooting and renewal?

Occupy Wall Street comes immediately to mind.  While wonderful at getting attention, there was ultimately no legislative or electoral strategy to back it up with concrete policy change.  Years later there is much talk about income inequality but no action.

Movements move – they bring together large numbers of like-minded people and focus their energies on making real and lasting change.