The Global Exchange office is buzzing with Human Rights Awards news. Just yesterday, we announced the winner of our People’s Choice Awards contest, PFC Bradley Manning. A big thank you to all those who participated in the nominating and voting for Manning and recognizing his role as a human rights hero.

Now, we have news that former Human Rights Awards Honoree, Van Jones, is making another mark on the world with his upcoming book, Rebuild the Dream. The book is set to be released tomorrow, April 4th on the 44th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination.

Rebuild the Dream is a candid narrative about Van’s personal lessons from being a grassroots organizer turned White House insider and back into a grassroots organizer. He reflects on the missteps made by both the Obama administration and our movement — as well as key insights on the rise of the Tea Party and Occupy/99% Movements.

In Van’s words,

When I started writing my new book, Rebuild the Dream, I was thinking about you and the millions of Americans like you who voted for hope and change in 2008. We found out that it was a lot harder than we thought…

…ultimately this book is just the prologue to what comes next, and that is why I wrote it for you. America is not broke. We are a rich nation, and we can do much better than we are doing.

We need a game plan for victories now and in the years to come. To win, we need to build a grassroots movement as big as anything we’ve ever seen — on scale with the historic civil rights movement. This book offers my best thinking about how we can get there.

We congratulate our friend and ally, Van Jones and his continued work to restore hope in our movement and rebuilding the American Dream.

Pre-order a copy of Rebuild the Dream today!

For more information about Van Jones and his organization Rebuild the Dream, visit their site. Also, be sure to watch his latest interview with Amy Goodman on DemocracyNow!

Five days a week, for three months, leaders from all walks of sustainable living – from green activism to green lifestyles – will share the latest insights and best solutions to help you make your home, workplace, and community sustainable so that our planet can THRIVE.

From March 26 – June 22, 2012, you can tune in to Jane Goodall, Bill McKibben, Vandana Shiva, Van Jones, John Robbins, Hazel Henderson, Frances Moore Lappe’, John Perkins, Thom Hartmann, Aqeela Sherrills, Julia Butterfly Hill live on the phone or webcast or later on recorded replays. This is a one-time chance to participate in an event of truly global proportions – with tens of thousands of people like you committed to bringing forth a thriving new world!

Sound interesting? Download the flier (SoS Overview Flyer) and sign up for free!

On April 28, I’ll be co-hosting with Thom Hartmann, to focus on Thriving Communities. Join me to explore what it takes to create them, maintain them, principles and practices. We’ll have six hours of programming with:

Produced by The Shift Network in partnership with the Sustainable World Coalition, the Spring of Sustainability is the world’s largest-ever sustainability events program. Sound interesting? Download the flier (SoS Overview Flyer) and sign up for free!

“When the history is finally written, though, it’s likely all of this tumult – beginning with the Arab Spring – will be remembered as the opening salvo in a wave of negotiations over the dissolution of the American Empire.”
–  David Graeber, the Guardian UK
“The White House is talking different because we are walking different.”
– Van Jones, Take Back the American Dream

We know the facts, but seeing them together is staggering: unemployment is firmly mired in the double digits and efforts to bring it down isn’t creating jobs; students leaving college, if they can even afford to go, have debts that would have seemed unimaginable just 15 years ago and when they don’t see any openings in their field they head straight for a McJob or the unemployment line; the climate crisis remains unaddressed by global leaders and the US Congress and President Obama contemplates whether or not to green-light the Keystone XL pipeline; we are heading into the 10th year of war spending (at $3 billion a week!); corporations fought hard to win Citizens United and the ‘right’ to spend unlimited funds to get candidates into office; wealthy men (sometimes brothers) encourage corrupt Governors to end worker protections; and banks and Wall Street continue getting huge bonuses and bail-outs. We know something isn’t working. Enough is enough.

We are 99% of the population and 1% is controlling the show! Enough is enough.

For years, solidarity was presumed to be a one-way street – North Americans supporting liberation struggles around the world — but this year support to those standing up is global and circular.  In Cairo, young people, armed with the courage of their convictions, overthrew the Egyptian government and launched the Arab Spring in Tahrir Square, Egypt.  The power of their non-violent resistance, their ability to stay when it seemed impossible, is the inspiration we must take forward to say enough is enough.

In Libya, Madrid, Athens, Wisconsin and beyond there is a democratic awakening and it is spreading! Three weeks into the protests at Liberty Plaza on Wall Street, New York and just days before thousands gather at Freedom Plaza in Washington DC, similar demonstrations are erupting in other cities across the United States with the same loosely organized structure. People who have not taken action before are now protesters camped out in Los Angeles near City Hall, near the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago, and at the Stock Exchange in San Francisco.  They are marching and sitting-in against corporate greed, rampant unemployment, attacks on labor and the environment and the role of big banks in our bad economy. 

In the US alone, other actions are planned for Memphis, Tenn.; Allentown, PA.; Hilo, Hawaii, Detroit; Portland, Ore.; Minneapolis; and Baltimore, as well as in Mason City, Iowa; Mobile, Ala.; Little Rock, Ark.; Santa Fe, N.M.; and McAllen, Tex., according to Occupy Together  the unofficial hub for the protests. Thanks to inspiration from struggles around the globe, these days mark a turning point in the struggle for economic, social and environmental justice in the US.

We, the 99%, demand our voices be heard, we want an end to war and greed, we want to invest in human needs.  It’s that simple. May the spirit of non-violence, the joy of democracy and the inclusion of many voices be our guiding light as we zig-zag forward, empowering protest as an agent to drive political reform. Take action now and go to Wall Street, go to Freedom Square or plan and join non violent occupations in your own town or join the virtual march.

PS. I want to organize with you in our community, please be in touch!

8 days, 8 Giving Thanksblog posts led up to this video. The posts and video highlight individuals chosen by Global Exchange staff members who are contributing to our social justice work in some way. So please join us in recognizing those special individuals who are helping to make this world a better place, and hope you enjoy the video.

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is Part 7 in an 8-Part “Giving Thanks” series, a Global Exchange exclusive highlighting individuals (chosen by Global Exchange staff members) who are contributing to our social justice work in some way. This series will culminate with a “Giving Thanks” video to be launched right here on Wednesday, November 24th. So please join us in recognizing those special individuals who are helping to make this world a better place.

Global Exchange proudly honored Van Jones earlier this year as the Domestic Honoree during our annual Human Rights Awards. Here Global Exchange and Green Festivals Co-Founder Kevin Danaher takes the opportunity to personally thank Van for his contributions to the green movement:

I am thankful that I have been lucky enough to know Van Jones —as a mentor, colleague and friend—because Van has done SO MUCH to combine the struggle against inequality with the environmental struggle to create a nature friendly economy model. If we had a few thousand Solutionaries like Van, the transition to sustainability would have already taken place.

Van Jones and Kevin Danaher at Global Exchange 2010 Human Rights Awards gala.

Van Jones has been a pioneer in many areas. He was one of the first courageous leaders to call attention to police violence in poor neighborhoods, and he connected it to the violence of US foreign policy in many parts of the world. He has been one of the most articulate spokespeople linking the need for jobs in the inner city with the need to save our environment from the destructive effects of profit-oriented policies.

His path-breaking book The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems —the first by an African-American environmentalist to make the New York Times Best Seller list—made irrefutable arguments for linking green job creation with the need for more racial equality in our society. While a member of the Obama White House Van pushed the bureaucracies to put more money into green job creation. And now he continues that work, inspiring action for social justice everywhere he goes.

Thank You Van Jones!

If you want to keep up to date about Van and Kevin, here’s how:

Follow Van Jones on Twitter and Facebook.

Follow Kevin Danaher on Twitter and Facebook.

Who are YOU thankful for? Add your own thank you message in the Comments section to recognize someone you think is doing great social justice work. And if you feel so inspired, Retweet and Share this post to help spread the recognition all of our ‘Thankees’ deserve. Thank YOU.

Global Exchange staff showing off their evening looks

Global Exchange started the Human Rights Awards in 2001 to recognize and elevate the contributions of individuals and organizations who work tirelessly to advance the cause of peace, justice and the inalienable rights we call “human rights”—here in the United States and around the world.

This years’ honorees, Van Jones, Raúl del Águila from Peru, and our People’s Choice Honoree Mu Sochua exemplify and embody this spirit, and we’re proud to have honored them at the 2010 Human Rights Awards gala on Thursday, May 27th at Bimbo’s 365 Club in San Francisco, CA.

It was an inspiring evening shared by incredible human rights advocates.

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield speaking about Fair Trade while attendees enjoy Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream

We enjoyed the company of Ben and Jerry – who talked about their commitment to go 100% Fair Trade by 2013, while feasting on delicious Ben & Jerry’s ice cream for dessert.

All proceeds from the event go to support the important work of Global Exchange.  We are grateful to all of our sponsors and participants for their support.

If you weren’t able to make it this year, we hope you will join us in 2011.  Dates and details to come.

Check out some highlights from this years’ gala event! (click photo to enlarge)

Green Leaders Van Jones (2010 Human Rights Award Domestic Honoree) and Kevin Danaher (Global Exchange, Green Festivals) chat it up

Code Pink Alert!

Medea Benjamin, Pierre Labossiere and Van Jones smile for the camera

2010 Human Rights Award International Honoree Raúl del Águila accompanied by his wife

Guests dining it up!

Shannon Biggs (Global Exchange) with Jeff Furman (Ben & Jerry’s)

Nhu Miller with Devi Leiper, daughter of People’s Choice Award winner Mu Sochua

Global Stewards Saori and Mike Kappus with Medea Benjamin

Ben Cohen with Global Steward Jodie Evans of CODEPINK: Women for Peace

Global Exchangers and guest mingle

Fair Trade models sporting their “Ask Me About My Outfit” sashes

Gala attendees sharing a smile

Global Exchange’s Andrea Hightower with Domestic Honoree Van “I don’t take a bad picture” Jones

Global Exchange is pleased to announce the winner of our 2010 Human Rights Awards People’s Choice, Mu Sochua, as chosen by YOU, supporters of Global Exchange and human rights around the world.

Mu Sochua joins our other award recipients, Raúl del Águila, International Honoree, and Van Jones, Domestic Honoree.

Mu Sochua has been a tireless advocate for human rights and the rights of women in Cambodia. In fact, her dedication to her work has meant that she is currently facing trial and prosecution for simply asserting her right to free speech.

Please join us, and the global community of human rights supporters, in extending our sincere thanks to Mu Sochua for her courage and dedication to those in need in her native land.

Accepting the People’s Choice Award on Mu’s behalf at our gala celebration in San Francisco tonight will be Sochua’s daughter Devi Leiper, a resident of San Francisco.

If would like to learn more about Mu Sochua, Raúl del Águila, and Van Jones, please visit

Thank you all for nominating and voting for your human rights heroes during the 2010 Global Exchange Human Rights Awards!