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Shaw urges activists and their organizations to implement a "new national activism" by channeling energy from closely knit local groups into broader causes. Such activism enables locally oriented activists to shape America's future and work on national fights without traveling to Washington, D.C., but instead working in their own backyards. Focusing on the David and Goliath struggle between Nike and grassroots activists critical of the company's overseas labor practices, Shaw shows how national activism can rewrite the supposedly ironclad rules of the global economy by ensuring fair wages and decent living standards for workers at home and abroad. Similarly, the recent struggles for stronger clean air standards and new federal budget priorities demonstrate the potential grassroots national activism to overcome the corporate and moneyed interests that increasingly dictate America's future.
Reclaiming America's final section describes how community-based nonprofit organizations, the media, and the Internet are critical resources for building national activism. Shaw declares that community-based groups can and must combine their service work with national grassroots advocacy. He also describes how activists can use public relations to win attention in today's sprawling media environment, and he details the movement-building potential of e-mail. All these resources are essential for activists and their organizations to reclaim America's progressive ideals.
Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Social action United States, Community organization United States, Political participation United States