Judy in the News
Click here to see links to recent publications about Judy and written by Judy.
Judy Rebick has written an important book, sharing field notes from a journey she describes as her “political rethinking” and taking to heart Audre Lorde’s observation that you can’t dismantle the master’s house using the master’s tools. First, she acknowledges how much she had assimilated those tools—proving herself by swearing like the guys and carrying “a metaphorical stick of dynamite in my back pocket.” Second, she dares to open herself to both new tools and new conceptions of what the building project might be—tools and conceptions that come from people to whom many progressives have paid little more than lip service.
"The modern political system known as democracy is in crisis. The rise of the internet as an social organizing tool has challenged established modes of reform developed during the Cold War era. But new millennial activists need more than a virtual, digital platform to build lasting change. Weaving her own personal narrative within that of the larger global pursuit for bottom-up social transformation, Judy Rebick has the goods. In turns funny, epic, and triumphant, Transforming Power is an authentic call to action from an author who has been on the front lines of this critical struggle. A must read for anyone who is serious about real-time activism."
Stephen Marshall, Founder: Gureilla News Network
"I thoroughly enjoyed following Judy Rebick's journey in Transforming Power, From the Personal to the Political. It reads as a personal account of her own political development, forged through her experiences, reflections and interactions with people throughout the world. There are compelling and inspiring stories of amazing individuals struggling against oppressive systems of neoliberal capitalism, imperialism and patriarchy. Collectively they represent the many faces of today's global justice movement. Rebick captures the search by these individuals and movements for transformation of our economies, governments, societies and ourselves. The book raises difficult political questions in a spirit of openness, honesty and humanity."
Michael Leon Guerrero, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
Miss G. Project chooses Transforming Power as their book of the month. Miss G is a kick ass group of young feminists working to make women's studies a subject in High Schools in Canada
Nina Klowden Herman
Just finished reading your book. So much food for thought! And I was inspired. I just wish that I were younger and could work to apply the lessons learned from this profoundly thoughtful work.
As it is, I am now 87, not in good health, and my community organizing days are behind me.
But I want to thank you for this vista-opening work.
London Free Press, June 9th, 2009
"Amid technological changes, economic collapse, global pushes for democracy, an environmental crisis and new leadership emerging in key areas of the planet, activist Judy Rebick sees hope.
She sees crisis as opportunity.
Her latest book, Transforming Power: From the Personal to the Political, delves into the importance of building power at the grassroots level and from the ground up.
She shows how greed has got us to this point and says that our paper economy cannot be sustained.
What can be sustained is a more equitable, democratic world with power in the hands of many, rather than a few"
Kathy Rumleski, London Free Press
Click here to read the full review
"Judy Rebick's new book captures the new paradigm of leadership and social change - from top-down, power-over, externally-directed models to one where power is shared, collaboration is possible and power comes from the inside out. Judy aptly chose the subtitle "from the personal to the political", laying out the case for social change leaders and organizations to focus not just on external power inequalities but also on the way we re-create and perpetuate these external dynamics in both our professional and personal relationships.To illustrate the importance of this shift in progressive politics, she uses herself and her own journey as an example. There are few people that have the courage to risk vulnerability to communicate ideas that are important-that Judy is willing and able to do this is perhaps one of the more powerful aspects of this remarkable book. She truly does embody the changes she talks about."
Majority Coalition Canada, May 8th, 2009
"Political activist Judy Rebick has written a visionary and inspiring book that suggests applied people-power can transform politics from an élitist, secretive, and corrupt process into an open, grassroots democracy that could radically and vigorously tackle the urgent issues of our time."
Stuart Hertzog, Majority Coalition Canada
Click here to read the full review.
One of the most appealing aspects of Transforming Power is its refusal to point fingers and blame. As Van Jones points out, Martin Luther King Jr. didn't say, "I have a complaint." Far too often, the left shakes its head, somberly pointing its finger at this person or that party for the ills of the world. This is not the case in Transforming Power. Rebick doesn't claim to have the answers, but she has travelled the world talking to the people who are asking the interesting questions and looking for new solutions. I have only touched on a few of the exciting places she has visited on her road to find out.
When I began this review, I said I was afraid, and I still am. While this book offers tremendous hope, it also presents daunting challenges. It won't be easy to change the way we've lived for the past 60-odd years. The way we've raced through the world's resources, the way we've consumed and discarded with the glee of a child chucking sand at the beach. I believe that we've done these things innocently, but now we are aware of the reality of our actions. And the price is very high indeed.
If you have niggling doubts about staying on the train we've been riding, you should read Transforming Power. It's exciting to travel to worlds where completely new realities seem possible.
Cathi Bond is a writer/broadcaster/podcaster working on a novel set in the mean streets of Toronto during the late 1970s.
Transforming Power in my opinion is one of the most significant Canadian publications of the new millennium. I feel tremendously privileged and grateful to have had the opportunity to read it. The book has had an absolutely transforming impact on me personally. I cannot think of social work, social justice, and education in the same ways anymore.
It is absolutely brilliant and I could not put it down. I consider it one of the most important writings about social justice in the new millennium. Your ability to link the local and the global is profound, particularly your articulation of social justice victories that are presently evident. This book gives me so much hope because it is so attuned to our contemporary world. For example, while much literature particularly in social work and Asian American studies struggles endlessly to configure responses to globalization and neo-liberalism, your book engages head on with these dynamics, but brings a perceptive and grounded response.
Gordon Pon, MSW, PhD Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, Ryerson University
Judy Rebick's book Transforming Power provides both a vivid history of the social movements of the last 30 years and a framework for understanding the origins of social media. While the democratizing potential of the Internet is often alluded to, Judy demonstrates how it can manifest, by connecting the values of the online world with the movements active on the ground, all across the globe. The power of dialogue should not be underestimated, and Judy's insights demonstrate how it can be applied to all sorts of contexts, creating processes and outcomes that are both socially just and personally empowering.
CBC Internet columnist
"Long-time lefty activist and author Judy Rebick, who has worked for social change longer than many of the people reading this interview have been alive, opens up a healthy debate in her new book, Transforming Power: From the Personal to the Political. She heralds emerging ideas from participatory democracy in Bolivia to the North American “green jobs” movement, and will make you think differently about power, and what it really means to work for social change."
Angela Brunschot, See Magazine
Click here to read the full interview
"“Where I am I haven’t seen a level of activism like I’ve seen this year in a long, long time—it’s constant. The activism has really increased and I think that part of that is the ability to mobilize through online means,” she says. “So I think it’s very important, and I think it shows that people really want to get engaged—that’s what’s most important about it to me—it shows that people want to get engaged, and you can reach a much broader group of people than you could otherwise through traditional means.”"
Scott Harris, Vue Weekly
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"The Left has always been a fractured and fragmented place rife with disagreement and conflict about how best to challenge oppression and change the world. Can the days of disagreement between neo-Marxist-Leninist Communists and Third wave post-Anarcho-feminist radicals finally be over? Yes, according to Judy Rebick, who descended on Montreal recently with to promote her new book Transforming Power: From the Personal to Political which she claims is her best-written and most important yet."
Optative Theatrical Laboratories Inc.
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"THIS IS A BOOK WITHIN A BOOK. The main narrative explores the evolution of leftist politics, in all its diverse manifestations, from the anti-globalization movement of the nineties to the grassroots campaign which catapulted a young black senator into the White House. It is filled with illuminating anecdotes, improbable characters and startling statistics. Yet the ideas it puts forth are not nearly as absorbing as the honest depiction, tucked strategically within its folds, of the author’s personal transformation."
Aparna Sanyal, Rover Arts
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"What is so amazing about this book is the way that Judy presents us with a convergence of many different paths of change and at the same time enables us to understand the points of divergence and unresolved tension. An inspiration and a resource as we continue to walk!"
Editor Red Pepper (subscribe online:-)!!)
Transnational Institute (New Politics)
"We stand in a parched plain, waiting for rain; far away there is thunder in the mountains.
There, streams and rivulets rush downwards, one day to meet, perhaps, in a great river.
In Transforming Power, Judy Rebick tells the story of how, in the wake of decades of destructive politics, many new pathways of social change are being made around the world: from small grassroots groups, to new online mobilizations, to experiments in democratic, pluralist states; from urban USA to the Indigenous Americas.
As humanity confronts the greatest economic crisis in 80 years, and the ecological crisis that is the greatest challenge in history, politics as usual seem barren and irrelevant: part of the problem to overcome, not part of the solution.
Judy's book is a timely intervention and will inspire new thinking and dialogue on how to build the movements and communities that will bring about the radical changes we need in our world."
Corvin Russell is an activist, organizer, and writer in Toronto.
"Rebick's latest book is a provocative re-imagining of the global socio-political landscape. This is a call to arms, asking each and every one of us, if we are prepared to completely change the status quo in order to embrace a new, more equitable and sustainable future.
An immensely intelligent and engaging read."
Cathi Bond is a writer/broadcaster who works in popular culture, literature and new media.