Prisms of the People: Power and Organizing in the US

Thursday, October 21, 2021
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Online, via Zoom

  • Hahrie Han

Book cover of Prisms of the People by Hahrie Han
About the Seminar: As democracy hangs in the balance around the globe, people all over the world are pouring into the streets. Yet, the overwhelming response is stasis. Can people-powered movements make change possible? Prisms of the People: Power and Organizing in 21st c. America is a new book that looks systematically at the outliers to identify the characteristics that successful movement organizations share. Drawing on six cases in the United States, the book shows how these movements won not by doing things we all know--registering voters, canvassing neighborhoods and so on--but instead by negotiating for power in ways that rejected the false choice between idealism and pragmatism, between working inside the system and outside the system, between articulating a bold vision and making political compromises. Through careful analysis and vivid storytelling, the story turns conventional stereotypes of activists on their head.



Hahrie Han
About the Speaker: Hahrie Han is the Inaugural Director of the SNF Agora Institute, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Professor of Political Science, and Faculty Director of the P3 Research Lab at Johns Hopkins University. She specializes in the study of organizing, movements, civic engagement, and democracy. She has published four books and numerous articles in the American Political Science Review, American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and numerous other outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post, and elsewhere. She is currently working on a fifth book, to be published with Knopf (an imprint of Penguin Random House), about faith and race in America, with a particular focus on evangelical megachurches.

This seminar is presented in partnership with the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society.

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