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Sarah van Gelder
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Sarah van Gelder is co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of YES! Magazine and

YES! explores some of today's biggest challenges, showing how people are creating a more just and sustainable world. Topics include solutions to the climate crisis, DIY job creation, resilience, and visions for a multi-racial society.

Sarah has interviewed Pete Seeger, Winona LaDuke, George Shultz, Harry Belafonte, Vandana Shiva, Chris Hedges, Danny Glover, and many other known and unknown leaders who are working to create a better world.

In addition to her regular features in the printed magazine, Sarah writes for, lectures nationally and internationally, and interviews regularly on radio and television.

Entries by Sarah van Gelder

5 Ways the News Media Can Get Real--and Be Part of the Solution

(0) Comments | Posted July 21, 2016 | 10:09 AM

Corporate television's obsession with Donald Trump contributed to his rise. But media can be part of the solution instead of the problem. Here's how.

A television news crew interviews an Occupy DC protester at their encampment. Photo by Mr.TinDC...

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How Bernie Sanders' Revolution Can Win, Even Without Him

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2016 | 10:41 PM

Senator Bernie Sanders claimed his campaign would build a political revolution. It turns out there's a plan for how that can happen.

Photo courtesy of National Nurses United / Flickr.

In Chicago, 3,000 Sanders supporters gathered June 17-19 for...

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Five Ways to Build on the Momentum of the Bernie Sanders Revolution

(0) Comments | Posted June 14, 2016 | 12:18 PM


A Bernie Sanders for President campaign event held at Creative Visions, an organization in Iowa founded by former Des Moines School Board member and current State Representative Ako Abdul-Samad. Photo by Phil Roeder / Flickr.

What will become of the political revolution...

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Choosing a President in a Time of Climate Crisis

(4) Comments | Posted May 23, 2016 | 9:42 AM

Our next president must be someone who understands the science of climate change and can build a clean energy future.

Photos courtesy of Andrew Dallos, Bernie 2016, and Gage Skidmore.

The burning of Fort McMurray in the Canadian province of Alberta...

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The Pragmatic Impacts of Sanders' Big Dreams

(0) Comments | Posted May 10, 2016 | 10:23 AM

Bernie Sanders' pledge to make the country more equitable and sustainable is more realistic than some people are letting on.

The race for the Democratic presidential nomination has pitted a dreamer against a realist, right? Bernie Sanders is the unrealistic one, and Hillary Clinton, the pragmatist, is the candidate who...

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More Confessions of an Economic Hitman: This Time They're Coming for Your Democracy

(1) Comments | Posted April 21, 2016 | 5:36 PM

Twelve years ago, John Perkins published his book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, and it rapidly rose up The New York Times' best-seller list. In it, Perkins describes his career convincing heads of state to adopt economic policies that impoverished their countries and undermined democratic institutions. These policies helped...

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The Radical Work of Healing: Fania and Angela Davis on a New Kind of Civil Rights Activism

(0) Comments | Posted March 16, 2016 | 6:30 PM

"Self-care and healing and attention to the body and the spiritual dimension--all of this is now a part of radical social justice struggles."
Angela and Fania Davis. YES! Magazine Photo by Kristin Little.

Angela Davis and her sister...

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A Kentucky Domestic Violence Shelter Helps Women Grow Food -- and Confidence

(1) Comments | Posted February 15, 2016 | 7:35 PM

Many survivors of domestic violence have had their attempts at work and creativity sabotaged for years. On these 40 acres of rolling farmland, they're being restored.

Jessica Ballard, farm manager at Greenhouse 17, was among the first graduates of the University of...

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What Our Breasts Are Telling Us

(0) Comments | Posted February 9, 2016 | 10:07 PM

Florence Williams and her daughter discovered they had high levels of toxins in their bodies. Why are toxins missing from the breast cancer debates?

illustration by Shutterstock

When Florence Williams was breastfeeding her infant daughter a decade ago, she...

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In North Dakota's Booming Oil Patch, One Tribe Beat Back Fracking

(2) Comments | Posted January 26, 2016 | 10:07 AM

While other parts of the west were overtaken with the fracking boom, the Turtle Mountain Band said no thanks. Here's the difference it made.


Drive the long, straight roads of north-central North Dakota, and you pass lake after lake amid hayfields and forests....

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2015: Top Six Breakthroughs That Are Changing Your World

(3) Comments | Posted January 2, 2016 | 4:55 PM


2015 was a year that shook us out of complacency.

Black Lives Matter forced the nation to confront the threat of police violence faced every day by African Americans. The refugee crisis coupled with the movement of ISIS into Europe and the...

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Three Years Ago, These Chicago Workers Took Over a Window Factory. Today, They're Thriving.

(1) Comments | Posted November 9, 2015 | 3:05 PM

When Republic Windows and Doors closed down without giving workers notice, the issue drew national attention. Since then, they've turned the factory into a worker-owned co-op -- where they hold the power.

Back in the day, factory workers at the Chicago-based Republic Windows and Doors were just told what to...

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10 Ways Human Rights and Democracy Won in 2014 (Yeah, You Heard That Right)

(0) Comments | Posted December 29, 2014 | 4:02 PM

Let's be honest: It was a brutal year for human rights. But we still have victories worth celebrating.

Ferguson, Missouri. October, 2014. Photo by Sarah-Ji.

In 2014, we saw a lot of brutality. Unarmed black men and women...

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7 Ways to Get Happy (Hint: It's Not About the "Stuff")

(1) Comments | Posted November 24, 2014 | 1:39 PM

Adapted from Sustainable Happiness: Live Simply, Live Well, Make a Difference (Berrett-Koehler Publishers)


We come into this world naked with nothing to count on but love.

Along the way, we pick up other ideas about what's important -- status, possessions,...

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8 Ways to Make Obama's Opportunity Goals a Reality

(0) Comments | Posted January 30, 2014 | 1:12 PM

While the president called for greater opportunity for poor and middle-class Americans during his State of the Union address, the real action on inequality and poverty is happening elsewhere.

President Barack Obama gives the State of the Union address on Jan....

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The 10 Most Hopeful Stories of 2013 to Inspire Your New Year

(0) Comments | Posted December 30, 2013 | 1:42 PM

There was something almost apocalyptic about 2013.

Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the Philippines, the strongest storm ever recorded on land. It killed more than 6,000 people and affected millions. But it was just one of the 39 weather-related disasters costing $1...

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4 Election Examples Of The People Winning Out Over Corporate Interests

(35) Comments | Posted November 7, 2013 | 2:16 PM


Here are four cases in yesterday's election where people power won out over corporate interests. And one that went the other way.

With the Supreme Court decision on Citizens United, many fear that their votes won't count against the overwhelming power of...

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Solutions to the Climate Crisis: Hidden in Plain Sight

(1) Comments | Posted October 14, 2013 | 11:54 AM

The media can be part of the solution to the climate crisis by reporting on the science and the emerging answers.

The most censored story of our lifetime is hiding in plain sight. We humans are disrupting the climate of the planet to the point where the world our children...

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6 Peaceful (and Legal) Alternatives to War in Syria

(2) Comments | Posted September 5, 2013 | 7:08 PM

Many of the legal and diplomatic processes that led to peace in other times of conflict haven't even been tried in Syria.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee's approval of military force in Syria makes military strikes against that country more likely.

But key questions remain unanswered. Will military strikes...

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11 Reasons Why We Should Not Attack Syria

(20) Comments | Posted August 30, 2013 | 12:20 PM

As U.S. political and media leaders prepare for military strikes against Syria, the parallels to the lead-up to the war with Iraq should give us pause. Weapons of mass destruction, we are told, are being used by a cruel Middle Eastern despot against his own people. A military strike is...

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