Capturing Impact

Our Recap of A Gathering of Leaders 2014

What Movements Require In this session panelists discussed what it takes to build and sustain new movements, exploring the components of great movements and the barriers that keep them from forming.


Sherrie Deans Admiral Center
Pastor Michael McBride PICO-Lifelines to Healing
Abraham Medina Santa Ana Boys and Men of Color
Rashad Robinson Color of Change
Phillip Agnew Dream Defenders

Main Points

  • The movement is the act or process of moving people or things from one position to another.
  • When we bring people close to the decision making and the construction of solutions, they become active and participate in their own liberation.
  • Movements aren’t free. The preparation and cost of movement-building is great, but the gains include a life worth living, and a life that death cannot overcome.
  • The first revolution is always an internal one. Everybody wants to be a part of a revolution but nobody wants to change. It requires us to look in the mirror and be honest.
  • Because expression has been criminalized, boys and men of color are reclaiming culture. Culture has to be a centerpiece of what we do. Words, music, and art are a form of resistance.

Key Strategies

  • Recognize the catalyzing nature of young people.
  • We need spaces to reconnect with cultural values and artistic expression. We need to refocus on people power.
  • Beware of policy that takes creativity off the table.
  • Work every day to build a bigger room for a more complete movement.
  • We have to keep race in the center of conversations.

Standout Quotes

"You don’t need everybody. You need the right bodies. We need to be very clear about not losing people in our movement building. It's easy to focus on power, funding, policy, etc. People are at the center of our movement." Pastor Michael McBride
"Even the exiled and alienated can become a spiritual leader." Abraham Medina
"We have to be serious about living out what we say we are about. Then the movement will become what we want and need it to be." Pastor Michael McBride