2021: Stretching to Run Hills and Raise Funds for OrgUp

October 4, 2021

Family and Friends,

The race I signed up for in Napa had to be cancelled because of COVID. So yesterday – like last year – I ran a homemade 13.1 mile course, this time in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. I finished in 2:36:15, more than an hour slower than my best half-marathon time (1:33:58, 7 minutes, 10 seconds per mile, when I was 52). But I beat last year’s time by six minutes so it’s all good. It was a great follow-up to Ellen and me marching the day before in the big San Francisco March for Safe, Legal, Accessible Abortion and Full Reproductive Rights for all women. Like other marches across the country, the crowd was overwhelmingly young – a new generation of activists is taking to the streets.

I ran again this year to benefit Organizing Upgrade. Expect some exciting announcements from that project in the next few months, fruits of the success of our July fund drive which raised about $40,000. Speaking of new radical generations – check out the recently posted reflections on OrgUp about Occupy, its impact, and its lessons by Yotam Marom and Sonny Singh. For some ideas of what all of us can do to make sure the new radical upsurge has the political space to grow and evolve, see my two recent columns on the grave threat posed by the MAGA Bloc and how to beat it back.

August 26, 2021

Family and Friends,  

I’m happy to report that this half-marathon fundraiser for Organizing Upgrade has met its goal. Thanks to the generosity of so many of you and other OrgUp supporters, the effort made its $18,000 Matching Fund target with room to spare. Now all I have to do is get to the finish line in Napa in October. Expect a full report after the race. And keep your eye on Organizing Upgrade for provocative articles, Frontline Dispatches and the Black Work Talk podcast.

Thanks, Peace and Hope!


July 28, 2021

Family and friends,

My upcoming half-marathon features some steep hills and I’m boosting my training to be ready for them. I’m also stretching to raise every possible dollar for Organizing Upgrade. So I’m asking again for your help.

OrgUp is a vehicle to build unity among social justice activists around strategies and organizing practices that meet this fraught moment. Its underlying framework is “block and build”: block the MAGA bloc from imposing its Jim Crow 2.0, all-wealth-to-the-wealthy program; build enough progressive strength to open the path toward a robust multiracial democracy and deep structural change.

Thanks to the generosity of so many of you and other OrgUp supporters, the project is two-thirds of the way to getting every dollar of this year’s $18,000 matching fund. I still get royalties from my book Revolution in the Air (first published in 2002, third edition released in 2018) and I’m donating this year’s check ($635) to OrgUp. Can you join me in stretching to help get OrgUp over its fundraising finish line?


All contributions are tax-deductible. You can also send a check to Organizing Upgrade, 490 Lake Park Ave. #10062, Oakland, CA 94610.

Thanks, peace and hope,


For more on “Block and Build,” see these articles on OrgUp::