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1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
Dear Jeanne,

So 2022 is going to be special—the first full year of our work together.

We’ve gotten a good start on things already: Monday night, hundreds and hundreds of people joined in for a workshop on writing letters to the editor and Facebook posts. If you too want to be an “effective crank,” you can watch the video here.

Then last night, loads of you joined Kathleen Sullivan for “Going Deeper” to think about our own sense of legacy, and what we want to offer in this work together. We maxed out space in the zoom room, so we’ll plan to do more.

And some of us have been out in the streets: check out this video featuring Kit Miller, a Third Actor from Nevada, joining others for a vigil on the anniversary of the January 6th insurrection.

But the real work is in the days ahead. Our next big national call will be on January 26th—please circle the date in your calendar.

The call will feature big updates on the two broad parts of our work:

Protecting Democracy

We’ll be joined by none other than Jamie Raskin, Congressman from Maryland, who led the prosecution team in the last impeachment trial, and has been a steadfast voice for reforms that will keep our country going. If you want to understand his heroism, here’s a good account from the New Republic, and a more personal one from me in the New Yorker. It’s a preview of our plans for a nationwide Democracy Force to stand up for what’s best about our heritage

Protecting the Planet

Despite the climate crisis, our biggest banks are huge funders of coal and gas and oil companies. Third Act is getting ready to launch a truly serious campaign to get the four big banks—Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America—to cease their lending to projects that wreck the climate. You’ll hear from, among others, Rev. Lennox Yearwood, who has been a leader in this work—and who can talk about how to effectively take on large and powerful institutions.

It’s going to be another big night, and we hope you’ll alert others that it’s happening. We’re determined to make 2022 count, and we can only do it together.

This communication works two ways. Feel free to respond with ideas, to donate to help support the work, and to encourage us onward together!

With great affection,

Bill McKibben for Third Act

p.s.— we always are thinking about music and movements. This past week, since the death of Sidney Poitier at 94, I’ve been reflecting on his life. He had many historic firsts in his movie career, of course, but he was not just rhetorically committed to civil rights activism. Many people (including Nikole Hannah-Jones in passing here) have told the story of how he and Harry Belafonte flew into the most dangerous corner of Mississippi during Freedom Summer of 1964, carrying a satchel stuffed with $60,000 in cash from concerts held to support the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Klansmen rammed the cars in their convoy as they drove away from the airport, but they lived to tell the story. It’s one more thing to think about when you listen to the classic title song from To Sir With Love.

Third Act
Sustainable Markets Foundation – 45 West 36th Street 6th floor
New York, New York 10018-7635