Getting a Grip on Social Activism

Berklee Office of Communications
May 29, 2008
Frances Moore Lappé speaks at Berklee's Liberal Arts Symposium.
Photo By Phil Farnsworth

Social activist and author Frances Moore Lappé inspired with a call to action at Berklee's 14th-annual Liberal Arts Symposium, held at the Boston Architectural Center. Speaking on "Creativity and Courage: Making a Difference in a World Gone Mad," Lappé addressed the issues of world hunger, grassroots organizing, and democracy. She emphasized that while concentrated power can lead to corruption, a government whose citizens are fully engaged can have a beneficial impact in the world. She juxtaposed such a "living democracy" with a "thin democracy"—one in name only. To reach that goal, she emphasized the need of reducing the influence of money on our government and held up examples of successful grassroots organizations, such as consumer cooperatives and farmers markets. Prior to Lappé's talk, the audience of more than 150 enjoyed performances by student, faculty, and alumni singer/songwriters with their own messages of social justice. After the discussion, Lappé signed copies of her latest book, Getting a Grip: Clarity, Creativity, and Courage in a World Gone Mad.