up to start a CODEPINK
our How-To Guide
CODEPINK Book Club
The Power of Women Leading from the Heart
Edited by Nina Simons with Anneke Campbell,
Foreword by Terry Tempest Williams
Review by Candy
Moonrise is as spectacular as a Harvest Moonrise.
It soars large into the sky, gathering with
it the visions dreams and actions of a collective
of true visionaries, setting the readership
into a distinctively uplifting and edifying
journey into the solutions being bantered about
by this earths greatest minds and hearts.
Moonrise cleverly and systematically creates
an arch of comprehension, sensitization, and
yes illumination on to the pressing social and
environmental issues of the day and beyond.
Nina Simons, co founder of the legendary Bioneers
organization, has amassed a spectacular collection
of thirty-seven essays written by both herself
and other leading Pioneer (hence Bioneers) thinkers
of our times who are tackling some of the worlds
greatest social ills all in a fashion distinctively
outside of the box, and, yes, the box is recycled!
Whenever I open a book devoted to discussing
social/environmental/political problems I do
so with a hefty sense of trepidation. After
all, contemplating the worlds ills can
be overwhelming if not depressing. Yet, with
Moonrise, the moon sheds little glare and spawns
soothing rays of inspiration as the reader is
provided truly innovative solutions and on-going
programs that are successfully battling the
very ills of which we despair. Thats 37
chapters of solutions in motion.
One such visionary providing a solution is Judy
Wick with her essay on Local Living Economy.
Judy Wicks is the founder of the landmark White
Dog Café in Philadelphia. Judy has rethought
success, community, and relationship, to say
nothing of her concept of business. Her very
successful restaurant not only feeds its clients
food concocted from green, organic, local suppliers,
but she has educated her competitors
and community as to the value and means by which
to do the same. She takes her clients on solar
house tours, educates them on the working of
biodiesel, organic farms, prisons, and instills
in them a sense of activism in their community
inspiring them to become vibrant members of
society. Judy is an agent of change advocating
a local living economy based on maximizing relationship
not profits. Judys being doing all of
this successfully for twenty-six years. Its
astounding what she has created.
Another chapter of note, is Janine Benyus chapter
on What Life Knows. Janine is a
naturalist, educator and writer who advocates
using natures engineering genius to develop
green solutions to some of our most confounding
design problems. She calls this biomimicry.
Janine points out that nature has 3.8 billion
years of engineering experience relating to
sustaining life and that this vast knowledge
might be a wise well from which to draw! Janine
delves into the issue of silica and plankton.
Janine revels that photosynthetic plankton makes
its cell walls out of silica without emitting
toxins and carcinogens as does our Silicon chips
and solar cells manufacturing processes. She
points out that the University of California
scientist are mimicking the way the plankton
forms silica which may alter the way computer
chips are made! Janine examines other such natural
innovations borrowing from natures design
such as Geoffrey Coates creating biodegradable
plastics inspired by the way mollusks use C02
to make sea shells, or the way a scientist named
Frank Fish, redesigned the Japanese Magnet train
to avoid the boom it created when traveling
in tunnels as well as increasing its fuel efficiency
by redesigning its beak to mimic the design
of the Kingfisher. Frank was a committed birdwatcher,
and it was his astute observation of nature
that brought him his design solutions.
Other submissions from the likes of Julia Butterfly,
Eve Ensler, Alice Walker, and the every inspiring
Terry Tempest Williams make this two hundred
ninety five page book an anthem of sounds solutions
and glimpse of whats possible and what
is to come as these profoundly gifted visionaries
and leaders cut an intelligent, sustainable,
and inspirational path of life that we can journey
along in the days, weeks, and years to come.
Moonrise gives me the juice to bound into the
future with hope and excitement.
Pages Book Club How-To Guide:
CODEPINK is and has been a place for women to
put their ideas – about resisting war, influencing
foreign policy, showing solidarity with women
in other countries, and much more -- into action.
We’ve built a strong national base of local groups
AND a powerful presence in Washington, DC, and
we have a media reputation and reach far beyond
that of other small groups.
As a book club organizer, you’ll receive the month’s
book suggestion with discussion questions. You’ll
put together a group of people, probably all or
mostly women, to read and talk about the book.
The following month, you’ll crack open a new book
and discuss the related questions.
How do you start a book
- First, do your outreach.
Ask women in your local group, but go beyond
that by posting flyers at your local public
library and/or bookstores. These are excellent
ways to foster diversity in your members and
meet new people. Talk Pink Pages book club up
with women who areinterested in foreign policy
and opposed to the US wars, but who may not
be interested or available for our street actions.
Ask those who are interested if they know someone
who’d like to join a book club.
Select a location that can be available for
book club meetings for at least 3 months. While
your home is one obvious choice for a place
to meet, you should also consider such places
as a library, cafe, or community center. Find
a space that is reasonably quiet, accessible
to transit, and easy for people to get to.
- Set a consistent day or
evening and time (first Tuesday of the
month at 8 PM, for example), so that you do
not have to go through the process of scheduling
each meeting. Once set, keep the same day and
time; this creates an expectation of commitment
and a group bonding that builds from month to
- Choose someone to facilitate
discussion. This person may be a teacher
(or former teacher), or anyone who is comfortable
running a group discussion. This role can rotate
among members of the book club club, but it’s
best to have the same person do it for 2-3 months.
Agreements that help groups flourish include:
making sure everyone has a chance to speak;
encouraging shy or new people to contribute;
and gently encouraging listening in someone
who tends to dominate discussion. The discussion
should go for about 45-60 minutes, depending
on the size of the group and the level of interest.
Make sure everyone knows the next meeting date
- Common questions
to get book discussions started include these:
- What did you find surprising about the facts
introduced in this book?
- How has reading this book changed your opinion
of a certain person or topic?
- Does the author present information in a way
that is interesting and insightful, and if so,
how does he or she achieve this?
- If the author is writing on a debatable issue,
does he or she give proper consideration to
all sides the debate? Does he or she seem to
have a bias?
- How has the book increased your interest in
the subject matter?
Get your book, start reading,
and look forward to great discussions!