Cynthia Kaufman

Cynthia Kaufman

Cynthia Kaufman is the author of Challenging Power: Democracy and Accountability in a Fractured WorldGetting Past Capitalism: History, Vision, Hope and Ideas for Action: Relevant Theory for Radical Change. She is the director of the Vasconcellos Institute for Democracy in Action at De Anza College. She blogs at cynthiakaufman.wordpress.com.

Articles by this author

One of the biggest problems we have in the US is that the police have tremendous power, and the systems of accountability to keep that power from being misused are incredibly weak.  (Photo:  Apu GOMES / AFP via Getty Images) Views
Friday, June 12, 2020
Understanding Accountability So We Can Hold the Police to Account
Ever since the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers, people all around the country are mobilized to challenge the systemic racism that is deeply embedded in every institution of our country. We are in a moment full of sadness, trauma, and a sense of urgency. Many of us are worried...
Read more
A sign warns residents to take steps to contol the coronavirus outbreak at the entrance to the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn on March 19, 2020 in New York City. Views
Saturday, May 16, 2020
Alternatives to Killing People for the Economy
As the U.S. begins to reopen after being shut down to protect us from spreading Covid-19, many people are beginning to talk about a choice between what is good for the economy and what will keep us healthy. Much pain and suffering has come as people have lost their livelihoods and their homes, and...
Read more
To me the most misplaced invective is the treatment given to Bill McKibben. He comes across in the film as dishonest and corrupt. And yet he has done more for the climate justice movement than almost anyone else in the world.  (Photo: Screenshot) Views
Tuesday, April 28, 2020
Mobilizing Climate Action in the Face of Planet of the Humans
We are in a climate emergency. That means we all need to do everything we can to get the world to stop burning fossil fuels and chopping down trees. And we need to do it as quickly as possible. Getting to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 will take everything we have. That's why it was so...
Read more
President Donald Trump looks on next to Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Views
Saturday, April 18, 2020
Rethinking Freedom, Government, and Expertise in the Time of COVID-19
With the COVID-19 crisis we are being asked, and in many cases ordered, by the government to drastically change our lives: not to go to work unless it is essential, not to socialize in large groups, or in some places not to go out at all, except for essential trips. The consequences of obeying...
Read more
HTML tags will be transformed to conform to HTML standards. Views
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Facing Our Other Crises With Lessons From COVID-19
As I have been thinking about the worldwide response to COVID-19, like many people I have been amazed that this pandemic would spur people to move out of a business-as-usual approach to life and into forms of action that will stop at nothing to achieve an important social goal. While I have...
Read more
We need to paint a picture of an inclusive sustainable world we are trying to build; remind people that the work is already underway and that millions of people are doing important work. (Photo: Beth Scupham/flickr/cc) Views
Thursday, August 08, 2019
Motivating Climate Action: A Review of Per Espen Stoknes "What We Think About When We Try Not to Think About Global Warming."
Averting the worst outcome of the climate crisis will require a huge amount of very thoughtful and brave work. Unfortunately the crisis has a number of qualities that make it especially hard to organize around. It seems remote in time and place, its causes and impacts are diffuse, and the solutions...
Read more
A bike sits along a narrow path at sunrise Views
Saturday, May 25, 2019
Creating a Home through the Green New Deal
Near where I live, in Pacifica California, there is a big piece of land right at the ocean that was once slated to be the site of a giant freeway interchange. That plan was stopped by local people who saw no need for increased freeway capacity. When I moved to town 14 years ago it was covered in...
Read more
In 1994, congress outlawed giving Pell Grants to prisoners. (Photo: AP/Rich Pedroncelli) Views
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Bring Back Pell Grants for Prisoners
When I was in working on my PhD in philosophy at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, I paid for part of my education by teaching in prison. For me it was an incredibly rewarding experience. It was great working these students who had time to read and think, and wonder in the deep ways that...
Read more
Demonstrators march in San Francisco on Nov. 5, 2011. (Photo: Glenn Halog/flickr/cc) Views
Saturday, January 19, 2019
Belonging and Social Change: A Critique of the Politics of Wokeness
We are in an amazing and dangerous time, where the chronic social problems which have caused so much trauma over so many years are coming to be seen as urgent and in need of attention by a rapidly increasing number of people. As so many people become “woke” to these problems, it is important that...
Read more
Views
Sunday, November 25, 2018
Fighting for the Climate: A Note from Post-Apocalyptic California
As I write this the air is brown and dangerous to breathe for the third day in a row in California. Yesterday I needed to wear a respirator to keep my lungs from hurting. So far over eighty people have lost their lives in these fires. Last year's fires were the worst on record. This year’s fires...
Read more

Pages