Sarah van Gelder is YES! Magazine Co-Founder and Columnist, a public speaker, and the author of the new book, The Revolution Where You Live: Stories from a 12,000 Mile Journey Through a New America (Berrett Koehler, 2017). She is also the editor of Sustainable Happiness: Live Simply, Live Well, Make a Difference, and This Changes Everything: Occupy Wall Street and the 99 Percent Movement (both with Berrett Koehler).
As founding editor of YES!, Sarah led the magazine’s and website’s development from a scrappy start-up operating out of a rented basement to a publication that is nationally recognized for exploring leading-edge solutions to the major ecological and human challenges of our times.
The magazine has won national awards for its coverage of such topics as the cooperative economy, mass incarceration, neighborhood sustainability, and personal resilience.
Sarah’s new book, The Revolution Where You Live: Stories from a 12,000 Mile Journey Through a New America (Berrett Koehler 2017) is now available at bookstores and via YES! Magazine. Sarah also writes a bi-weekly column for YES! and speaks publicly about resistance to Trumpism, community resilience and revitalization and local power.
The Revolution Where You Lives tells the story of Sarah’s solo road trip around the United States, seeking out the people who are making change happen — change that is deep enough to transform the crises of our time into opportunities for new ways of life that are more sustainable and just.
“Jump into Sarah van Gelder’s camper, and you’ll see our country anew . . . just the book Americans need right now.”
—Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet and cofounder of Small Planet Institute
The book traces her journey in an old pickup truck and tiny camper though 12,000 miles and 18 states. From the ranches of Montana to the Native reservations of North Dakota, from the urban cores of Chicago and Detroit to the coalfields of Kentucky, she met and interviewed people who are ordinary and extraordinary—people who stopped a giant coal mine, brought urban farming into the heart of Chicago, worked to move Greensboro’s beyond its legacy of racism, and are bringing about a cooperative renaissance.
Her conclusion: The connections we each have to our physical and ecological place, and to one another in community, are where we find our power and our best hopes for change.
“Looking for hope? Here’s where to find it. An inspiring account of the grassroots leaders throughout the United States who are confronting racism, the climate crisis, and poverty.”
—Van Jones, CNN co-host, author, and activist
The book features a forward by actor and activist Danny Glover.
Sarah has edited several anthologies, contributing substantial introductory sections that have been posted and reposted widely: Sustainable Happiness: Live Simply, Live Well, Make a Difference; and This Changes Everything: Occupy Wall Street and the 99 Percent Movement, both with YES! Magazine and Berrett Koehler Publishers.
Sarah speaks nationally and internationally, and is a guest on radio and television on topics ranging from cooperative economics, local foods, and solving the climate crisis, to alternatives to prisons, green and inclusive cities, and confronting racism. Sarah has interviewed Frances Moore Lappé, Ralph Nader, Van Jones, Pete Seeger, Angela and Fania Davis, George Shultz, and Desmond Tutu.
Her article, columns, and interviews are picked up by Alternet, the Christian Science Monitor, Huffington Post, the Dallas Morning News, Truthout, and elsewhere.
Sarah lives on the Suquamish Tribe’s traditional lands; she serves on the board of the Tribe’s Suquamish Foundation and paddles with the Suquamish canoe family on the annual tribal canoe journey.
She has lived in India, China, and Central America. She is the mother of two adult children, and was a founding board member of Winslow Cohousing in Washington state.
Media Appearances and Talks
Sarah gives talks and lectures, and is a frequent guest on radio and television. Here are a few examples:
A featured talk at the Berkshire Women’s Writers Festival
Sarah’s TEDx talk: How to add inspiration to your media diet.
Contact her here to invite her to speak at your event or to interview her.
Learn more about The Revolution Where You Live here.