Actress Alfre Woodard teared up as she read from the introduction to Tom Hayden’s 1988 book, Reunion, at the memorial honoring his life this past Sunday at UCLA.
Tom Hayden was the leader of a generation that disdained leaders. A thinker who could articulate the agonies of young dissenters to the larger world in plain English and a life-long activist who believed that Americans could move our country towards increased justice and fairness.
On Thursday afternoon a fired-up, thousand-strong gathering of nurses and environmental activists packed into Los Angeles’ Pershing Square to voice their concerns about the bleak prospects of climate change, and to demand a global agreement that reduces greenhouse gas pollution. The rally was timed to coincide with the current United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris and other environmental justice protests taking place across the U.S.
Dubbed “The Climate Crisis Is a Public Health Crisis,” the event was organized by the National Nurses United (NNU), a labor union whose members were wrapping up a two-day convention at the downtown JW Marriott.
Rolanda Watson-Clark made the trip from Chicago, and told Capital & Main, “Nurses have always been at the front of social movements, so here we are.” She explained how, in the Windy City, inner city children are deeply affected by petroleum waste products in the air.
Tom Hayden will be speaking at Occidental College this Thursday on the topic, “From the 1960s to Barack Obama: What Now?” The talk starts 7 p.m. in Weingart Hall, Room 117, on the Oxy campus. (Directions to Oxy and a campus map are linked here).
Hayden is one of the most important public figures and influential organizers in American history. A founder of Students for a Democratic Society and author of its seminal manifesto “The Port Huron Statement,” he has also been a Freedom Rider in the civil rights movement, a community organizer in Newark, the founder of California’s Campaign for Economic Democracy, an elected member of the California legislature for 18 years, and a leader of the movements opposing wars in Vietnam, Central America, Iraq and Afghanistan, and the author of 20 books. Here is Hayden’s website and complete bio: tomhayden.com
Tom is an inspiring speaker and prolific writer.