Talk of the Towns 4/12/23: Local Community Concerns and Opportunities

Producer/Hosts: Ron Beard and Liz Graves
Theme music for Talk of the Towns Theme music for Talk of the Towns is a medley from Coronach, on a Balnain House Highland Music recording.

Talk of the Towns: Local Community concerns and opportunities

This month:
Advocacy and Non-violent Direct Action: A conversation with George Lakey and Sue Inches.
How do we make change in the face of policies that seem wrong, either because they harm people or the earth? Some situations call for building relationships with policy makers and using the art of persuasion. But if persuasion doesn’t work, a backup plan might include non-violent direct action, confronting those in power and stirring the public as a result of media attention. Our conversation with two activists and authors help us understand these choices and how they fit into today’s landscape of change.

Topics include:
What is the connection between advocacy and non-violent direct action, with one or two examples and lessons learned along the way?
In your writing, you have both illuminated the need for vision that leads to strategy that leads to the hard slog of change… talk more about the importance of vision and strategy in any campaign for change.
You have also written about the importance of community, as a grounding force, as a source of support… say more about the ways in which you see “community building” as part of your work.
How do you understand our present moment and what has brought us here? Are there some key events or trends in our history that help us understand where we have come to?
Each of you have been energized by engagement with young people, in your classrooms and in your campaigns. Are there attributes of the rising generation that are particularly inspiring?


George Lakey author of Dancing with History: A life for peace and justice, Seven Stories Press, 2022. See also:
Sue Inches, author of Advocating for the Environment, North Atlantic Books, 2021. See also

About the hosts:

Ron Beard is producer and host of Talk of the Towns, which first aired on WERU in 1993 as part of his community building work as an Extension professor with University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant. He took all the journalism courses he could fit in while an undergraduate student in wildlife management and served as an intern with Maine Public Television nightly newscast in the early 1970s. Ron is an adjunct faculty member at College of the Atlantic, teaching courses on community development. Ron served on the Bar Harbor Town Council for six years and is currently board chair for the Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor, where he has lived since 1975. Look for him on the Allagash River in June, and whenever he can get away, in the highlands of Scotland where he was fortunate to spend two sabbaticals.

Liz Graves joined Talk of the Towns as co-producer and co-host in July 2022, having long admired public affairs programming on WERU and dreamed of getting involved in community radio. She works as the Town Clerk for the Town of Bar Harbor, and is a former editor of the Mount Desert Islander weekly newspaper. Liz grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.