6 | JODIE EVANS – Co-Founder/Director, CODE PINK


Jodie Evans is the co-founder and co-director of CODEPINK and the co-founder of the after-school writing program, 826LA. She has been a visionary advocate for peace for several decades. An inspired motivator, Jodie invigorates nascent activists and re-invigorates seasoned activists through her ever-evolving, always exciting methods to promote peace. Whether in board rooms or war zones, Jodie’s enthusiasm for a world at peace infuses conciliation, optimism and activism.

As Director of Administration in California Governor Jerry Brown’s first administration, Jodie championed environmental causes, resulting in breakthroughs in wind and solar technology. She managed Governor Brown’s 1991 Presidential campaign that instituted a cap on financial contributions which resulted in a stronger push for campaign finance standards. Jodie serves on the board of directors of numerous organizations that foster environmental, charitable, educational, socio-political and healthcare causes, including Drug Policy Alliance, Foundation for World Arts, Global Girl Media, Hereditary Disease Foundation, Institute for Policy Studies, Motion Institute and Rainforest Action Network. In 1999, she co-created the Peace Conference in Dubrovnik centered on “Imagining Peace in the 21st Century,” and she continues to produce the multi-event World Festival of Sacred Music that takes place in Los Angeles every 3 years.

Since the start of the 2003 Iraq War, Jodie has traveled to Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and Jordan. On her most recent visit to Jordan, Jodie traveled with a peace coalition to meet with delegates from the Iraqi Parliament to institute an action plan for peace and reconciliation. In Cuba, she protested the prison facility at Guantanamo, and, in 2015, she was one of 30 women activists from fifteen countries who crossed the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea calling for peace and reconciliation between the two countries.

Jodie’s commitment to social change is evidenced in documentary films she has produced, starting with Stripped and Teased: Tales from Las Vegas Women, a very personal look at the real women who work and live in Jodie’s hometown. She has also produced The People Speak, based on Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States; the Oscar-nominated documentary, The Square, about the 2011-2012 democratic uprisings in Egypt; the climate change documentary, This Changes Everything; and, The Brainwashing of my Dad, about the rise of the right-wing media apparatus.

In partnership with Andrew Beath at Ocean Song, a farm and wilderness center in Northern California, she has witnessed how a community gifted with land can thrive, turning the land into rich soil for the growth of human beings. Inspired by the success of Ocean Song, Jodie partnered with Paul Hawken and Lekha Singh to become a caretaker for Two Rivers and Mohawk Love Farms in Springfield, Oregon. She is on the board of directors of the Center for New Economics and she is a tireless advocate of the slow food and slow money movements, supporting local production and local consumption and encouraging economic development in the local regional economy.

Jodie is the co-editor of two books, Twilight of Empire: Responses to Occupation, and, Stop the Next War Now: Effective Responses to Violence and Terrorism, and a contributor to Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution. She is currently writing a book about divesting from the unjust, extractive war economy and building a just, sustainable peace economy.

Jodie Evans website

Jodie’s mission: Jodie is primarily focused on sharing a global vision for peace and social justice.

Jodie’s one-line message to the world: “Find ways to disconnect from the war economy; then open your heart and mind, connect to others and together cultivate what creates conditions conducive for life.”

The SUE Speaks Blog Post about Jodie Evans
  • Structure of governments is violent and oppressive and extractive
  • The difference between the war economy and the peace economy that Jodie is committed to
  • Jodie and her people visit problematic areas
  • The government is the problem in Iran and Afghanistan but not the people
  • We went backwards after WW1
  • The corruption that comes with power
  • A cyclical perspective: “…An Oligarchy on the Brink of a Civilization-Threatening Collapse
  • Her delegation to Iraq discovered no weapons but media didn’t cover
  • Women working in Wall Street – the golden handcuffs
  • Truth-tellers are oppressed by the power forces
  • Grass roots, not top-down, to create alternatives
  • In connecting with each other locally we create conditions conducive to life
  • The ill-advised befriending of the vicious regime of Saudi Arabia
  • Do your little piece you really can do rather than big ideas to save the world
  • Code Pink’s 21 Days of Divesting from the War Economy
  • Bernie Sanders, Jodie, and Marianne Williamson as tuning forks to values to live by
  • Rule of activism is to change the people closest to you
  • The Arts help us find our way…reading too
  • Once you change locally then you can change globally
  • Helping youth in Venice gave model for homelessness
  • Great success of after school writing program in Los Angeles
  • Get conscious of behavior to change it
  • The fulfillment of hands-on local action
  • Little nudges inspire action that diverts big catastrophes
  • Jodie surviving a difficult childhood
  • Working as a maid became activist for worker rights
  • Compassion from realizing hard times her parents and grandparents had
  • Terrible prison and drug policies
  • The tragedy of great loss pivoted Jodie to who she is – shifted from surviving to living
  • Milton Wexler helping Jodie heal led Jodie to raised 10M for the cure for Huntington’s Disease that created the massive Genome Project
  • Celebrate people you don’t hear about who are heroic
  • Find what you have to contribute – with others – get ahead of the game — magical things happen
  • Years of drinking ayahuasca and seeing the beauty of the universe
  • Need accountability for every moment to create conditions conducive to life

Other lightening rods:

  • Bucky Fuller
  • Keppler
  • Plato
  • Gloria Steinem

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Comments · 10

  • Sherie Stark · February 3, 2020

    What a enlightening and empowering discussion! As always, Suzanne Taylor has a penchant for finding and engaging truly original thinkers, people who move us to consider new ways of looking at ourselves and each other. This interview with peace, environmental and campaign finance reform activist Jodie Evans is truly transformational. Consistently, after listening to “Sue Speaks” podcasts, I feel more optimistic about the future, and that’s becoming harder and harder to come by in these troubled times. I’m truly grateful to have found this podcast, and wholeheartedly hope and pray that more and more people find it and give it a listen!

    • suzanne · February 3, 2020

      Wow, Sherie, how sweet this is. I am attracted to outside the box thinkers since we’ve got to get beyond the popular perspectives that reward self-interest in the short run and threaten survival in the not so distant future. There’s so much more enlightened thinking to be found, and the challenge is for the majority to tune in — which even feels a little funny that it is a challenge since I’d think it would be so obvious how things need to change. Maybe we’ll be like the Berlin wall, where although seemingly it was all of a sudden out of the blue that it collapsed, the pressure had been a long time building. One hope is that this Trump nightmare, with the challenges it presents to our very survival, will escalate the pressure to do better than what we’ve been doing in massively transformative ways. On the podcasts, I’ve tried to get people to speculate about what could create massive change, but it’s a hard question and I’m going to rev up my pressure on my guests to actually take it on so our conversations become more and more creative about what to do.

  • Victoria Moran · December 17, 2019

    This is definitely a concept whose time has come — and another wonderful episode of Sue Speaks. I love this podcast and its enchanting host.

  • Renee · December 13, 2019


    • suzanne · December 17, 2019

      Really. Jodie knocks me out. I do think she’d get the nomination if she were onstage in the primaries, and the beauty of her stance, where she wouldn’t consider political office because power is too corrupting, brings tears to my eyes.

  • Steven Scholl · November 26, 2019

    Clear-eyed and deeply inspirational, Jodie brings incredible heart and on the ground social change activism to her presentation. Brilliant.

    • suzanne · November 30, 2019

      So glad you were impressed by this super impressive human being. If she were running for President, I bet she would win!!!! But how interesting that this totally qualified person wouldn’t accept even if asked because of how deep she goes to where power corrupts and she wants none of that!

  • Loren Lewis · November 26, 2019

    What a powerful Light on the Planet Jodie is! I loved hearing her speak about the Peace Economy and becoming Relational as opposed to Transactional driven. I appreciated her saying that a person can’t one day just decide to be different. It takes practice, it takes Love, and it takes a community. And it takes the kindness of strangers. She is such a poster child for what doesn’t kill you making you stronger. What she’s been through to become who she is — just astonishing and truly inspirational.

    • suzanne · November 30, 2019

      I find myself tongue-tied when I try to encapsulate Jodie. She is such a rare being, advocating for doing what’s right at hand as if she plays small, where in fact she is a huge player and all that diligent smallness has led to important accomplishments on the world stage.

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