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’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.”
- 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
- Gloria Steinem