Interviews for Resistance: “Standing Rock is Everywhere Right Now”

The director of the Native Organizers Alliance on why we must do more than mobilize.

Sarah Jaffe February 7, 2017

"I think the Standing Rock moment has laid the basis for people to understand that we need organizing at the community level that is led with love and open hearts and led by values," says Judith LeBlanc, director of the Native Organizers Alliance. (Sarah Jaffe)

Wel­come to Inter­views for Resis­tance. In this series we’ll be talk­ing with orga­niz­ers, trou­ble­mak­ers and thinkers who are work­ing both to chal­lenge the Trump admin­is­tra­tion and the cir­cum­stances that cre­at­ed it. It can be easy to despair, to feel like trends toward inequal­i­ty are impos­si­ble to stop, to give in to fear over increased racist, sex­ist and xeno­pho­bic vio­lence. But around the coun­try, peo­ple are doing the hard work of fight­ing back and com­ing togeth­er to plan for what comes next. This series will intro­duce you to some of them.

'Community organizing is not an idea that a few white guys in Chicago came up with. It is as old as dirt.'

Judith LeBlanc: My name is Judith LeBlanc. I am a mat­ter of the Cad­do Nation of Okla­homa. I am the direc­tor of the Native Orga­niz­ers Alliance.

Sarah Jaffe: What is going on at Stand­ing Rock?

Judith: Stand­ing Rock is every­where right now. [Thurs­day, Feb­ru­ary 2] there was a march in down­town Seat­tle, hun­dreds of peo­ple in sup­port of the Seat­tle City gov­ern­ment res­o­lu­tion to divest from Wells Fargo.

Stand­ing Rock is every­where and it is a beau­ti­ful thing because water gives us life and water has become, because of what has hap­pened at Stand­ing Rock, a sym­bol for all that is sacred and impor­tant for human­i­ty and for Moth­er Earth. We have an orga­nized approach to mov­ing the bat­tle for Stand­ing Rock to the oth­er reser­va­tions of the Oceti Sakowin and to spread the orga­niz­ing all across the coun­try, because tens of thou­sands of peo­ple have gone through the Oceti Sakowin camp and have become a part of this mag­ic moment in Indi­an coun­try. The Oceti Sakowin elders who came togeth­er for the first time since the Bat­tle of the Lit­tle Bighorn, extin­guished the fire that had been burn­ing to guide the prayers of the camp, to guide the way the camp exist­ed. They now are plan­ning to vis­it each of the ter­ri­to­ries of the Oceti Sakowin to for­ti­fy the resis­tance to poten­tial takeovers of our land and the infringe­ment on our sovereignty.

Every social move­ment going into new stages is nev­er smooth or even. In the last few days some of those in the camp who want to remain in the area built anoth­er camp out­side of the Oceti Sakowin camp a lit­tle ways down the road. There were many peo­ple arrest­ed as a result.

One of the dif­fi­cul­ties that we face in Indi­an Coun­try is that the pipeline for the Stand­ing Rock Sioux Tribe is one major issue, but there are oth­er many, many major issues that the Stand­ing Rock Sioux Tribe is work­ing on all at once. The medi­an income at the Stand­ing Rock Sioux Reser­va­tion is a lit­tle over $13,000. There are key issues of health­care and eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment and edu­ca­tion. In many ways, I think the Stand­ing Rock Sioux Tribe has real­ly been show­ing how dif­fi­cult and how impor­tant it is to build uni­ty in sup­port of pro­tect­ing our larg­er rights, Indi­an Coun­try-wide right to pro­tect our sov­er­eign­ty and that is what the fight in stop­ping the pipeline was about. Because when the Bis­mar­ck folks said, No,” to the pipeline, their No” stuck. When the Stand­ing Rock Sioux Tribe said, No,” the Ener­gy Trans­fer Part­ners said, Well, any­way…” and act­ed as if they could build this pipeline.

We have run up against a very dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion with the Trump admin­is­tra­tion being elect­ed to office. One of the sen­a­tors from North Dako­ta, very pro-pipeline, has become the head of the Chair of the Indi­an Affairs Com­mit­tee in the Sen­ate. We are up against a sit­u­a­tion where it is very hard to see how the pipeline will be stopped, unless we con­tin­ue to put the pres­sure where it needs to be, on the 17 banks that have invest­ed, con­tin­ue to pres­sure the Trump admin­is­tra­tion to not vio­late the law and pro­ceed with the envi­ron­men­tal impact study that was man­dat­ed under the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion. It is a tough fight in the next days ahead. It will be deter­mined by whether or not the gov­ern­ment vio­lates the will of the peo­ple who have been in sol­i­dar­i­ty with Stand­ing Rock and the 17,000,000 peo­ple along the shores of the river.

Sarah: What has it been like this win­ter? There have been peo­ple camped out all the way through, right?

Judith: I like to think about Stand­ing Rock, what it was like on the ground there Sep­tem­ber 1st when it was warm. I think about it at sun­set. It was a very gold­en kind of light where thou­sands of Indi­an peo­ple had gath­ered in sol­i­dar­i­ty. We cre­at­ed a 21st cen­tu­ry Indi­an city. We had our own kitchen serv­ing three hot meals a day, cof­fee all day long, and a school and a radio sta­tion, and the feel­ing of prayers and peo­ple pow­er being the most amaz­ing med­i­cine that our peo­ple could expe­ri­ence because of all of the trau­ma, all of the deep gen­er­a­tional prob­lems that come with the poli­cies of the U.S. gov­ern­ment since colo­nial times.

Peo­ple began to pre­pare in Octo­ber for the win­ter, because North Dako­ta win­ters, you don’t play with them. Very, very severe. Col­lec­tive­ly, peo­ple began to pre­pare for win­ter start­ing in Octo­ber and ear­ly Novem­ber, for­ti­fy­ing the dif­fer­ent places where peo­ple were sleep­ing, yurts, insu­lat­ing the teepees, redis­trib­ut­ing the kitchen so that it could be in dif­fer­ent sec­tors of the camp. But as we moved into Decem­ber, when the big bliz­zard hit, it became clear that peo­ples’ lives were in dan­ger. There was a call for peo­ple to pro­tect them­selves by tak­ing the strug­gle home, to go home and to con­tin­ue to sup­port the legal fight.

Many, many peo­ple fol­lowed that direc­tive, because it is just too tough. Oth­ers stayed and real­ly have dug in and there­fore the dis­man­tling of the camp right now is a com­pli­cat­ed busi­ness. We have to use back­hoes and teams to remove the struc­tures that were set up because it is on a flood plain. The floods are going to be very, very bad this year because of the amount of snow. There is great dan­ger for the peo­ple who are camped there. Back in the day, when our peo­ple were there with­out down, with­out wool socks, it is real­ly hard to imag­ine how amaz­ing our peo­ple were to be able to not only sur­vive, but to con­tin­ue to thrive and grow as a peo­ple under such severe weath­er conditions.

Sarah: Trump and his peo­ple have already made nois­es about try­ing to sell off more native peo­ples’ lands. How can peo­ple respond to that if they are just going to try to pri­va­tize everything?

Judith: It goes to the heart of how the vast major­i­ty of peo­ple in this coun­try is going to pro­tect hard-won rights and pro­grams and con­tin­ue to push for­ward for the things our com­mu­ni­ties need. Sov­er­eign­ty is the bot­tom line. In Indi­an Coun­try, we are prepar­ing now for a mobi­liza­tion to Wash­ing­ton. The time is now to plant all of our nations’ flags in [Wash­ing­ton] D.C. to sig­nal to both the Trump admin­is­tra­tion and Con­gress that we are here to stay in this coun­try as sov­er­eign nations, that we are ready to fight for sovereignty.

We are nations that have not only a legal, but a moral, respon­si­bil­i­ty to pro­tect our land, our air, our water for all of human­i­ty. Sov­er­eign­ty is also a way to pro­tect the com­mu­ni­ties and the states and the rivers that affect all of us. When you have trib­al gov­ern­ments that are able to do what is best for Moth­er Earth, then it ben­e­fits the bor­der com­mu­ni­ties, it ben­e­fits the econ­o­my of states, and it makes our coun­try a bet­ter place to live for all and will save the plan­et. At this point, the Trump admin­is­tra­tion sig­naled, even before tak­ing office, that they were will­ing to fol­low a pol­i­cy of pri­va­tiz­ing Indi­an land for oil, for ener­gy resources.

The Stand­ing Rock Sioux Tribe is call­ing on peo­ple, all peo­ple, Indi­ans and non-Indi­ans to come to D.C. March 6 – 10th where we will estab­lish a prayer camp on the Nation­al Mall and we will spend our days doing actions, flood­ing Capi­tol Hill, and then, march­ing on the White House on March 10th. We are work­ing to bring togeth­er the oth­er 300 tribes that stood with Stand­ing Rock. Over 300 tribes, many of them derive sig­nif­i­cant rev­enue streams from fos­sil fuels, but they stood with Stand­ing Rock because it is a mat­ter of trib­al sov­er­eign­ty. We have the right to decide for our land, our water, and air, how our peo­ple are affect­ed by these greedy cor­po­ra­tions who will stop at noth­ing to max­i­mize their profits.

When you look at the Nava­jo Reser­va­tion, you look at the reser­va­tions in Neva­da, all over the coun­try fos­sil fuel cor­po­ra­tions have come onto our land, paid us mon­ey, tak­en their prof­its and run, leav­ing gen­er­a­tions of dis­ease and death in their wake. We are invit­ing all of these tribes to march on the White House to say, Pres­i­dent Trump, you meet with us, you deal with us as sov­er­eign nations.” The Indi­an peo­ple who come from all over the coun­try, as we did flock to Stand­ing Rock Reser­va­tion, we will flock to Capi­tol Hill and lay it on the line with the mem­bers of Congress.

In this ses­sion of Con­gress, there are many issues that affect our sov­er­eign­ty: the attack on Oba­macare is an attack on the right to health­care for Indi­an peo­ple. Legal­ly, we have been guar­an­teed, from birth to death, qual­i­ty health­care and we have not been able to achieve that. If Oba­macare is destroyed, it will destroy some steps for­ward that we took under the Indi­an Health Improve­ment Act, which was incor­po­rat­ed into Oba­macare. We are going to make a state­ment, just as the peo­ple did at the air­ports on pro­tect­ing the rights of immi­grants and as we did dur­ing the Women’s March. Pres­i­dent Trump, we are on our way.

Sarah: There was anoth­er trip dur­ing the Key­stone XL fight, where there was also a prayer camp set up in D.C. Correct?

Judith: Cor­rect. Many of the vet­er­ans that orga­nized those events and orches­trat­ed that vic­to­ry to stop the pipeline are the lead on this, like Faith Spot­ted Eagle from Yank­ton tribe who received one Pres­i­den­tial elec­toral vote here in the state of Wash­ing­ton, the Indige­nous Envi­ron­men­tal Net­work. Many of the grass­roots lead­ers, many of them who were the heads­men and some of the spir­i­tu­al lead­ers at the Oceti Sakowin camp are in the lead of this initiative.

The chal­lenge now is: How do we not only con­tin­ue to mobi­lize our peo­ple and build strong alliances with non-native, envi­ron­men­tal, faith-based groups, the labor move­ment, but also how we sup­port at the grass­roots an orga­nized strate­gic role that peo­ple can play in fight­ing for the every­day imme­di­ate poli­cies that are being debat­ed and need the sup­port of a move­ment for them to become trans­for­ma­tion­al poli­cies, even under a time when the right wing is on the offen­sive? That is a big chal­lenge for us in Indi­an Coun­try, how we will con­tin­ue to orga­nize, not just mobilize.

Sarah: Let’s talk a lit­tle bit more about the role of these divest­ment cam­paigns tar­get­ing the banks and the finan­cial insti­tu­tions that are fund­ing the pipeline and how they con­nect to things like Wall Street dereg­u­la­tion that Trump has called for.

Judith: This is a very impor­tant strat­e­gy in order to get at the sys­temic nature of the role that fos­sil fuels play in the econ­o­my and in cre­at­ing the huge threat to the exis­tence of our plan­et. If you want to go to the roots, the eco­nom­ic and struc­tur­al roots of a prob­lem, you have to dig into the role of finan­cial­iza­tion and the banks. This divest­ment move­ment has giv­en a han­dle for many who wouldn’t come to Oceti Sakowin camp, who need to do work in their own com­mu­ni­ties to make the links between the prob­lems we face and the role that banks and the eco­nom­ic sys­tem plays in the broad­er crisis.

You look back over many decades, dur­ing the anti-apartheid move­ment and the glob­al sol­i­dar­i­ty move­ment, divest­ment was a key tool. In oth­er coun­tries, there is incred­i­ble mobi­liza­tion that has result­ed in some of the banks in oth­er coun­tries divest­ing from Ener­gy Trans­fer Part­ners. The divest­ment strat­e­gy has also been a way for us in this moment to build glob­al aware­ness of the threats that exist to the exis­tence of our planet.

No mat­ter how strong cap­i­tal­ism seems to be, it is inher­ent­ly full of con­tra­dic­tions and there­fore mass­es of peo­ple, when orga­nized, even if not the major­i­ty, can have an impact. We have orga­nized this alliance, joined a coali­tion that involved many, many groups — faith groups, as well as divest­ment groups and envi­ron­men­tal groups like 350​.org — in doing a seri­ous of actions in the last few days to pres­sure the 17 banks who are invest­ed in Ener­gy Trans­fer Part­ners to meet with the tribe. To divest, but to do so on the basis of meet­ing with the tribes and under­stand­ing what the issues are and the impact the pipeline can have. We have also had tremen­dous num­bers of peo­ple, I can’t remem­ber the fig­ures of peo­ple who closed their per­son­al accounts that were in some of the 17 banks. It has giv­en many peo­ple the abil­i­ty to say, Amen,” in their per­son­al lives, to live a life that is actu­al­ly in sync with their beliefs that we all have a role to play in sav­ing Moth­er Earth.

I think the divest­ment strat­e­gy and the pres­sure that it is putting on Ener­gy Trans­fer Part­ners is very impor­tant in shift­ing those around the Trump admin­is­tra­tion to think about the bot­tom line. At this point, the pipeline is los­ing mon­ey. It is not a good busi­ness invest­ment. Ener­gy Trans­fer Part­ners act­ed for the last two years in the busi­ness pages in North Dako­ta and the Wall Street Jour­nal that Hey, we have got this. We have the per­mit. This is going through.” They kept build­ing the pipeline until it got to the point where it was so close to the reservation’s water sup­ply that the resis­tance began. I don’t think they antic­i­pat­ed the resis­tance would last as long as it has and I think it has begun to dawn on some of the investors, espe­cial­ly the banks out­side of the coun­try, that even if the pipeline was moved away from the cur­rent path, that the resis­tance would con­tin­ue. It wasn’t the Stand­ing Rock Sioux Tribe say­ing, Not in my back­yard.” They were say­ing, Not in anyone’s back­yard.” Pipelines break.

It is a clas­sic cap­i­tal­ist sit­u­a­tion. They over­pro­duce vehi­cles and ways that oil should be trans­ferred. Truth is, they don’t need this pipeline. It is not a neces­si­ty. We are hop­ing to con­vince the banks and there­fore the peo­ple of Wall Street who have some sem­blance of busi­ness sense to pull out of this.

Now, the Trump admin­is­tra­tion, we are deal­ing with one that is not ratio­nal. Even the Koch broth­ers are ques­tion­ing the direc­tion of what the Trump admin­is­tra­tion is going on, which is a direc­tion of chaos. Shoot­ing from the hip and ask­ing ques­tions lat­er. I think the divest­ment strat­e­gy is even more impor­tant, because there are some sec­tors of finance cap­i­tal, some sec­tors of cor­po­rate Amer­i­ca who are ratio­nal and if you cre­ate more chaos, it is not good for busi­ness. If there is no sta­bil­i­ty, mar­kets respond. The divest­ment strat­e­gy is a good strat­e­gy because you are point­ing peo­ple to the root caus­es in the cap­i­tal­ist sys­tem, but in this moment it can have a huge impact on Wall Street and there­fore a mit­i­gat­ing fac­tor on the Trump admin­is­tra­tion’s chaot­ic cow­boy attitude.

Sarah: You spent a lot of time work­ing with Unit­ed for Peace and Jus­tice (UFPJ), the big umbrel­la move­ment against the wars dur­ing the Bush years. Now that we are, again, in a moment with a right-wing pres­i­dent who looks like he might start a war any day now, can you talk about some lessons from that movement?

Judith: I have thought a lot about this in the last two weeks. I had the hon­or of speak­ing at the Women’s March in D.C. I was stand­ing on the stage and I was look­ing out at the peo­ple and I thought about what it was like when Unit­ed for Peace and Jus­tice brought togeth­er over 1,000 orga­ni­za­tions; nation­al immi­grant rights, labor, faith-based peace groups, a real cross sec­tion of move­ments and orga­ni­za­tions. We did demon­stra­tions of hun­dreds of thou­sands for years to put the pres­sure on the Bush admin­is­tra­tion and to open up the polit­i­cal space to con­nect the poli­cies of mil­i­tarism and war with the eco­nom­ic and the moral impact in our com­mu­ni­ties. The eco­nom­ic impact was clear, that more mon­ey was being and con­tin­ues to be spent on the Pen­ta­gon and wars than on the social safe­ty net that is need­ed in our communities.

I think the Iraq anti-war move­ment had a huge impact on chang­ing pub­lic opin­ion. Some say, Well, you didn’t stop the war,” but we did gain polit­i­cal momen­tum that became the dri­ving force behind peo­ple push­ing for the elec­tion of a pres­i­dent who had com­mit­ted to a date cer­tain for troop with­draw­al from Iraq.

But, the truth is, that we were so busy mobi­liz­ing against the full spec­trum of the Bush agen­da that we did not pay enough atten­tion to orga­niz­ing. We focused on try­ing to build uni­ty across sec­tors and to main­tain a coali­tion effort that was focused on end­ing the war, but did not pay enough atten­tion to how grass­roots folks con­tin­ue to be engaged in between mobi­liza­tions. I think it was because of the nature of the urgency of the moment and the nature of the wars that were going on in Afghanistan and Iraq. But, I also think it was because the move­ment, as a whole, had that blind spot that grass­roots orga­niz­ing was not the key ele­ment of work in com­mu­ni­ties. Although there has always been a sec­tor of peo­ple, eco­nom­ic and racial jus­tice orga­ni­za­tions, that have been doing that. We weren’t able to incor­po­rate it as a part of that move­ment-build­ing project.

We are in a total­ly dif­fer­ent place now. In fact, the first two weeks of the Trump admin­is­tra­tion have shown that we are at a lev­el where not only are peo­ple will­ing to mobi­lize, but peo­ple are mak­ing the con­nec­tions from their own self-inter­est to peo­ple way beyond their own imme­di­ate com­mu­ni­ties. That is what was pow­er­ful about the Women’s March and the demon­stra­tions at the air­ports. Num­ber one, it was grass­roots-dri­ven. When you looked at the signs at the march­es all over the coun­try, but espe­cial­ly in Wash­ing­ton, the hand­made signs that peo­ple brought with them were about democ­ra­cy. That the pro­tec­tion of women’s rights was part and par­cel of pro­tect­ing the sys­tem of democ­ra­cy in its best and truest form. When you look at the air­port demon­stra­tions, peo­ple said, I have to be there to sup­port and stand on the side of peo­ple who are being detained at the air­ports.” I think it is because of the incred­i­ble grass­roots orga­niz­ing and work that has been done dur­ing the eight years dur­ing the Oba­ma administration.

We had a peri­od where peo­ple began to go deep­er into what it takes to change the eco­nom­ic sys­tem. There has been more exper­i­men­ta­tion and ini­tia­tives around gen­er­at­ing sus­tain­able green eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment. There have been unlike­ly coali­tion rela­tion­ships around an array of issues. There’s a broad­er cross sec­tion of groups and infra­struc­ture out there that is will­ing to sup­port this grass­roots upsurge by delv­ing deep­er into polit­i­cal edu­ca­tion and help­ing peo­ple to devel­op themes that will sus­tain them, that we need to push back the attacks that we are facing.

There is an array of issues that peo­ple are ready to pro­mote and devel­op a sus­tained, strate­gic cam­paign on. That wasn’t the case when Bush was elect­ed. We were just in full hair on fire, We have got to show our pow­er in the streets,” mode. It is the same now, but the dif­fer­ence is that I think peo­ple are ready to dig in for the long haul. We are not going to solve this with one demon­stra­tion. We are not going to solve this sim­ply with anger. We have to use all the tools in our tool­box, from divest­ment strate­gies to deep polit­i­cal edu­ca­tion that helps peo­ple under­stand the roots of the prob­lems and not just respond to the agi­ta­tion and chaos. And we need to be orga­nized. This is going to take years to deal with and you can’t burn your­self out. We are in a marathon, not a sprint.

I think the Stand­ing Rock moment has laid the basis for peo­ple to under­stand that we need orga­niz­ing at the com­mu­ni­ty lev­el that is led with love and open hearts and led by val­ues. That we are not on the defen­sive. We are on the offen­sive. We under­stand that we have to reach out to peo­ple who maybe didn’t vote and those who maybe vot­ed for Trump, because there already is the begin­nings of buyer’s remorse. Peo­ple were swayed by the val­ues-led cam­paign that Trump did and now we need to orga­nize and lead with move­ments that are val­ue-cen­tered, that are root­ed in love of humanity.

That is what you saw at the air­ports. That was a beau­ti­ful thing. My heart soared like an eagle to under­stand that even through hate and the racist agi­ta­tion that has become the norm in polit­i­cal dis­course, that many white peo­ple under­stood that they have a per­son­al stake and respon­si­bil­i­ty to stand on the side of Mus­lims and peo­ple of col­or who were being attacked and detained. That sol­i­dar­i­ty is the norm, not the exception.

UFPJ, our mis­sion was to try to build that uni­ty. When it was work­ing well, it was a beau­ti­ful thing. We need that kind of lev­el of col­lab­o­ra­tion, and we also need to do the work at the grass­roots that taps into the val­ues that peo­ple share, the long-term work of going deep into people’s hearts and minds.

The Native peo­ple, we have a spe­cial role to play. Our cul­ture, our expe­ri­ences for many peo­ple are a source of inspi­ra­tion. No mat­ter what the impact of the ini­tial col­o­niza­tion was, no mat­ter all of the attempts to side­line and to erase us from this coun­try, we not only have sur­vived, but we have thrived. 

Sarah: How can peo­ple keep up with you?

Judith: Native Orga­niz­ers Alliance is putting togeth­er a very broad cohort of native train­ers that can sup­port tribes and native non-prof­its and social move­ment activists at the local lev­el. We are going to be work­ing with Oceti Sakowin elders in South Dako­ta to Mis­souri to pro­tect the water and to empow­er trib­al gov­ern­ments to lead the water pro­tec­tion that needs to hap­pen, when the EPA could be gut­ted. We are also work­ing with orga­niz­ers on the Nava­jo Reser­va­tion to devel­op a Col­orado Riv­er pro­tec­tion project which would involve all of the states along the Col­orado Riv­er, start­ing with the tribes and the activists who have been work­ing for gen­er­a­tions on the ura­ni­um con­t­a­m­i­na­tion of the water there and land.

We are also con­duct­ing our annu­al Nation­al Native Com­mu­ni­ty Orga­niz­ing Train­ing in August, which is a six-day train­ing. We have done it for six years. Hun­dreds of peo­ple have come through the train­ing and many of our alum­ni were play­ing impor­tant roles at the Oceti Sakowin camps. Our cur­ricu­lum is root­ed in our inter-trib­al cul­tures. Com­mu­ni­ty orga­niz­ing is not an idea that a few white guys in Chica­go came up with. It is as old as dirt. Our com­mu­ni­ties have always been premised on the idea of col­lec­tive economies, col­lec­tive res­o­lu­tions to prob­lems. We are using our his­to­ry and expe­ri­ences to devel­op cur­ricu­lums that build and strength­en those traditions.

We are also col­lab­o­rat­ing on an array of vot­er pro­tec­tion and civ­il rights issues, because Indi­an Coun­try had the largest num­ber of Indi­an can­di­dates in U.S. his­to­ry ran in 2015. We have an array of elect­ed offi­cials in states that are con­trolled by the right wing. We will be doing a lot of work to help them devel­op an inside/​outside strategy.

Inter­views for Resis­tance is a project of Sarah Jaffe, with assis­tance from Lau­ra Feuille­bois and sup­port from the Nation Insti­tute. It is also avail­able as a podcast. 

Sarah Jaffe is a for­mer staff writer at In These Times and author of Nec­es­sary Trou­ble: Amer­i­cans in Revolt , which Robin D.G. Kel­ley called The most com­pelling social and polit­i­cal por­trait of our age.” You can fol­low her on Twit­ter @sarahljaffe.
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