Activist Awakenings: Aly Wane

From the May 2015 PNL #842

compiled by the PNL Editorial Committee

In a way, activism is really in my genes.  My mother worked at the United Nations and always instilled in me a sense that it was important to give back to the community.

I started out doing a lot of community service in High School, but my real political education began when I did a stint with a Catholic Worker community in Upstate, NY, called St. Francis Farm.  The Catholic Worker movement is a movement which highlights the social justice teachings of the Catholic Church and aims to live them out in places called “houses of hospitality.”  There, I was introduced to concepts of social change through nonviolent resistance and agitation.

Ever since then my work has focused on antiwar, economic justice and migrants’ rights issues. Alice Walker once famously said, “Activism is my rent for living on the planet.”  That sums up my philosophy. The other quote which inspires me is an old Kikuyu proverb: “I am only well if you are well.”  I don’t believe that it is possible to grow as an individual without caring for the community.