bill moyer

bill moyer

intro’d to Bill Moyer here:

the beginning is near

The current social movement that exploded onto the national scene with the 2011 Occupy Movement is following the path of successful movements so far. The social movement in 2014 is poised to begin an exciting era of broadening and deepening the growing consensus for social and economic justice. 

Using the Movement Action Plan as a guide, we see that we are closer to success than one might think. The Occupy Movement was Stage Four of Eight. Moyer describes it:

New social movements surprise and shock everyone when they burst into the public spotlight on the evening TV news and in newspaper headlines. Overnight, a previously unrecognized social problem becomes a social issue that everyone is talking about. It starts with a highly publicized, shocking incident, a ‘trigger event’, followed by a nonviolent action campaign that includes large rallies and dramatic civil disobedience. Soon these are repeated in local communities around the country.

Stage 4 is the “Social Movement Take-Off.” During Occupy, it seemed that suddenly the unfair wealth divide, the corruption of Wall Street and the dysfunction of government came into people’s consciousness. These issues were discussed in the media and politicians started using language to show they understood there was a problem. Prior to this, these issues were largely ignored taboo topics that were not on the political radar.

In Stage 4, there are three concepts about which the public must be convinced. The first was accomplished during Occupy, that is: there is a problem that must be confronted. We also began to accomplish the second concept: current conditions and policies must be opposed. During later stages this second goal will be broadened and expanded. The final concept — and this is still ahead of us — is that people no longer fear the alternatives but want the alternatives put in place.

more on the occupy movement


Bill talks on model:

The MOYER MODEL – The Late Social Movement Theorist Bill Moyer

Uploaded on Jul 21, 2007

Bill Moyer (not to be confused with the TV journalist Bill Moyers) developed the MAP (Movement Action Plan) Model of how successful progressive movements evolve. He originated — with Carol Perry — the ‘Creating Peaceful Relationships’ workshop series. Advisor to Rev. Martin Luther King, co-founder of the Movement for a New Society and founder of the Social Movement Empowerment Project (SMEP), Bill — as he was known to his many international students, friends and colleagues — was a lifelong practitioner of non-violent political and social activism. His lectures and workshops, models and ideas continue to empower progressive organizations around the world. He died of cancer in 2002, at the age of 69.
In his last public lecture just prior to his death, beloved activist, teacher and social movement analyst Bill Moyer summarized the insights of a lifetime about how social movements grow and succeed, and about his vision of a new culture emerging through the cracks of a declining empire. Bill was a founding Board Member of EON. He continues to be missed, but his analysis remains as relevant now as it was then.

at 22 min – Mary Lou Finley talks through 8 stages…


the plan:

the movement action plan

Stage 1: Normal Times

  • A critical social problem exists that violates widely held values.
  • The general public is unaware of this problem.
  • Only a few people are concerned.

Stage 2: Efforts to Change the Problem Demonstrate the Failure of Official Remedies

  • A variety of small and scattered opposition groups do research, educate others.
  • New wave of grassroots opposition begins.
  • Official mechanisms are used to address the problem: hearings, the courts, the legislature; if these work, the problem is resolved. But often, the official approaches don’t work. This shows how entrenched the problem is and demonstrates the failure of institutions to solve it.

Stage 3: Ripening Conditions

  • Recognition by the public of the problem and its victims slowly grows.
  • Pre-existing institutions and networks (churches, peace and justice organizations) lend their support.
  • Tensions build. Rising grassroots discontent with conditions, institutions, powerholders, and “professional opposition organizations” (e.g., large lobbying groups).
  • Upsetting events occur, including ones which “personify” the problem.
  • Perceived or real worsening conditions.

Stage 4: Take-Off

  • A catalytic (“trigger”) event occurs that starkly and clearly conveys the problem to the public (e.g., the killing of Matthew Shepard in 2000; 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident).
  • Building on the groundwork of the first three stages, dramatic nonviolent actions and campaigns are launched.
  • These activities show how this problem violates widely held values.
  • The problem is finally put on “society’s agenda.”
  • A new social movement rapidly takes off.

to (virus) leap

Stage 5: Movement Identity Crisis — A Sense of Failure and Powerlessness

  • Those who joined the movement when it was growing in Stage 4 expect rapid success. When this doesn’t happen there is often hopelessness and burn-out.
  • It seems that this is the end of the movement; in fact, it is now that the real work begins.

Stage 6: Winning Majority Public Opinion

  • The movement deepens and broadens.
  • The movement finds ways to involve citizens and institutions from a broad perspective to address this problem.
  • Growing public opposition puts the problem on the political agenda; the political price that some powerholders have to pay to maintain their policies grows to become an untenable liability.
  • The consensus of the powerholders on this issue fractures, leading to proposals from the powerholders for change (often these proposals are for cosmetic change).
  • The majority of the public is now more concerned about the problem and less concerned about the movement’s proposed change.
  • Often there is a new catalytic event (re-enacting Stage 4).

Stage 7: Success: Accomplishing Alternatives

  • Majority now opposes current policies and no longer fears the alternative.
  • Many powerholders split off and change positions.
  • Powerholders try to make minimal reforms, while the movement demands real social change.
  • The movement finally achieves one or more of its demands.
  • The struggle shifts from opposing official policies to choosing alternatives.
  • More costly for powerholders to continue old policies than to adopt new ones. More “re-trigger” events occur.

Stage 8: Continuing the Struggle

  • Our struggle to achieve a more humane and democratic society continues indefinitely. This means defending the gains won as well as pursuing new ones.

  • Building on this success, we return to Stage 1 and struggle for the next change.

  • Key:The long-term impact of the movement surpasses the achievement of its specific demands.

above via:

find/follow Bill’s work:

wikipedia small

doing democracy

book links to amazon

Bill Moyer’s Movement Action Plan and Four Roles of Activism – []:

Bill Moyer developed the Movement Action Plan (MAP), incorporating 8 stages of a social movement and four roles of social activism. MAP was based on Moyer’s observation of social movements over many decades; it was initially developed during the 1970s and further refined and applied it up until his death in 2002.

The eight stages of the Movement Action Plan provide a model activists can use for diagnosing the current stage of their movement as well as planning how to move forward.

The four roles of social activism framework helps activists understand the different roles required in social change, how to play each role effectively, and foster understanding and collaboration across the roles.

Due to the popularity of the Movement Action Plan the Commons librarians have gathered summaries, videos, articles, analysis, and training tools. We hope these materials help you dig deeper into MAP and share the lessons with others

no train


8 stages in chart:

8 stages chart