Activism is a Vocation: Trials and Triumphs of a Nonprofit Champion

“Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the furthest thing from it...

...Because cynics don't learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness: a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say 'no.' But saying 'yes' begins things. Saying 'yes' is how things grow.”

During his conversation with Justin, you'll hear Jason Russell lay out the first sentence of this Stephen Colbert quote, but it's the second, unspoken, part that truly fits with his journey.

During Jason's time as Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer at Invisible Children, their KONY 2012 viral phenomenon (that little video with over 100 million views) sparked a movement due in large part to Jason's visionary storytelling, but the effects weren't all positive, especially for the Invisible Children team. While their hyperfocus on a singular goal led to incredible outward success, it also resulted in a breakdown of internal care—a topic that Jason has spoken candidly about in the years following the KONY 2012 campaign.

Doing his part to normalize our conversation around mental health isn't all that Jason brings to the table, though. You'll hear him discuss Oprah and Obama, the spectrum of activism, his reaction to renewed racial tensions in America, and bringing activism to new generations through a radical new project, Broomstick Engine.

Speakers

Jason Russell

Ideator, Director, Dream Evangelist
Broomstick Engine

As Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer at Invisible Children, Jason Russell led the company’s creative vision with an emphasis on the power of storytelling for over a decade. In 2016, he launched Broomstick Engine, a creative agency that is dedicated to using storytelling to inspire movements and real action.

Justin Wheeler

CEO and Co-founder
Funraise

As a social entrepreneur, Justin helped start two successful nonprofits, both of which became multi-million dollar organizations. He brings over 10 years of experience from the nonprofit sector and was an early team member of Invisible Children, which raised over $50M in the first 8 years of operation.

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