Screenshot from "A Message From the Future II: The Years of Repair," animated by Molly Crabapple.The Intercept and the Leap

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“You can’t be what you can’t see”: This proverb often comes up in discussions of why representation matters. A young girl of color, for instance, might be less likely to believe she’s able to become a successful actor or politician if she doesn’t grow up seeing people who look like her in such roles. Yet in an Emmy-nominated video produced last year by Naomi Klein and the Intercept, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.) offered this same idea as a clue for how to realize the dream of the Green New Deal.

“We knew that we needed to save the planet and that we had all the technology to do it,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a “Message From the Future,” her voice laid over evolving visions painted by artist Molly Crabapple. “But people were scared. They said it was too big, too fast, not practical. I think that’s because they just couldn’t picture it yet.”

A year and a half later, the challenges we face have only become more daunting, and the solutions even tougher to imagine. That might explain why “A Message From the Future II: the Years of Repair” (released this week) has a grittier, if still dreamy, tone. It imagines a future in which humans endure COVID-23 in widespread refugee camps amid mounting climate devastation—yet thanks to concerted collective action, these calamities change the world for the better, fostering a greener, decolonized, and more democratic society.

The video offers hope because it assumes that even if we can’t yet see them, there are better days waiting for us on the far side of today’s madness. But the imagery also centers rent strikes, uprisings, and worker solidarity: seeds of a transformed future already taking root in the present.

Featuring voices from around the world and a story co-written by Klein, Canadian filmmaker Avi Lewis, and Black Lives Matter co-founder Opal Tometi, “The Years of Repair” broadcasts a refreshing infusion of hope.

WHO DOESN’T LOVE A POSITIVE STORY—OR TWO?

“Great journalism really does make a difference in this world: it can even save kids.”

That’s what a civil rights lawyer wrote to Julia Lurie, the day after her major investigation into a psychiatric hospital chain that uses foster children as “cash cows” published, letting her know he was using her findings that same day in a hearing to keep a child out of one of the facilities we investigated.

That’s awesome. As is the fact that Julia, who spent a full year reporting this challenging story, promptly heard from a Senate committee that will use her work in their own investigation of Universal Health Services. There’s no doubt her revelations will continue to have a big impact in the months and years to come.

Like another story about Mother Jones’ real-world impact.

This one, a multiyear investigation, published in 2021, exposed conditions in sugar work camps in the Dominican Republic owned by Central Romana—the conglomerate behind brands like C&H and Domino, whose product ends up in our Hershey bars and other sweets. A year ago, the Biden administration banned sugar imports from Central Romana. And just recently, we learned of a previously undisclosed investigation from the Department of Homeland Security, looking into working conditions at Central Romana. How big of a deal is this?

“This could be the first time a corporation would be held criminally liable for forced labor in their own supply chains,” according to a retired special agent we talked to.

Wow.

And it is only because Mother Jones is funded primarily by donations from readers that we can mount ambitious, yearlong—or more—investigations like these two stories that are making waves.

About that: It’s unfathomably hard in the news business right now, and we came up about $28,000 short during our recent fall fundraising campaign. We simply have to make that up soon to avoid falling further behind than can be made up for, or needing to somehow trim $1 million from our budget, like happened last year.

If you can, please support the reporting you get from Mother Jones—that exists to make a difference, not a profit—with a donation of any amount today. We need more donations than normal to come in from this specific blurb to help close our funding gap before it gets any bigger.

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WHO DOESN’T LOVE A POSITIVE STORY—OR TWO?

“Great journalism really does make a difference in this world: it can even save kids.”

That’s what a civil rights lawyer wrote to Julia Lurie, the day after her major investigation into a psychiatric hospital chain that uses foster children as “cash cows” published, letting her know he was using her findings that same day in a hearing to keep a child out of one of the facilities we investigated.

That’s awesome. As is the fact that Julia, who spent a full year reporting this challenging story, promptly heard from a Senate committee that will use her work in their own investigation of Universal Health Services. There’s no doubt her revelations will continue to have a big impact in the months and years to come.

Like another story about Mother Jones’ real-world impact.

This one, a multiyear investigation, published in 2021, exposed conditions in sugar work camps in the Dominican Republic owned by Central Romana—the conglomerate behind brands like C&H and Domino, whose product ends up in our Hershey bars and other sweets. A year ago, the Biden administration banned sugar imports from Central Romana. And just recently, we learned of a previously undisclosed investigation from the Department of Homeland Security, looking into working conditions at Central Romana. How big of a deal is this?

“This could be the first time a corporation would be held criminally liable for forced labor in their own supply chains,” according to a retired special agent we talked to.

Wow.

And it is only because Mother Jones is funded primarily by donations from readers that we can mount ambitious, yearlong—or more—investigations like these two stories that are making waves.

About that: It’s unfathomably hard in the news business right now, and we came up about $28,000 short during our recent fall fundraising campaign. We simply have to make that up soon to avoid falling further behind than can be made up for, or needing to somehow trim $1 million from our budget, like happened last year.

If you can, please support the reporting you get from Mother Jones—that exists to make a difference, not a profit—with a donation of any amount today. We need more donations than normal to come in from this specific blurb to help close our funding gap before it gets any bigger.

payment methods

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