about joshua

joshua headshot smileJoshua Kahn Russell is a social movement facilitator and has trained thousands of activists across the globe. He is the Executive Director of The Wildfire Project, where he supports progressive grassroots frontline organizations.

He has helped campaigns win — defending land, water, and workers rights — against banks, oil companies, logging corporations, and coal barons; worked with groups in a breadth of arenas, from local resiliency projects, to national coalitions, to the United Nations Climate Change Negotiations internationally. He has spent 2 decades as an organizer, campaign strategist, and non-violent direct action coordinator with the Ruckus Society.

Joshua is a frequent guest on The Michael Brooks Show & The Nomiki Show, and has appeared on Jacobin Weekends, The Majority Report, The Bitchuation Room, Woke Bros, The Katie Halper Show, For The Wild, Staying Home, Loam Listen, Give Them An Argument, Left Reckoning, as well as other podcasts and new media outlets where he speaks about spirituality, the mechanics of social movements, group facilitation, and organizing for change. His new podcast mini-series on Revolutionary Left Radio is called Dialectics & Psychedelics: Transformation and Social Struggles.

He has written and co-edited numerous books and manuals, including A Line In The Tar Sands: Struggles for Environmental Justice (Between the Lines Press 2014), Beautiful Trouble with Andrew Boyd (O/R Press 2012), and Organizing Cools the Planet: Tools and Reflections to Navigate the Climate Crisis, with Hilary Moore (PM Press 2011). Additionally, work has been recently quoted or mentioned in We Rise (Xiuhtezcatl Martinez 2017), How to Let Go and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change (Josh Fox Film HBO 2016), Antonio Gramsci: Critical Explorations in Contemporary Thought (Mark McNally 2015), Undoing Border Imperialism (Harsha Walia 2014), Strike! (Jeremy Brecher, revised ed 2014), Oil and Honey (Bill McKibben 2013), and Oppose and Propose (Andrew Cornell 2011)

He has written for Znet, Grist, Rabble.ca, WireTap, and It’s Getting Hot In Here, and his articles have appeared in Yes! Magazine, Left Turn Magazine, Peacework Magazine, Upping the Anti, and Z Magazine, among others.

Examples of Joshua’s projects include roles as lead trainer for the Tar Sands Action White House protests against the Keystone XL Pipeline; Program Coordinator for Global Power Shift, a youth climate convergence of 500 leaders from 135 countries, in Istanbul Turkey; Running the Global  Training Project of 350.org; action coordinator supporting The Pacific Climate Warriors in blockading the largest coal port in the world with traditional canoes in Australia; and co-founder of the Bay Area Solidarity Action Team.

His artwork has appeared on the cover of books authored by INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence, and Noam Chomsky, smartMeme, and in the Celebrate People’s History poster series – you can see his art here.

Joshua has conducted workshops and group retreats around the world including: Brazil, Turkey, Vietnam, Australia, Canada, Peru, Poland, Thailand, Spain, Denmark, Jamaica, Guatemala, Mexico, and nearly all continental US states. 

Joshua has trained, given talks to, & facilitated numerous groups, including: 
Amazon Watch; Act Everywhere; American Jewish World Service; AW@L; Australian Youth Climate Coalition; Bard  University; Beehive Design Collective; Beyond Coal And Gas AustraliaBioneers; Bloomsburg University; Brandeis University, Business Ethics Network; Canada Power Shift; Campement d’Action Climatique Quebec; Canadian U.N. Youth Delegation; Causa Justa / Just Cause; Central Valley Air Quality Coalition; CHANGE VietnamClimate Justice Action; Climate Justice Now!; Delaware Riverkeeper Network; Divestment Student Network; Don’t Frack Ohio; Dream City Collective; Dream Defenders; Earth Guardians; Earth Quaker Action TeamEnergy Action Coalition; False Profit; Firestorm Cafe; Fossil Free Coalition; GaslandGreenpeace USAGreenpeace Semester / Organizing Term; IfNotNow; Indigenous Climate Action;  International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life; Indigenous Climate Action, Justice League; March For Elephants; Medicine for The People; Mobilization for Climate Justice – WestMountain Justice; Mujeres Unidas y Activas; New School Radical Students Union; Oakland College Preparatory High School; Pacific Climate WarriorsPeaceful Uprising; Pacific Climate Warriors; People’s Climate Movement, Power Shift; Power Shift Canada; Puente Movement AZ; Radical Faithfulness In Action; Rainforest Action NetworkRegional Center for Healthy CommunitiesRising Tide North AmericaRuckus Society; RYSE Earth GuardiansSanta Cruz Strike CommitteeStudent Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC)Students for A Democratic Society; Student Power Convergence; Sunrise Movement; SustainUS; Tar Sands ActionTikkun Leil Shabbat; Unitarian Universalist College of Social JusticeUnited Nations International Youth Delegation (YOUNGO)United Students Against Sweatshops; United Students for Fair Trade; United States Coastguard Academy; U.S. Social Forum; The Worker Agency, Yale University; Yale School of Forestry; 99% Spring, among others.


“Joshua Kahn Russell and Hilary Moore’s manual will be useful to all who want to make change creatively and peacefully in our brutal times.”

—Dr. Vandana Shiva

“Joshua Kahn Russell is a dedicated, very effective organizer who operates with his eye on the bigger picture of building mass movements for structural change to society. I have seen him at work in a number of arenas and many would benefit from his insight and experience.”

 —Boots Riley, The Coup

“There is no task more urgent than to organize a mass popular movement to deal effectively with the looming environmental crisis.  The barriers are high, the forces opposed powerful.  All the more reason to dedicate ourselves to the kinds of efforts outlined in Joshua Kahn Russell and Hilary Moore’s booklet.”

—Noam Chomsky

“A little while back I felt myself weaving in and out of the sad adult pattern of throwing in the towel on humanity. Then I watched Joshua Kahn Russell get up in front of crowds of allegedly apathetic young music fans night after night, and systematically win them over to the sane side of the climate debate. He may help you pull your grown-up head out of your adult ass.”

 —Chris Hannah, Propagandhi

“In an atmosphere heavy doomsday predictions and fear, Organizing Cools the Planet is a breath of fresh air. Joshua Kahn Russell and Hilary Moore weave together stories and organizing tools to create a vision for practical transition amid the climate crisis. Their booklet confronts pressing questions of our time.”

—Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Founding Director, Indigenous World Association & author.

“I watched Joshua Kahn Russell and his colleagues train more than a thousand people over two weeks to get arrested in civil disobedience. Not a one participant broke discipline; as far as I could tell every one of them was deeply satisfied with the training they got. It was hard duty, but given how often I’ve watched Joshua come through in the past it didn’t surprise me a bit.”

—Bill McKibben

“From Indigenous people’s sharing of prophecy, to lock-downs and blockades, from marches to hip-hop tours, from horseback rides to hunger strikes, and from mass arrests in front of the White House and Parliament to court battles, A Line in the Tar Sands examines the ongoing struggle to protect Sacred Water and Mother Earth through the voices and actions of the people who are living it. Read A Line in the Tar Sands and be heartbroken to learn the extent of the destruction of Mother Earth. Be inspired by the people working to stop the destruction.”

—Debra White Plume, Moccasins on the Ground, Owe Aku International

“Avoiding ‘game over for climate’ requires drawing a line in the tar sands sludge. Joshua Kahn Russell et al’s anthology makes clear why and how this tar sands quagmire could be the beginning of the end for the mighty fossil fuel industry.”

—Dr. James Hansen, NASA

“As the climate crisis becomes increasingly unignorable, our movements must learn to navigate a rapidly changing and high stakes political landscape. Our times demand we think bigger, push harder, and reimagine the possibilities for 21st century movement building. This potent little pamphlet is a great place to begin the conversation. Authored by two visionary young leaders who share their personal struggles and hard earned lessons from organizing at the intersection of justice, ecology and change, Organizing Cools the Planet is required reading for anyone who gives a damn about the future. Tune in for some indispensable analysis, provocative thinking and a healthy dose of people-powered optimism.”

—Patrick Reinsborough, co-founder smartMeme Strategy & Training Project

Beautiful Trouble is a crash course in the emerging field of carnivalesque realpolitik, both elegant and incendiary.”

—Naomi Klein, No Is Not Enough, This Changes Every Thing, and Shock Doctrine

“The story of Greenhouse Goo is global. But so is its resistance: beautiful, complex, and rich. A Line in the Tar Sands is drawn with hope and righteous anger, celebrating the cosmologies that the tar sands industry – and its politicians – would destroy.”

—Raj Patel, Stuffed and Starved


20 responses

11 09 2007

yo josh…i’m designing a few brochures and fliers for ran, and as i was looking for good images i ran across this website which i had not seen before! great work bro. i like being on your team. 😉 hope to roll with you soon. peace

16 10 2007

Look at the kingman! Keep the fire blazing– I don’t know if that is appropriate Rainforest talk. One Love. Ishy

9 12 2007

josh is great!

29 12 2007
Marcelle Cendrars

I would like Josh to get in touch with me to discuss a plan for protest/change which follows a new paradigm…to set up a meeting in person (with me or with one of my colleagues), in confidence. Blessings in solidarity, Marcelle Cendrars, daughter of Blaise Cendrars, at bcendra@yahoo.com. P.S. Anyone reading this who lives in California is invited to respond on the same count too.

4 03 2008


27 04 2008
chika noya

joshie is a cool kid

20 08 2008
on megacamps and imaginal cells « It’s Getting Hot In Here

[…] Joshua Kahn Russell is a trainer and organizer with Rainforest Action Network who currently directs RAN’s Action Tank. […]

30 09 2008
BallotVox » Blog Archive » First Presidential Debate

[…] two scorecards. Joshua Kahn Russell lives in Oakland, California, but spends a lot of time criss-crossing the country fighting for […]

2 12 2008
dan bloom

trying to locate Joshua Kahn Russell re Poznan climate talks. need to interview you for news story

danbloom at gmail


9 02 2009
Jason D.

Hi Josh,

I am going through the internet looking for folks who might be interested in reviewing my new book, “Rhetoric for Radicals: A Handbook for 21st Century Activists.” You can find out more here: http://www.jasondelgandio.com. I’ve looked at your site and think you and your readers would be a great fit for the book. If you’d like to do a review, just email me and I can get you a free copy. Also, your photo looks familiar… any chance you’ve been to NCOR in DC?


29 03 2009

When we were like 15 I always knew you were going to make some kind of positive difference! But damn look at you FIXING the world! I LOVE IT! YOU ROCK!

30 03 2009
Aaron Petcoff

nobody like bad brains anymore. 😦

6 11 2009

hi josh, nice quick work on getting todays BCN plenary vid online. ive stuck it out on indymedia ireland twitter and facebook


21 12 2009

hello Josh. Do you remember me? I am the one who disrupted the UN plenary on the 16th, we talked together before and right after it. I’d like to write you an email, but I don’t find your email address. Could you answer me please?
cheers, zzzzzzzzz

9 06 2010


16 10 2010

Keep up the good work, very inspiring your actions. Enjoyed talking part in your training during the Climate Camp in Québec. As 10.10.10 action, I went into the Mexico subway and used a mic and talked about AGW, and recognizing the public transportation users as being part of the solution. After a few hours of this car to car jump, I was taking away by a policie operative…. It ended well though.

4 12 2010
Gibson Nabuteya Amenya

I will be glad to be in touch with organizations that works on climate change justice ,as kenya young greens we run activities on climate change in schools and universities

21 04 2011
Why I support the 21 arrested at Power Shift « Pick Up America

[…] overwhelmed with the need to care of myself, but staying still. I stayed while Tim DeChristoper and Joshua Kahn Russell spoke about the broader purpose of this action, how we fit into it. I stayed while organizers […]

10 06 2012
Book Review — Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution | CulturalOrganizing.org

[…] Walia, for example, writes about challenging patriarchy within your organization or group. And Joshua Kahn Russell from the Ruckus Society pens a few thoughtful pieces on basic organizing principles like […]

13 06 2012
Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution | Thunderhead Works

[…] Walia, for example, writes about challenging patriarchy within your organization or group. And Joshua Kahn Russell from the Ruckus Society pens a few thoughtful pieces on basic organizing principles like “Take […]

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