Chicago Authors Share 128 Action Steps to Protect Our Democracy

ELMHURST, IL—November 2017. Wake Rise, Resist: The Progressive Teen’s Guide to Fighting Tyrants and A*holes, now available on Amazon, is the antidote for today’s rampant cynicism where facts aren’t facts, leaders aren’t leading, and the possibility for honest political discourse seems utterly impossible. This easy-to-read manual inspires teens (or other new activists) to navigate today’s robust resistance movement while inspiring them for a lifetime of thoughtful citizenship and activism.  

“We really wanted to lay out an easy-to-follow way for people to know they could get involved,” says co-author Joanna Spathis. “We saw so many people in this country who were feeling lost and overwhelmed and were tuning out of the conversation. We wanted to help them figure out how to become part of the movement for change.”

Spathis adds that aiming the book toward young people was an easy choice. “Beyond progressive activism, we are committed champions of teens and their creativity and compassion,” she explains. “This country needs the younger generation to find its civic voice and to come to the table full of fresh ideas to lead us toward a healthier future. We were delighted to show them an easy way to start engaging with politics and social activism.”

The book, which features 128 practical actions, lays out an “on-ramp” toward political engagement. Part I: Building Your Activist Toolkit guides readers in discovering and honing their activist passions and to better understand the political process. Part II: Activism Gets Real offers concrete ways to get involved in issues such as climate change, LGBTQ issues, and immigration. Part III: From Activist to Advocate advises readers how to spread their message and how to stay motivated for the challenge of resisting.

Florida mom Michelle Vaughan says the book has helped her son understand how to move past his fears and worries. “As the parent of a strong-willed teen who’s struggling to process what’s happening in our world, this book is exactly what I was looking for to help him navigate his thoughts and channel them into action,” she says.

About the Authors

Kerri Kennedy and Joanna Spathis are writers, activists, and mothers living outside of Chicago. They saw a generation (and more) of people tuning out of politics in disgust and knew that was not in the best interest of the country. When they’re not taking on civic disengagement, Kennedy and Spathis are staying fierce in local issues and in raising five of tomorrow’s best changemakers.

For more information, a full Wake, Rise, Release press kit, and to set up an interview, visit