Dan D. Crawford, now retired, is a former philosophy professor, most recently at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Dan is also a longtime supporter of Corporate Accountability. He sat down with us to talk about the importance of corporate campaigning, bringing people together (safely) in person, and collaboration.
What led you to become such a staunch supporter of Corporate Accountability?
I have always been concerned with issues of social justice, and specifically the ways in which corporations have taken over so much of our lives and shaped our social values. It’s really disturbing to see how much influence corporations have on us. So I started looking for ways to counter the effects of corporations on society.
I’ve been a longtime supporter of Corporate Accountability – stretching all the way back to when the organization had a different name! And over the years, I’ve been impressed by Corporate Accountability’s work. The issues are clearly articulated, the strategies are well thought out, and I know the campaigns are effective. This is why I’ve deepened my support and continued to give every year.
You’ve been particularly engaged with our water campaign. Why are you so passionate about water justice?
Water is life-giving. It’s a basic right and I find it insidious that corporations are trying to make a profit off a need as basic as clean water. But it’s another example of how corporations are taking over our lives, including by ruining the environment and tearing our communities apart.
This is why I appreciate the approach Corporate Accountability takes to organizing, particularly on the water campaign. We’re partnering with organizations on the ground, bringing our expertise to different parts of the country and the world, and working collaboratively to challenge corporate power – that’s important and powerful.
I’ve been told that you are avid fan of music. Can you talk a little bit about how you’re using music to build a more just world?
There are deep societal divisions in the U.S. that we need to overcome. I don’t believe that we can do this through social media or the internet, so I’m all for doing things that bring people together in person. And I use music to do that – build community with the people around me, regardless of who they are.
Music has a healing power that can transport people and help us overcome our fears. So 15 years ago, I built a music hall on my property in rural Pennsylvania and started a concert series to bring classical music to my community. I organize these concerts and invite vocal musicians or ensembles from across Europe and America to perform at no cost to people who are interested in coming and listening to music of the highest quality. It’s been a huge success and we’ve had to turn people away because we couldn’t fit them in the space.
How do you see your role in creating social change?
I have a deep gut reaction to the injustices that I see happening around me. I know that I have a small part to play in correcting these imbalances, but I want to work both globally and locally and I can’t do that on my own. So I’m using the resources that I do have and redirecting it to where it will have the most direct impact on people’s lives.