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2018 Whistleblower Summit: The Organizers

This is the final post in a five-part series.

Michael McCray, Summit organizer and Managing Editor of American Banner Books, organized a panel of experts to discuss tips and strategies for harnessing the power of their stories to advance their whistleblowing. Rob Kall of OpEdNews offered his outlet as a forum for whistleblowers to share their stories. Kathy Cole, producer of the documentary film Whistleblowers, explained how her relentless advocacy to expose safety violations in New York schools resonated with parents and taxpayers.

Marcel Reid, Summit organizer and co-founder of ACORN 8, spoke about her experience after exposing embezzlement at ACORN, the non-defunct community organizing group, “The number one thing I noticed was, as a whistleblower you couldn’t tell your own story. Everyone had their own interpretation. That’s when I realized that we needed to find a way to tell our stories.” She went to the Pacifica Radio Board, which unanimously agreed to commit to covering whistleblower stories. As Pacifica’s whistleblower liaison, Marcel works with whistleblowers to help them hone their stories to be shared more widely, and suggests that whistleblowers practice their story with friends and people they trust. “Your number one indicator of how well people receive your whistleblowing is your ability to tell a tight controlled story that you are in charge of,” explained Reid.

You can hear more about Reid’s story by watching this presentation she made at a TEDx conference:

Whistleblowers are integral to Public Citizen’s mission to protect the public interest, since they serve as our eyes and ears to government and corporate wrongdoing. Whether the issue is protecting workers and communities from chemicals, making sure our food, medicine, and cars are safe, exposing corporate fraud, or ensuring our taxpayer dollars are spent responsibly, we have always relied on these courageous employees as the lifeline to warn us about abuses of power that betray the public trust. Thank you to all the brave workers and individuals who have the courage to speak truth to power.