After the Protests Are Heard

Enacting Civic Engagement and Social Transformation

272 pages

6 illustrations

January, 2019

ISBN: 9781479857906



Add to Cart Available: 12/21/2018

Also available in



Part of the Religion and Social Transformation series


Sharon D. Welch is Affiliate Faculty and Former Provost and Professor of Religion and Society at Meadville Lombard Theological School. She is author of numerous books, including A Feminist Ethic of Risk. 


All books by Sharon D. Welch

When the protests are over, a guide to creating long-lasting social change beyond the barricades
From the Women’s March in D.C. to #BlackLivesMatter rallies across the country, there has been a rising wave of protests and social activism. These events have been an important part of the battle to combat racism, authoritarianism, and xenophobia in Trump’s America. However, the struggle for social justice continues long after the posters and megaphones have been packed away. After the protests are heard, how can we continue to work toward lasting change?  
This book is an invaluable resource for anyone invested in the fight for social justice. Welch highlights examples of social justice work accomplished at the institutional level.  From the worlds of social enterprise, impact investing, and sustainable business, After the Protests Are Heard describes the work being done to promote responsible business practices and healthy, cooperative communities. The book also illuminates how colleges and universities educate students to strive toward social justice on campuses across the country, such as the Engaged Scholarship movement, which fosters interactions between faculty and students and local and global communities.  In each of these instances, activists work from within institutions to transform practices and structures to foster justice and equality.
After the Protests Are Heard confronts the difficult reality that social change is often followed by spikes in violence and authoritarianism. It offers important insights into how the nation might more fully acknowledge the brutal costs of racism and the historical drivers of racial injustice, and how people of all races can contain such violence in the present and prevent its resurgence in the future. For many members of the social justice community, the real work begins when the protests end. After the Protests Are Heard is a must-read for everyone interested in social justice and activism – from the barricades and campuses to the breakrooms and cubicles.  


  • "After the Protests Are Heard makes a luminous case for Sharon Welch's later-career emphasis on enacting a hopeful, constructive, and inclusive feminist progressivism. Like her, the book brims with good-spirited intelligence and a hard-won conviction that progressives must take ethical responsibility for the concrete consequences of their rhetoric and action."

    —Gary Dorrien, author of Kantian Reason and Hegelian Spirit and Imagining Democratic Socialism

  • "This book addresses those with  institutional power and influence, helping navigate obligations and opportunities to build communities that promote equality and respect. With Sharon Welch as our guide, we learn the nature of the challenges we confront, including the forces that distort our identities and values. But Welch also explores the specific strategies that are available and, indeed, already being pursued by creative activists to realize a better world. The book is extraordinary: a clear-eyed, theoretically informed, and engaging antidote and response to the authoritarian turn in contemporary politics."

    —George F. DeMartino, Professor, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver

  • "After the Protests are Heard goes beyond the reasons why social change is necessary right now and speaks to how it can be done. Dr. Welch’s book covers the practicalities and pitfalls of affecting change and dispels the notion that saving the world is easy. It show us creative and innovative solutions and encourages us to improve upon and spread the good ideas."

    —Tamra Ryan, CEO, Women’s Bean Project and author of The Third Law

  • "Stresses progress and process rather than pie-in-the-sky goals that see protests dissipate when they are unrealized. . . More of a call to reason than a call to arms, the book offers hope in the face of great challenges."

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Welch offers actionable responses to systemic injustice in this . . . expansive guide to “the third wave of social justice... building what is right. Filled with innumerable examples of effective social action, this . . . important work will give the guidance social justice–minded readers are seeking.” 

    Publishers Weekly