Linda Stout is a 13th generation Quaker, born to a tenant-farming family in rural North Carolina. She has devoted much of her 40-year-plus career to peace and social justice, building stronger communities that break down social and economic barriers.
She founded the Piedmont Peace Project (Kannopolis, NC), which attracted national attention for its success in drawing leadership from a poor and working-class community to promote peace, better jobs, health care and basic social services. She has been the Executive Director of the Peace Development Fund (Amherst, MA), a public foundation whose grantmaking focuses on grassroots community organizing for peace and social justice. Linda has also worked as a tobacco picker, textile mill worker, secretary and domestic. She knows from the inside out the financial struggles of low-income and marginalized people.
Linda is the President and Executive Director of the Solidago Foundation (Northampton, MA), which funds innovative and effective grassroots organizing across the social, racial and environmental justice movements, and national pro-democracy networks that provide resources to grassroots groups for education and organizing. She is also the Founder and Executive Director of Spirit in Action (Asheville, NC). For more than 20 years, Spirit in Action’s trainings, publications and initiatives have developed people’s skills to build vision, power and a base of informed, low- and middle-income, multi-racial activists that has impacted generation after generation of organizing.
Linda is a Board member of Blueprint, NC and the Health Equity Coalition of Western North Carolina, and President of See Forward. She has been honored with the Freedom Fighter Award of the Equal Rights Congress, an honorary doctorate from Allegheny College, profiled in Studs Turkel’s book, Hope Dies Last and featured in the television documentary, “Rage for Democracy.” Linda is the author of three books, Bridging the Class Divide (Beacon Press), Collective Visioning: How Groups Can Work Together for a Just and Sustainable Future (Berrett-Koehler) and the TAKE 10 Workbook (in English and Spanish, published by Amazon). She is currently finishing her fourth book, to be published this year, Building Power to Win: Civic Engagement for Organizers.
Linda lives in Asheville with her wife, Angela Barth, R.N., who is a community nurse, and Shasta, her dog. Linda enjoys growing flowers and making arrangements and is currently studying Japanese Ikebana floral arranging. She loves being in nature, birding, and building and designing beautiful gardens. She loves to entertain, cook and bake, make art and read mysteries.