One of the most powerful speeches at the Democratic National Convention last night was given by health care activist Ady Barkan, who in 2016 was diagnosed with the terminal disease ALS. His spotlight continues to grow—far beyond a single convention: He’s also in the upcoming documentary Not Going Quietly, and an excerpt was shown last night. In almost every speech and interview, he strikes notes of practicality and hope, all too aware of the challenges of revolutionizing a system of power but convinced that the movement for health care is gaining speed. “I look at the freedom fighters past and present,” he told the New York Times before his speech. “People have endured such tremendous suffering, overcome such enormous structural obstacles.”
Overcoming is a recurring theme of the convention, invoked on day one by Michelle Obama, who shouted out “all those folks who sacrificed and overcame so much.” “Hope is not a state of mind. It is a state of action,” Barkan told the Times. “It is in the praxis of resistance, solidarity, and love that we can find a path to” a world of accessible health care. For glimpses of Not Going Quietly, follow the film here and Barkan here. And if you have ALS or know someone who does and wants to share stories with Recharge, drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org.