We live in a time of accelerating injustice and inequity. The top 1% of the financially wealthiest people in the United States have more financial wealth than the entire rest of the nation. That’s right – 1% have as much as the other 99%. CEOs, celebrities, politicians and everyday people have two, three, or more houses while millions of Americans are without homes. People are eating $1,000 dinners while 50 million Americans are food insecure, many of whom are children. To put it simply, there are far too many people who don’t have their basic human needs met, while others are living incredibly lavish lives. This isn’t just a matter of individuals. This is systemic – ingrained deeply into our government, our financial systems and our corporate-run society – and many of us are complicit in this.
I have committed to Gandhi’s philosophy to “live simply so that others may simply live.” And I’ve expanded upon that by diligently sharing and spreading my resources in an equitable manner — to combat systems of oppression and exploitation and contribute to systems of justice and equity. More and more, I am focusing on recognizing my privilege, and making sure that not only am I not taking advantage of my privilege for my own convenience and comfort, but that I am utilizing it as a tool to uplift and empower communities that are under-represented and under-resourced.
I cannot rationalize having so much while others have so little. I cannot prioritize building up my own financial wealth when others are lacking basic resources – safety, shelter, food, education, clean water and air, to name a few. I am prioritizing basic rights for all – Earth, humanity and our plant and animal relatives – rather than luxury for me. The time to act is now. I am not certain of the future for humanity and I am not going to invest in my own uncertain future disproportionately when I can invest in equally deserving lives that are here now.
I commit to donating 100% of my media earnings to activists, grassroots initiatives and nonprofits that are standing up to oppressive, exploitative systems and are working for sustainability, equity and justice. I began this practice in 2014 and have committed to this for life. This includes donating any media that I would be paid to do such as TV shows, documentaries, books, TV appearances, product promotions, etc.
I have committed to deep transparency with my financial involvements.
At this link, you will find my detailed financial transparency, including where funds come from and where they are distributed.
I have committed to reducing injustice and inequality in all of my daily actions and thus have committed to not paying federal income taxes, since 2015 and for life. Donating 100% of my media income is a self-imposed tax system that does not pay for war, police brutality, the prison industrial complex and other systems of oppression that United States tax funds are disproportionately used for. Instead, my funds are distributed to organizations and people that represent and serve the people, especially under-served populations that are not equitably receiving federal income taxes. No money from media is ever paid to me — my work is done for free and a donation is made directly to the organizations instead of paying me. I legally do not pay federal income taxes, by earning less than the federal poverty threshold, which is about $10,000 for an individual.
The money I do personally earn is from public speaking and I donate much of that revenue as well. I am transparent with my personal financials here.
My example is certainly extreme. This is not an example that most people can duplicate. However, we can do much more. I am not calling on those who do not have enough resources to feel like they must give. I am calling on people who have enough and who can share their resources more equitably.
If you are wealthy, I encourage you to give a lot and give a lot now. If you need help distributing your funds, please contact me and I will help. Here are some nonprofits that I highly recommend. Many of us don’t feel very wealthy, but if we took the time to look deeper, we’d realize that we are in the top percentage of the wealthiest people in the world. That would apply to a very large number of the people reading this right now (perhaps you). I encourage you not to compare yourself to the financially wealthiest people on Earth, or to your neighbors, using that as a measure of how wealthy and able you are to give, but rather to focus on how little many of the unseen and unheard people have and how much you could be of service to them. At the very least, one can commit to giving 1% of their yearly revenue. A great way to do this is by joining One Percent for the Planet, which is a network of a few thousand member nonprofits that one can donate to and be certified as a One Percent for the Planet member and donor. Businesses can also become One Percent for the Planet members and I encourage businesses to become certified B Corporations.
I am hopeful that my life path provides you with inspiration and the motivation to help create the change that you wish to see in the world.
Learn more about Regeneration, Equity and Justice.
Last updated December 9th, 2023.