Rachel Hipp
Published on
July 27, 2016

Why DxE Wednesday XIX: Kearney Whelan Robinson

Q: What inspired you to first get involved with activism and to join DxE?

I am an activist because I am the woman my parents raised me to be. Activism has always been in my life thanks to the values of my parents (who met on a train en route to a peace rally). I became an animal rights activist after college when I joined (and organized with) a vegan social group in Indianapolis through It was at this group that I met Jeff Melton, who was the first DxE activist I had come across. He told me about direct action, and I knew I had found what I was looking for. Jeff invited me to join him at one of his speakouts in the Bloomington Chipotle, so my partner Sam and I made the trip... The rest is history!

 Kearney disrupting a Bernie Sanders rally
Kearney disrupting a Bernie Sanders rally

Q: How did you make the decision to move to Berkeley and join an activist house? How has this helped your activism?

I got to move out to California thanks to my friend Jonathan Nicholas, who offered to be our roommate if we made the trek west from Indianapolis. Shortly after we moved, I went on tour for an internship and traveled much of the United States tabling for veganism at college campuses. I wanted to live in Berkeley to be part of this DxE chapter, and when a job opportunity in Oakland opened up post-internship, I had my chance!

Sam and I have always wanted to live in an activist house, and after a few months living in Oakland, we met Arun Rao, who was also dreaming of an activist house. We and Arun hit it off, and Ahimsa House, the activist house we now share with a small group, is our dream come true. Living in an activist house has helped my activism because I am surrounded by passionate and brilliant activists everyday who continue to inspire me with their purpose, their creativity, and their hospitality toward others.

"Ahimsa House,"Activist housing in Berkeley, CA

Q: What working groups are you a part of, and how have they impacted you?

Because my work in Indianapolis was primarily meetups, the first working group I became part of was SF Bay Area DxE meetups. Now I am also a member of Connections, Protest, and the Mentorship working groups. Working groups keep me engaged in my work for animals, and they keep me grounded as a contributing member to this awesome community.

Q: What is your favorite or most-accomplished moment in activism or other DxE activity?

Attending Core meetings and getting a DxE email address have been two of the most accomplished moments for me personally. I think, hands down though, my "big event" disruptions (LA Dodgers and Bernie Sanders) have been my most accomplished moments for the movement.

Q: How do you stay motivated as an activist?

The activists around me motivate me. I am humbled, inspired, and energized by all the great work being done by others in this movement. I also make sure I stay challenged as a creative mind and a leader because continued growth is continued interest. I want the world to change and knowing I'll need to change as well keeps me on my toes!

Q: Why animal liberation?

Because we are all animals!

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