Dear Peace and Justice Activists, Bloggers and Potential Bloggers, and Participatory Journalists:
For almost 40 years, Peacework Magazine has championed what our
founding editor, Pat Farren, called “empowerment
journalism.” Peacework as a magazine has covered peace and
justice movements and spotlighted “Global Thought and Local
Action for Nonviolent Social Change.” As many of you know,
because of the combined economic crisis, the major budget cuts within
the American Friends Service Committee (Peacework's publisher until
now), and the decline in support for paid printed magazines, we've
closed Peacework as a printed publication.
However, with your participation, we can sustain Pat Farren's vision
and build a new, online Peacework as a blogging platform for nonviolent
activists and empowerment journalists worldwide; a center for
nonviolent dialogue; a locus for sharing and discussing better ways to
wage peace and justice (see our existing how-to wage peace and justice page).
As one of the former co-editors of Peacework, I can serve as a
one-day-a-week coordinator of this transition effort. In order to make
this relaunch of Peacework a success, we need your participation.
We are looking for volunteers to fill the following roles:
1)We seek to create a new board to oversee the finances and overall strategy of the new Peacework.
2)We seek content-area curators who will help recruit and nurture bloggers and help facilitate the discussions that arise in response to these blog entries. (See additional description of this role immediately below.)
3)We seek bloggers – you don't have to already be a polished writer or a long-time nonviolent activist – just an activist-writer who agrees to post relevant entries of interest at least a couple times per month.
4)We seek technical support people who will join long-term Peacework tech volunteer Mike Berger in developing and maintaining our soon to be redesigned Drupal-based website.
5)We seek fundraisers who will help sustain this new venture in empowerment journalism. This might include grantwriting, email fundraising, social media (e.g. Facebook and Second Life) fundraising, and/or recruiting professors to donate money for a site license.
6)We seek volunteers to help organize the annual Pat Farren Lecture in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
7)We seek regular participants in the online dialogue: people who will comment on blog posts and discuss Peacework on other blogs.
Content-area curators will focus on a particular issue (e.g. feminism),
social change method (e.g. anti-racist trainings), or region (a country
or state or bioregion within a state). Curators will locate volunteer
bloggers who will blog on the Peacework site about these issues.
Curators will support and encourage these bloggers, facilitate
constructive on-line discussion about the issues raised in these blogs,
and help publicize and promote their section of the website.
These curators would not have to be Boston-based, and we would expect
that they would not exclusively be based here. Bloggers would blog on
the Peacework site about their areas of expertise, but of course might
also blog about any number of other topics. Each blog will be tagged
with issue and geographic tags (as current Peacework articles are
already) to help identify content both for humans and for search engine
optimization. The board, curators, and bloggers as a group might decide
on a theme for a month, for example, and encourage bloggers to explore
that theme from their angle throughout the site.
The new Peacework site will also house the complete archive of
Peacework Magazine’s back issues in PDF format: 39 years of
empowerment journalism about nonviolent social change. We look forward,
with your help, to building on this legacy.
The American Friends Service Committee has agreed to spin the Peacework
project off into an allied, independent entity with the money Peacework
supporters have contributed over the years to the Pat Farren Fund for
Empowerment Journalism. The AFSC New England Regional Office and
Peacework plan to jointly continue the annual Pat Farren Lecture as a
joint fundraiser for both entities. The Friends Meeting at Cambridge
has generously agreed to be an interim fiscal sponsor (meaning they
will receive and bank donations for the new Peacework), though we need
to iron out a few more details before we can accept contributions.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share with us your ideas and to
let us know how you'd like to participate in the new online Peacework.
Please put “Peacework” in the subject line.
In Peace and Struggle,
for the New Peacework Blog & Nonviolent Dialogue Site