Tuesday, May 31, 2016


Digital Communications Fellowship

Are you passionate about how social media can advance social change? Are you interested in shaping public policy conversations with game-changing ideas and innovative research presented through compelling visuals? If so, we encourage you to apply for our 2016 Carol Jean and Edward F. Newman Fellowship!

Who we are:
The Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) is a progressive think tank dedicated to building a more equitable, ecologically sustainable, and peaceful society. We believe progress occurs when people and movements come together to act on powerful ideas based on equity, peace, and the protection of our planet. Since 1963, we have been challenging corrupt power structures that undermine a true democracy. Today, we are uniting people and movements around real, transformational change through independent research, networking across issues, and visionary platforms.

We are looking for our next Newman Fellow who will help bring our transformational, intersectional, movement-building work to growing communities of online supporters.

Who you are:
You share IPS's vision that everyone has a right to thrive on a planet where all communities are equitable, democratic, peaceful, and sustainable. You are a budding activist/organizer who is interested in exploring a lasting career in social justice and want first-hand experience in the role of strategic communications in advocacy and organizing.

You have:
  • Excellent written, verbal communication, and interpersonal skills.
  • Experience in managing social networking accounts, particularly Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Experience in graphic design, including previous experience designing infographics, sharegraphics, memes, etc.
  • Experience with image or photo editing softwares (experience with Adobe Creative Suite a plus).
  • Strong connections with progressive movements and/or familiarity with core IPS issues and values.
  • A bachelor's degree in Communications, Marketing, Public Relations, Design, or related field.

What you'll do:
  • Under the supervision of the Communications Director, implement communications plans for engaging with IPS audiences through social media, online publications, etc.
  • Create visual (infographics, sharegraphics, memes) and written content for IPS's social networks and websites.
  • Work with Communications Team and other IPS staff to identify opportunities for expanding IPS audiences and organizing efforts online.
  • Assist with communications campaigns in response to breaking news and developments related to IPS's issue areas.
  • Work with Development Team to identify opportunities for maximizing effectiveness of online fundraising efforts.
  • Design/layout IPS reports and IPS promotional materials.
What you'll get:
You'll be part of a team of smart, sharp communications professionals working together to increase our reach and widen the audience for our work. We work alongside IPS's nationally renowned policy experts to ensure our research and analysis are reaching key decision-makers, and more and more people are educated with our game-changing ideas.

The Newman Fellowship is an opportunity for emerging leaders to develop critical skills needed to serve as the next generation of progressive activists, organizers, or public scholars. Not only will you receive mentorship from IPS's Communications Director and other IPS staff, you will also be exposed to our work with core allies and the broader progressive community, and have opportunities for professional development.

Annual compensation for this entry-level fellowship is $37,000 (before taxes), paid semi-monthly. You will also receive excellent benefits including generous vacation, paid holidays, 403(b) plan upon hire, fully paid health insurance, fully paid life insurance, fully paid long-term disability, optional short-term disability, direct deposit, and flex time.

What we expect of you:
The selected fellow is expected to commit full-time to the 12-month fellowship term. The Fellowship can be extended up to 24 months pending agreement between the Newman Fellow and the Communications Director. The selected Newman Fellow should be able to begin theirfellowship term between July 25 - August 1, 2016.

Please send the following materials in a single PDF to apply@ips-dc.org with "Newman Fellowship" on the subject line.
  1. A cover letter explaining your interest in communications work and any related experience.
  2. Your resume, including three references.
  3. Writing sample(s) not exceeding 2 pages in length.
  4. Graphic design samples.
IPS is strengthened by the diversity of our network and our differences in background, culture, experience, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and much more. We strongly encourage applications from people of color, women, the LGBTQIA community, and other groups that have historically been subject to discrimination.

Please submit materials by Tuesday, June 14, 2016. Due to the large volume of applications, only applicants moving on to the next round will be contacted by the Search Committee.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Any fool can understand history after it happens.


I spent this weekend with a dear friend who is a writer. Her desire is to have a book published. Looking across the table I wanted to be a Genie and grant her one or two wishes. I remember the anticipation I felt whenever I had a new book coming out. I couldn't wait. I needed to hold the book in my hands and tell everyone.

In March my collected poems (edited by Kirsten Porter) was published by Willow Books. Even though I did a number of book parties in the area, I can walk into almost every bookstore in DC and find zero books of mine on the shelves. I've long been a supporter of independent bookstores but now and then I have to tell folks - just order the book from Amazon. I'm out of wishing to make things change. I'm tired of being the loser and unsung hero.




WHEN JANUARY FEELS LIKE SUMMER  by Cori Thomas is a very good play. Thomas places characters on the stage that know how to breathe the strange air of the urban streets. We live in a diverse world and the dizzy pace too often keeps us running and gasping for breath. I think it might have been Columbus who first discovered the world is a small place. Everyday (for all of us) is a discovery and too often we fear the unknown. The different languages and colors. The different religions and beliefs. WHEN JANUARY FEELS LIKE SUMMER is a play of instructional love. It's a play that reminds us to throw out the trash and the things we hide. It's a play that shows us that honesty is what we must continue to recycle. Living in today's world is challenging. Or as Hendrix one asked - what happens when 6 becomes 9? This play might seem timely because of the transgender individual Ishan/Indira. But to stop there is to only read headlines. I like Joe who falls in love with Nirmala. It reminded me of the 1991 movie Mississippi Masala. Finally, it's good to see young black men like Jeron and Devaun on the stage becoming more than their clothes and language. They too know how to cast off the BS parts of their lives and live more nakedly under a hot sun. Yes, January feels like summer these days and our politics are hotter than July.

Go see this production. It will be here until June 12, 2016.
Atlas Performing Arts Center, Lang Theatre

Saturday, May 28, 2016


It's interesting watching the media deal with Steph Curry.  It seems as if they are waiting for him to lose or simply fail. For some eyes winning an MVP award means nothing if you don't also win an NBA championship in the same year.  Do most sports pundits wear Nike sneakers and remain loyal to Air Jordan? Much of the basketball game discussions the last few days had nothing to do with the game changing. It's more old legends flexing their egos and protecting "the paint" around their reputations and records. Start with the Big O and end with the Glove Gary Payton. How good is Curry?  Look at the numbers. I'm tired of old "legends" sitting around watching television and talking about how they would defend him. Yep, Tyson was right. Everyone has a plan until they get hit. Too often these days we play with measuring cups, attracted to the drama of something spilling.
There is too much nonsense on the stove these days. Watch the fire before you get burned.
Hot Curry tonight?  Meanwhile LeBron is in Cleveland trying not to be compared to Chief Wahoo. Go figure.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

National Writers Unions
Join All writers. All genres. All media.
Imagine A Future Where Freelance Writers Don’t Just Survive: They Thrive
Renew Your NWU Membership and amplify writer voices. Get cool new benefits through an all-new website featuring a writer talent database. Help build a space where writers and creators are fairly compensated when their work is published or used. 
Because it’s worth investing in a future where creators can earn a living wage. And it’s worth building a world where not only big publishers, but writers can flourish too.
Benefits include: 
  • Get FREE advice on your publishing contract from trained contract advisors who know the pitfalls and the ins and outs of getting the best publishing deal 
  • Get FREE grievance assistance to deal with deadbeat publishers 
  • Access group dental and vision insurance rates 
  • GET a press pass: we’re the only group offering the International Federation of Journalists press pass to freelancers in the United States 
  • Showcase your writing services on our talent database, Find a Union Writer
  • Submit articles to our website and publicize your work
You will also gain affiliation with a real labor union, and a union card, as part of UAW-Local 1981, AFL-CIO. 
All for less than $20 per month. If you itemize your taxes, union dues are tax deductible.  
Visit NWU.org and learn about how you can support, join, or give the gift of NWU membership to a journalism student, a new graduate, or a writer you care about.
Even if you're not a writer anymore, you can donate to NWU to support young members and support our work advocating for writers.
This is a publication of the National Writers Union
256 W. 38th St. Suite 703
New York, NY 10018
United States
Email nwu@nwu.org Call us: 212-254-0279

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

It's easy to fall into a slump.
That's where I'm at right now.
I need a break - several days or a few months doing nothing.




The August Wilson Society (AWS) announces its 10th Anniversary Conference: "AN AUGUST OCCASION," to be held at Howard University in Washington, DC, October 6-8, 2016.

Presentations of papers, panels, workshops, roundtables, dramatic performances, and other creative works from scholars, artists, secondary and arts educators, and students from around the globe are welcome.  



Questions and/or comments about the August Wilson Society or the upcoming conference?

Contact Dr. Sandra Shannon, AWS Founder and President, at 
sshannon@howard.edu or call 202-806-5443.


He can wait for the Red Line forever
because he doesn't  know how to drive.
He once rode the DC Trolley to nowhere.
He is known to make grandmothers feel young again.
He is the poet people read for despair.
He survived the hospice of gentrification.
There are people at Howard who claim they are blacker
but they live in the dark.
He decided to ride only buses after giving Rosa Parks a seat.
Stay surfaced my friend.

 - E. Ethelbert Miller

Saturday, May 21, 2016

There is an age you reach when political discussions inquire if you wish to waltz. In other words - maybe we can slow things down until we forget them. I'm having that dance these days. Listening to pundits and friends talking about Trump, Sanders and Clinton makes the walls around my bed weep.
No -I don't fear nightmares anymore only nonsense.

Friday, May 20, 2016


I need to get back to my E-Notes.  One can lose track of one's schedule and quickly miss deadlines.
It's almost June and I need to make more money, etc.
I'll look for a few more things to apply to...

Slowly thinking about this 3rd memoir that will focus on my sister's  life and it's shadow over my own.

Friday, May 13, 2016


How long will we have to listen to the media discussing Clinton's emails?  It's a dumb issue. I can't imagine what her situation would be if she had work where I did for 40 years. I'm still waiting for a couple of faxes from many years ago. How often did you enter a door that was opened? So we fail to elect someone to be president because of a few emails? This is the stage of civilization where the dinosaurs get the vote.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Mr. Ince and the Hope of Being Needed

By Mario Kaiser
Following Turkish immigrant Dursan Ince in Berlin for a year and a half, a picture emerges of a man who shatters the stereotype of the freeloader.
Read More

Reconnecting with the Subversive Power of Our Imagination 

By Chris Hedges
Those in modern society who are shunned as odd, neurotic or eccentric, would have been valued in pre-modern cultures for their ability to see what others could not see.
Read More

How Jane Eyre Saved My Life

By Celia Bland
All the kids in the neighborhood had been warned to stay away from me. Bored out of my mind, I read Jane Eyre at least eight times before college.
Read More

A Moveable Commons

By Jonathon Rowe
The train is not only an easy, economical way to get places, as many BMC visitors know.  It can also be a profound, pleasurable experience.
Read More

Goldenrod and Asters: My Life with Plants.

By Robin Wall Kimmerer
To walk the science path I had stepped off the path of Indigenous knowledge. Then seemingly out of the blue, came an invitation to a gathering of Native elders.
Read More

Filmmaker Lenore Malen Imagines Scenes From Paradise


About Lenore Malen
Paradise recreated for our time in Central Park and on  a sheep farm in a film that evokes Ingmar Bergman and a 15th century illustrator.
Read More

What Should Bernie Do Now?

By David Morris
Bernie should stay in the race but not attack Hillary. Hillary should push for new trade policies, free tuition and closing tax loopholes.
Read More

Hail the Micro Entrepreneurs

By Andy Robinson
Unfortunately we are invisible to many economic development experts, who keep searching for the next mega-employer, like Ahab chasing his white whale.
Read More

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Blue Mountain Center
P.O. Box 109
Blue Mountain Lake, NY 12812


Pambazuka News 774: Resist! State terror, homophobia and resource theft

12 May 2016

CONTENTS: 1. Features, 2. Advocacy & campaigns 3. Jobs & announcements


Electoral violence in Uganda: A short history

Mary Serumaga

State brutality is integral to the electoral cycle in Yoweri Museveni’s Uganda. There are campaign beatings, ballot beatings and post-election beatings. Ugandans this week witnessed pre-swearing-in beatings. They can expect swearing-in beatings, after which there is every chance there will be post-swearing in beatings. Then, the election cycle over, the country shall revert to ordinary beatings.

Whose agenda anyway?

Vanessa Burger

President Jacob Zuma’s continued disregard for the constitution, rule of law, independence of the judiciary and authority of independent institutions is increasingly translating into the lawlessness currently dominating KwaZulu Natal, where the police, courts and state security are used to protect political interests and suppress valid public discontent; where state torture and police criminality are endemic.


Where do we go from here?

A call for critical reflection on queer/LGBTIA+ activism in Africa

Liesl Theron,John McAllister and Mariam Armisen

This essay looks at the complex relationship between the personal and the political in queer/LGBTIA+ organizing in Africa. It considers how current modes of organizing impact the connection between professional activism and grassroots participation and explores some of the consequences of these two intersecting factors for activist praxis.

Corporate capture of seeds in Africa

Jana M. Grieb

Organic farmers from Machakos, Kenya, say that fertiliser and seed companies even deploy their own extension officers and agro-dealers in the villages, who aggressively advertise the use of their products. When their promises prove false, nobody compensates the farmers for their losses.

The case of Benoit La Salle: How Western do-gooders exploit Africa

Yves Engler

The Canadian mining magnate is just one in a long line of Westerners who ask the world to believe what they say but ignore the actual results of what they do — a “spin-sploiter” publicly professing humanitarian ideals all the while exploiting Africa.


Britain and the labeling of Nigeria as ‘fantastically corrupt’

Fidelis Allen

Isn’t it the height of hypocrisy for a British politician to label Nigeria as fantastically corrupt? Britain built its economy on the wealth looted from colonies such as Nigeria. Today, British politicians collude with their thieving Nigerian counterparts to spirit away money that is then invested in London and other Western cities. Cameron’s neo-colonial moralism fools no one.


Memories of Azania

Rafaela Araujo

Between September 2015 and January 2016, African-Brazilian activist Rafaela Araujo visited Azania/South Africa on a share/ study program. She was hosted by eBukhosini Solutions – a community-based company specialized in Afrikan centered education and youth/community empowerment. She spent most of her time studying English, getting to know the situation of Afrikan people in South Afrika and assisting in eBukhosini’s activities. She also undertook some speaking engagements in neighboring Namibia.

The spirit of Nelson Mandela in Palestine: Is his real legacy being upheld?

Ramzy Baroud

The Mandela that now stands erect in Ramallah has been incorporated into the zeitgeist of this city, particularly the rich and beaming neighborhood of massive white-stone villas and luxury cars. It would have meant much more if it had stood in the center of Gaza, a city that is withstanding an ongoing genocide.


Monarchy a luxury that Swaziland cannot afford

Peter Kenworthy

Swaziland’s big-spending absolute monarch King Mswati III is spending millions of dollars on a new personal jet and other luxuries, while many of his poor citizens rely on food aid to survive.


Sports in Africa: An untapped resource for development

John O. Kakonge

The importance of sports has not been sufficiently appreciated by African governments for it to be integrated into their national development plans. There is no doubt that sports could play a critical role in attaining peace, development and stability.

Choosing the next UN boss: A political quagmire

Diana Bochaberi

Ban Ki-Moon’s term as UN Secretary General ends this year and already political jostling is underway ahead of the selection of the new head of the world body. There are strong indications that favour a woman candidate. And how has Africa positioned itself for the unfolding contest?
Advocacy & campaigns

We bear no more!

Public statement from the families of detained recently dismissed students from the University of Khartoum

Parents of students at University of Khartoum

The university suspended and permanently discontinued several students on claims that they had attacked a professor, without giving them a fair hearing as required by the institution’s regulations and natural justice. And then a number of the affected students were brutally attacked by officers from the national security services and detained in an unknown destination.

A million workers form new federation in South Africa

South African Workers

The declaration of the Workers Summit at May Day Rally 2016
A new workers federation is being formed in South Africa that is intended to toally change the face of popular organising. Based on the principles of independence, concerted mass action and worker control, the new federation starts with a membership of 1.1 million workers drawn from 51 affiliates.​
Jobs & announcements

SOTU Journalist Competition 2016

Call for Submissions

State of the Union (SOTU)

The State of the Union Coalition (SOTU) calls out for submissions of articles from journalists working in the 10 African countries SOTU has membership; Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Senegal, Kenya, Rwanda, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Tunisia. The competition is open to African journalists reporting on Human Rights and Governance issues in the print and digital media. Deadline: 31st May 2016 at 11:59 (GMT +3).

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