“Reaching for the stars is ambitious. Reaching for hearts is wise.” ~ Maya Angelou
As the editor and creative director of Emergence, Metta Center’s bi-annual review of nonviolence movements and culture, I’m in a very lucky position: I collaborate with writers and artists whose work reaches for our hearts.
How grateful I am for their contributions to our Summer 2015 issue (aka the relaunch issue—we’ve evolved it from a monthly PDF to a biannual print magazine). And for their creativity as human beings who are walking the paths of peace (learn more about our featured contributors below).
Once upon a time, I was being considered for a staff editing position at a “youth lifestyle” magazine published by what used to be AOL-Time Warner. I was a regular contributor to the magazine, and when the editor-in-chief sought a new editor, he asked me if I’d be interested. I thought it’d be a great learning experience. In the end, I didn’t get the job: an influential staff member told the editor-in-chief that they couldn’t hire me because I was “too polite.”
Their decision stung, but not for too long. I quickly realized that if the job requirement included being anything less than considerate and kind, it was no requirement I would want to fulfill.
I’ve been envisioning a change-oriented magazine in my mind for years. So when Metta Center’s staff invited me to join their team last November and said, “Oh, and would you also like to take over Emergence, our magazine?” I didn’t even have to think about it. I leaped forward with a huge “YES!”
And now, after assembling the relaunch issue, I can even say: It’s 100% possible to meet editing deadlines and run a magazine without sacrificing personal or professional courtesy.
Emergence is being prepped for mailing as I type this. For those who are not regular monthly donors lined up to receive the print edition, you’ll still be able to see the entire magazine: we’ll share the digital version with you by early August.
Here is a brief introduction to the key contributors featured in our relaunch issue (Summer 2015):
Sally Armbrecht: As a copy editor, Sally continues to help in the same way she has on previous iterations of Emergence: fine tuning prose. Sally lives and works in Finland. She offers copy editing services for English-language clients through Singing House Productions.
Maja Bengtson: Maja has worked with personal growth, communication, and leadership development since 1991, and she sits on our board. She is a practitioner of Nonviolent Communication (NVC), and her essay in the Summer issue looks at the healing power of NVC. Learn more about Maja.
Ellie Cross: Ellie sees art as a tool in creating a more just world. Her illustrations and paintings appear in the relaunch issue, and some of her work will be published in our Winter issue too. Ellie has done research around art activism and taught art in Latin America and Asia. See samples of her work.
Sandra de Castro Buffington: As the founding director of The Global Media Center for Social Impact, Sandra looks at intersections between mass media and positive social change. She’s our feature Q&A for the relaunch issue. Her TEDWomen talk will inspire those seeking a deeper passion and purpose.
Todd Diehl: Based in Texas, Todd is an AVID educator and member of our Strategic Advisory Council. Todd contributes to our educational programs in numerous ways, and he is a major help with the high school intern program we’ve just launched. He lent his proofreading skills.
Irene Panke Hopkins: An essayist and freelance writer, Irene lives on a sailboat in Puget Sound, WA. She’s a columnist for her local Queen Anne & Magnolia News (one of her latest columns traces her own path to peace), and her writing is featured in an anthology about parenting.
Mercedes Mack: A recent graduate of Sonoma State University, Mercedes has been an invaluable intern at Metta Center. With her all-around interests in media, she was the one we turned to for curating “Media Beat” resources. Read more about her in our Q&A.
Tiffany Ornelas de Tool: As a trainer and human rights advocate specializing in conflict resolution, intercultural dialogue, and community protection, Tiffany has worked in Indonesia (West Papua), South Sudan, Gaza, and South Korea. Her photo essay highlights Syrian refugees.
Okke Ornstein: Nominated for a 2013 Prix Europa for his radio documentary about a questionable hydroelectric dam project in Panama, Okke is a veteran media producer and journalist. His reports appeared in NTR and Het Parool, and he has worked as a field producer for Al Jazeera. We feature his photography in Emergence.
James Phoenix: James is a member of our board and a program officer for the Fenwick Foundation. Plus, he volunteers for the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation. James’ poetry graces our Summer issue. See some of Jim’s poetry at jamesphoenix.com.
Velcrow Ripper: Velcrow is a filmmaker, activist, and happy dad. When we wanted to hear from someone with activist-oriented media experience, Stephanie Van Hook thought of him. She interviewed Velcrow for our “Five Questions for…” piece. Read more about Velcrow.
Mica Stumpf: Forging peaceful paths is what Mica’s work is all about. She is a nonviolence trainer and the co-founder of Emergency Peace Teams. Her “The Future of Security” essay in this relaunch issue provides much food for thought.
Rivera Sun: Rivera is the author of two novels and many essays, plays, and poems. Her writings have appeared in media like Truthout.org and Popular Resistance.org. We run an excerpt from her novel The Dandelion Insurrection, and we’ve run a series of Rivera’s stories on our blog. Check out her novels and read about her activism.
U.S. Department of Arts and Culture: “We, the people, do hereby create.” USDAC is not actually a governmental agency—it’s a network of cultural agents. We’ve published an excerpt from USDAC’s 2015 People’s State of the Union poem, which weaves stories of communities across the U.S. Want to participate in USDAC creativity? Visit them online.