Monday, March 12, 2012

Will Maverick Go to Netroots? You decide

Democracy for America and America's Voice are teaming up to provide financial scholarships to 40 bloggers and activists so they can attend this year's Netroots Nation conference, to be held June 7-10 in Providence, RI.  Netroots Nation provides bloggers, progressive activists and candidates a forum to strengthen the online community and grow progressive movements.
     If you think I should be there, please add your support to my scholarship application.



The scholarship winners will be decided over the course of three rounds. The first round runs through 11:59 PM PST on March 21. The three applicants with the most support from DFA Members and Netroots will automatically win a scholarship in each round. Others will be chosen by a selection committee.
     The competition is tough and I need your help. Please support my application in the Netroots Nation Scholarship Competition. Also, spread the word over the next two weeks through your social networks.  Here’s the link: Greg Guma’s NetrootsScholarship Page.
     Early votes are extra important, since they can help to build momentum. So, if you think I ought to be there, let them know. Sound like a plan? Thanks in advance. – GG aka Maverick Media

In case you wondered….

To apply, I answered a series of interesting questions. I don’t know if this qualifies as transparency, but here are most of my responses:

A little about me: Questioning illegitimate authority and assisting new social movements has been my privilege for decades. Since returning home to Burlington in 2010, I've been challenging the corporate media consensus through my blog (Maverick Media), reporting and investigations for VtDigger.org, and articles on sites like Alternet, Truthout, Common Dreams, ZNet, and many more. 
      Starting out as a reporter in the late 60s, I launched several alternative publications in the 1970s, including as editor of The Vermont Vanguard Press, which set the stage for the election of Bernie Sanders and the launch of Vermont's modern progressive movement. In the 80s and 90s I was a syndicated columnist, launched community bookstores in Vermont and Santa Monica, coordinated Burlington's Peace and Justice Center and New Mexico's leading immigrant legal services organization. 
     Returning to Vermont, I edited Toward Freedom, a respected international affairs magazine, and supervised its digital transition. I also organized one of the first Indy Media conferences in 2000 and participated in the Quebec Mobilization against corporate globalization. In 2004 I co-founded Vermont Guardian, a print and online weekly. In 2006 I became Executive Director of Pacifica Radio, attempting to promote its national programming and internal reconciliation. 
      I'm the author of The People's Republic: Vermont and the Sanders Revolution; Uneasy Empire: Repression, Globalization, and What We Can Do; Big Lies: How our corporate overlords, politicians and media establishment warp reality and undermine democracy; and the radio play, Inquisitions (and Other Un-American Activities). I currently work for VTDigger.org, a Vermont news website, as its Burlington correspondent.

Why I deserve a scholarship: To begin, I am a 65-year old activist of long-standing living on a fixed income. Over the years, fighting centralized and entrenched power has required some sacrifices. In 1974, for example, I was blacklisted from public service for becoming a whistle blower on misuse of federal funds. Several years later, while teaching at a Vermont college, I was improperly fired for standing up for student rights and fair pay.
     But more relevant, I have decades of on-the ground organizing experience -- and have also kept pace with major technological innovations. From alternative publications, photography and community radio to documentary films, books, a CD on nonviolence, a radio drama on civil liberties that has been aired in more than 20 states -- I use many techniques and platforms to investigate, educate and create a counter-narrative of resistance and liberation.
     I continue to participate in the evolution of Vermont's progressive and independence movements, and write several widely-read stories weeklies on everything ranging from financial scandals, elections and education to Vermont's Yankee and significant historical events.
     Without a scholarship, my limited income and current commitments make hard for me to deal with transportation and housing. But I'd be excited to attend and exchange ideas.

What first inspired me to get involved: In a way it began in high school, defying arbitrary authority in a repressive parochial school. But being a reporter in the turbulent 60s revealed deep social injustices, and later work in government exposed the bankruptcy of the current social order. By the mid-70s I'd become a full-time organizer and media activist. By the end of the 80s the head of the local Republican Party called me a "serious professional revolutionary anarchist." I turned it into a campaign button.

How I’ve gotten others involved: I've been mentoring young writers and activists for more than 30 years, initially as editor of Vermont's leading alternative newspaper. Then, and later with Toward Freedom, I worked with hundreds of young reporters, in the US and later around the world, some of whom went on to do significant work. While in print TF stressed connections with writers in Africa, Asia and Latin America. I have also organized campaigns on civil liberties issues, local democracy, energy, militarization, corporate globalization, and the environment. Beyond that, I use my research and writing to challenge conventional thinking and motivate constructive action.

A Twitter manifesto? Bringing us together globally, new media challenge the management of mass perceptions and the knowledge monopoly of elites, fueling hope and direct action to make another world possible.

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