You've probably noticed there's a growing alternative media movement a foot in the United States. Shaped in response to the growth of the Internet and other distribution technologies, the continuing consolidation of media companies, and the unprecedented deregulation of the industry, a small group of hearty souls is working hard to insure your future will be shaped by a democratic media landscape. But you may not known that a key facilitator behind this dialogue is one of my clients, Rockwood Leadership Program
Rockwood, with support from a generous 3-year Ford Foundation grant, last year launched an ambitious fellowship initiative to provide ongoing leadership training and collaboration support to over 60 key media reform advocacy, distribution and production groups. Many of these organizations came together in Memphis this past week on the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday for the the third annual National Conference on Media Reform
They were treated to an inspirational keynote address
by journalist and public commentator Bill Moyers
, who among other things announced his return to reporting. If media democracy is a subject that matters to you -- and as a blog reader I suspect it does -- I highly urge you to take a few minutes and listen to Moyers' address or visit the NCMR website for more information.
But in writing today, I particularly wanted to share with you Moyer's closing words, a reading of Marge Piercy's
poem "The Low Road" from her collection The Moon is Always Female
, published by Alfred A. Knopf, copyright 1980.
What can they do
to you? Whatever they want.
They can set you up, they can
bust you, they can break
your fingers, they can
burn your brain with electricity,
blur you with drugs till you
can't walk, can’t remember, they can
take your child, wall up
your lover. They can do anything
you can’t blame them
from doing. How can you stop
them? Alone, you can fight,
you can refuse, you can
take what revenge you can
but they roll over you.
But two people fighting
back to back can cut through
a mob, a snake-dancing file
can break a cordon, an army
can meet an army.
Two people can keep each other
sane, can give support, conviction,
love, massage, hope, sex.
Three people are a delegation,
a committee, a wedge. With four
you can play bridge and start
an organization. With six
you can rent a whole house,
eat pie for dinner with no
seconds, and hold a fundraising party.
A dozen make a demonstration.
A hundred fill a hall.
A thousand have solidarity and your own newsletter;
ten thousand, power and your own paper;
a hundred thousand, your own media;
ten million, your own country.
It goes on one at a time,
it starts when you care
to act, it starts when you do
it again after they said no,
it starts when you say We
and know who you mean, and each
day you mean one more.
Labels: Activism, Books, Videos_Podcasts