“We the people”
YES! has released its first video production, We the People: Conversations on Being American. Filmed at the YES!/Positive Futures Network Fall 2002 State of the Possible retreat, We the People is a 26-minute exploration of being American in these times, intended for use in a variety of discussion contexts (classrooms, living rooms, faith-based gatherings, and other contexts where people gather to explore ideas and experiences).
With narration by PFN board member Danny Glover, a diverse group of community leaders from around the country discusses personal identity, triumphs and failures of social justice in our country's history, and their hopes for moving toward “a more perfect union.”
Each video comes with a study guide and copy of “What
Does It Mean to Be an American Now?” (YES! Winter 2004). Already,
readers have written to tell us how they will be using the video in
their own communities. The video can be ordered online at
www.yesmagazine.org or by calling 800/937-4451.
Supporting young leaders
Our education program is working with the Democracy Matters Institute (www.democracymatters.org) to encourage college students to commit to civic action and social change. With campus chapters across the nation, Democracy Matters focuses on the effects of private money in politics and campaign finance reform. We'll provide free issues of YES! and YES! discussion guides for student participants at regional and national student leadership conferences to inspire the next generation with empowering, positive solutions and stories.
Over the past year, Gary Sutton has lent his considerable organizational skills to our marketing and education programs and is helping us do outreach to teachers, students, and organizations to match their interests to issues of YES! Gary has volunteered with a number of nonprofits over the years, but says that working at YES! feels particularly important during these times.
Changes in editorial
YES! has had the good fortune of recruiting Michael Leonen to join us as managing editor. Michael is an award-winning investigative journalist from the Philippines. Reports he co-authored contributed to the impeachment of President Joseph Estrada, to changes in the national energy policy, and to the listing of the Banaue Rice Terraces among UN World Heritage sites. In addition to writing and editing (see his article in this issue), Michael is doing photo research and overseeing the production of YES!
Also, we recently invited some of our best regular writers to become YES!contributing editors.
We are grateful to the editorial advisors who helped in the early days
of YES! We plan to continue seeking their advice and leads, although we
will no longer maintain a formal “editorial advisors” group.
—Sarah Ruth van Gelder
Teaching human rights
YES! supports the work of Amnesty International USA's Human Rights Education (HRE) program (www.amnestyusa.org/education) by giving free one-year teacher subscriptions to their nationwide network of K–12 and college teachers. We will also highlight HRE resources on the Education Connection page of the YES!website. YES! applauds HRE's commitment to teach about human rights by both informing and nurturing the values and attitudes that lead to support of those rights.
The good life
The next issue of YES! will focus on the good life. Just what is the good life, or a good life? Is it a life filled with material possessions and money, or is it something else? What experiences have you had that changed your view of what a good life might be? Send stories about how you achieved a good, or better, life and what that looked like, in 500 words or less, to firstname.lastname@example.org.