Essay Contest for H.S. Football Players on Domestic Violence

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In order to bring more awareness to the issue of domestic violence within the football culture, and open up the conversation with young players, Jacar Press, a community active press, and Women Writers of the Triad are teaming up to host an essay competition for high school football players on “Why Domestic Violence is Wrong.”

Student essays may be submitted in the body of an e-mail sent to jacarassist@gmail.com.  While there is no fee to enter, we suggest a $1 submission donation. Winning essay will be awarded a $75 prize, and all proceeds raised will go to the local domestic violence shelter in the winning writer/athlete’s hometown.  Submissions are open from September 30-November 30.

Donations can be made here:

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or mailed to:
2014 D.V. Essay Competition
P.O. Box 4345
Cary, NC 27519

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Submission Guidelines

1. Deadline for submission is November 30, 2014.

WHITE_FB_ProfilePicture_WWOT_JUN42.  There is no submission fee for participation, but a $1 donation is suggested. Please use the Paypal “Donate” button above.

3.  Any U.S. high school football player is eligible to enter.

4.  Essays may be sent in the body of an e-mail addressed to jacarassist@gmail.com.  (No attachments, please.)

5.  Winning essay will be awarded $75.00, and all proceeds raised through donations will be given to the local domestic violence shelter in the winning writer/athlete’s hometown.  Author retains all rights to the work, but we will ask permission to also send a copy to local newspaper(s) and/or relevant blogs.

Send any questions you may have through the form below.

The 2014 Citizen Diplomacy Summit and Building Cultural Bridges in the Social Media Age

Imagine if everyone got involved?

I’m honored to have been invited to the panel last night for the 2014 Citizen Diplomacy Summit  in Cary, North Carolina, at The Cary Downtown Theater.  The panel was moderated by Dr. Calvin Hall from NCCU, and included Leila Bekri, who works in promoting diplomacy and cultural exchanges for an international leadership program, Leslie Huffman, who founded LOL Marketing, and Wesley Lo, an international student exchange advocate from NC State University.  The panel theme was Building Cultural Bridges in the Social Media Age.  Learn more about the panelists here.

“Citizen diplomacy is the concept that the individual has the right, even the responsibility, to help shape U.S. foreign relations, ‘one handshake at a time.’ Citizen diplomats can be students, teachers, athletes, artists, business people, humanitarians, adventurers or tourists. They are motivated by a responsibility to engage with the rest of the world in a meaningful, mutually beneficial dialogue.”  –The U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy

And it was terrific to learn more about this program.  The centerpiece of the summit was the video competition that ran this year, free to entrants ages 18 to 25 and living in North Carolina.  Congratulations to grand prize winner, Ilayda Yigit (North Carolina School of the Arts), who received $500 for her film MeetCute, and Misha Tobar (NCSU), who received 2nd prize and $250 for her film, Citizen Diplomacy in France.  Both videos were publicly screened at the beginning of the evening, and had two different takes on the meaning of citizen diplomacy. MeetCute is an abstract take on the television/film term, meet-cute, which is a scene in film, television, etc. in which a future romantic couple meets for the first time in a way that is considered adorable, entertaining, or amusing.  Citizen Diplomacy in France features a montage of multi-cultural scenes, including food, music and dance, from a trip to France, edited with energetic music pumping in the background.  Judges for the film competition were Alan Buck, Lorenzo Collado, Joan Conwell, Terry ‘Doc’ Thorne.  Read more about the judges here.

This was the sixth annual Citizen Diplomacy Summit, which is co-sponsored by the Sister Cities Association of Cary and the Town of Cary.  The Sister Cities Association is a non-profit association that, according to their website, strives to further global understanding and to encourage and assist sister city relationships between the citizens of Cary and cities throughout the world, especially Cary’s four Sister Cities, Le Touquet, France, Markham, Ontario, Hsinchu, Taiwan, and County Meath, Ireland.

The evening started out with networking over terrific food, with perhaps 40 or so people in attendance.  Dr. Hall opened the discussion with the question, How has people-to-people diplomacy changed as a result of social media?  This is an exciting time with technology outpacing use, our governments and laws, and we are only beginning to scratch the surface of how to use it to affect real change. Our definitions of the word tribe are changing, opening up, to include a global community.  Wesley told the story of when he was tasked with the opening of a building at N.C. State, and so he created a short, one-minute video, and uploaded it to Instagram and sent it around in e-mail.  The next morning, there was a line outside that building to get in.

And that’s the point.  Social media is a tool, a powerful tool, in connecting us all.  We have ideas and tools and we can use them for the greater good.  But be careful we do not leave others behind.  To the notion that “if you’re not online, you’re irrelevant,” I say that it’s not a good idea to lose track of people with wisdom or experience or knowledge just because they may not be online, and it is incumbent upon those of us who have a platform to speak for those who do not, or can’t.  One of the challenges we all face is reaching people who are not connected, especially in other cultures. And we must be mindful of how we use social media and those who would abuse it, or any government that would try and control its citizen’s access.

The exchange between audience and the panel was fantastic, highly interactive, and the young people in the audience shared their stories and perspectives with us. I loved that part, honestly. There was so much of a spirit of collaboration and community in those moments, and it made the evening really special for me.  Topics ranged all over the map, including B Corporations (businesses who are part for-profit and part non-profit, with a social or altruistic goals as part of their business plan), citizen journalism, cyber-bullying, Net Neutrality, and global citizenship. And we didn’t get to talk about crowdsourcing and the video trend as part of social media, but that’s a significant piece of the next steps.

Imagine if everyone, EVERYONE, got involved?

Consider a neighborhood food co-op that wants to grow the food to feed its community.  Or a crowdsourced scholarship fund for the NC Foundation for Alcohol and Drug Studies, dedicated to a lost loved one.  Or a writing project for cancer patients to provide them both with the healing power of writing, and beautiful and personal headscarves.

It was a meaningful conversation, and everyone agreed that it should continue.  By social media, perhaps.  🙂

Thanks to the organizers and sponsors for putting such a wonderful event together, including Sister Cities Association of Cary, the Town of Cary, RTP Global, and the Cary Chamber of Commerce.  And very special thanks to Joanie Conwell and Birgul Tuzlali for inviting me into it.

xo

Writing for Peace

writing_for_peaceI have proudly accepted the role and honor as a member of the advisory panel for Writing for Peace.  If you are not aware of this fine organization, run by Carmel Mawle, here is their mission statement:

Through education and creative writing, Writing for Peace seeks to cultivate the empathy that allows minds to open to new cultural views, to value the differences as well as the hopes and dreams that unite all of humanity, to develop a spirit of leadership and peaceful activism.

Writing for Peace is currently accepting submissions for the 2015 anthology Dove Tales, An International Journal of the Arts.  The theme this year is Nature.  Learn more about the submission process and the type of work that will be included here.

I am very proud to be involved with this fine organization, and want to express my deep gratitude to Carmel Mawle for the invitation.

“At the End” wins Honorary Mention in the 2014 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition

I am thrilled to share with you that my poem, “At the End,” won Honorary Mention in the Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition, from the North Carolina Writers’ Network.  This year’s judge was Jillian Weise.

At the End was first published in the beautiful poetry & art journal, One, from Jacar Press. I would be honored if you clicked the link to read it there.

I am humbled to find myself in the company of the esteemed winning poets:

Alan Michael Parker of Davidson is the winner of the 2014 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition for his poem, “Lights Out in the Chinese Restaurant.”  Parker has won the Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition two years in a row. Maureen Sherbondy of Raleigh was named First Runner Up for her poem “After the Funeral.”  Kathryn Kirkpatrick also received Honorable Mention, for her poem, “Visitation.” Sherbondy also received an honorable mention in 2011.

 

Women Writers of the Triad Hosts Poets and Open Mic with Tate Street Coffee

GET THIS ON YOUR CALENDAR!3_Wordpress_WWOT_Logo_White

Second Saturday, September 14th, at Tate Street Coffee House, at 7:00pm.

Featured poets are Ann Deagon and Michael Gaspeny. This is going to be WONDERFUL.

Michael Gaspeny won the 2012 Randall Jarrell Prize for “Shore Drive.” His latest chapbook Vocation is available from Main Street Rag.

Ann Deagon

Ann Deagon‘s work includes There is No Balm in Birmingham, The Polo Poems, Carbon 14, and Poetics South. She was named Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet for 2011-2012.

After the reading, an open mic follows. Bring a poem, bring a song, or just come and grab a coffee or a glass of wine and listen. We had a huge turnout for open mic last month so space may be limited. Bring your best work and get there early!

Join here:  https://www.facebook.com/events/698475600169186/

For June, a writing and art workshop on gratitude

On the theme of gratitude:

Saturday, June 15, 9:30 am-4:00pm.

A visual and writing arts workshop on the theme of Gratitude, with Kim Goldstein and Donna Anthony guiding the group in making soul collages and Judith Behar and Melissa Hassard guiding the group in writing prose or poetry about their soul collages.

Place: Presbyterian Church of the Covenant, 501 S. Mendenhall St., Greensboro.
Cost: $10 to Women Writers of the Triad and Writers Group of the Triad members; $25 to non-members.

Pre-registration is required: Contact Judith Behar at jbehar@triad.rr.com or (336) 294-4904.

You may bring your own lunch or pre-order lunch (cost: $10) at time of registration. Coffee and tea will be provided.