Tag Archives: jack penrod

Journalist Terry Anderson to speak at CMC’s SpringBoard, March 20

by Nancy Jones

On Friday, March 20, the Civic Media Center will present its 16th annual SpringBoard fundraising event with veteran journalist, Terry Anderson, addressing “Journalists: You May Not Like Us, but You’d be Sorry if We Were Gone.” In Terry’s words: “Journalists have popularity ratings lower than any other profession except lawyers. People accuse them of bias, of inaccuracy, of rudeness and arrogance.

But without them, you likely wouldn’t have many of the freedoms you do, and you would have even less control over your government.”

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Letter to the Editors: The John A. Penrod “Brigadas” Award for Peace and Justice

Dear Iguana,

I am extremely proud of receiving the John A. Penrod “Brigadas” Award for Peace and Justice. John Penrod was a great activist and humanitarian, who continues to inspire us to follow his example of a decent, intentional life. There are many activists and groups who work on causes in the Alachua County community. I would like to highlight the work of two of those groups that I have worked with, to point out the importance of group solidarity.

The 130 Meal Limit campaign sought to end the limit on the number of hungry folks who could eat at St. Francis. It was a beautiful effort that needed the many people, some of them first time activists who worked on this campaign. The ISO and ISO members like Katie Walters, a past Penrod winner, were instrumental in ending this inhumane practice of not providing food for more than 130 people per day.

I got involved because I volunteer in the kitchen at St. Francis, and it dehumanized not only those who were turned away, but was dispiriting to all who saw hungry people turned away. Members of the Central Labor Council, Veterans for Peace and the Labor Party also kept the pressure on those who had the power to overturn this inhumane ordinance.

I got involved in the Labor Party because of my friend Kimberly Hunter, another Penrod winner, who was a staff person for the Labor Party and a fierce, driven member of another group I work with, the Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice. I joined the Labor Party because I wanted to support Kimberly and also I liked that the Labor Party had become actively involved in supporting labor issues such as the teacher’s demonstrations against cuts to education funding.

The Labor Party is now putting their resources into helping pass the Wage Theft Ordinance in Alachua County, which was another example of a group of committed folks who came together, used the different skills they had to wage a beautiful campaign. Victory is sweet.

Decades ago when I was organizing during an eight-year farm worker-led boycott campaign in rainy Washington State, we all came out twice a week for boycott activities because we knew that our friends were getting soaked in the freezing cold. We didn’t want them to be out there by themselves. This is what organizing means to me, standing with my comrades in the struggle, together.

I am so honored to be the Penrod Award winner this year, but really I can think of dozens of folks that I have worked with in the last five years who I believe are collectively being honored by this award for all of our grinding, focused advocacy work. I accept this honor on behalf of all of us.

Thank you to the Labor Party, Veterans for Peace and United Faculty of Florida for sponsoring this award.

Don’t give up, don’t give in, love and support each other, we can do it together.

Thank you,

Sheila Payne, 2013 Penrod Award Winner

Civic Media Center SpringBoard and 2012 Penrod Awards

Joe Courter presents Katie Walters with one of the two Jack A. Penrod "Brigadas" Award for Peace and Justice. Photo by Jessica Newman.

Every spring, the Civic Media Center holds what it calls its “SpringBoard” fundraiser. From its early beginnings, it was a house party at Board member Paula Stahmer’s until it outgrew the house and neighborhood, and a new home was found at the beautiful Matheson Museum.

This year’s SpringBoard was on March 30, and it was a rousing success, with abundant food, very popular raffle items and a solid silent auction. The CMC gave awards to six productive CMC volunteers and a surprise award to soon-to-be-stepping-down co-coordinator James Schmidt. Gaby Gross, Emily Sparr (who will be stepping into the co-coordinator position), Adrian Pijoan, Sasha Ciupalo, and Ben Barthelme aka “Zoo” were the recognized volunteers, and they were all given a flex pass to the Acrosstown Repertory Theatre’s current play “Aunts.”

The featured speaker this year was Rob Lorei, the news director at Tampa’s fine community radio station WMNF. Lorei addressed the issue of the new forces at hand in our media, and the need for citizens to be active in helping document and spread information through the Internet and social media. He also spoke about how, even though many of us are frustrated with the middle of the road migration of NPR and PBS, they still need to be supported, even while being pressured to do better.

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