Welcome to Iambrown.org. My name is Autumn Brown. In these pages you will find information on the workshops I teach, the services I can provide, the projects I care about, and the resources I can offer. I hope that there is something useful for you here. Be sure to sign up for my (very low-traffic) newsletter to receive updates about upcoming workshops and events, and opportunities to build and participate in revolutionary work in the worlds of activism, media and art.

March Newsletter


Hello Good People!

I just got back from a fantastic conference organized by the Food Security Roundtable (check 'em out at www.foodpower.org), where I spent the weekend co-facilitating workshops on Dismantling Racism in the Food System and strategizing with farmers and fellow organizers on how to build alternative systems for accessing food that enlivens us (instead of poisoning us). I was so inspired by the creativity and generosity of these folks and the many narrative linkages we can make across the movement where we share the common goal of not simply reforming this political and economic system, but retiring it so that we can live in one that works. I was feeling so good that when I got home that I immediately set about making cheese - I've got a Queso Blanco setting up in my DIY cheese press (made from a 28 oz can) right now!

We can do little things and we can do big things. Both aid us in transforming the world. Onto some bigger things...in this edition of Iambrown:
  • S.O.S. Crown Heights - Submit a Logo!
  • SmartMeme Book Release Event for Re:Imagining Change - Sunday March 28th 7pm
  • Communicating Racial Justice: A Weekend Workshop for Boston Area Organizers: April 9-11
S.O.S. Crown Heights - Submit a Logo!

The Crown Heights Community Mediation Center (of which I am a huge fan!) is launching a new anti-violence initiative called Save Our Streets (S.O.S) Crown Heights, an anti-gun violence program wherein program staff, who are individuals hired due to their street credibility and the positive transformation they have made in their own lives, work with individuals most likely to get shot or shoot other people. S.O.S. Crown Heights staff members provide immediate intervention whenever a shooting occurs in the neighborhood, reaching out to the victim, friends and family to ensure that a retaliatory shooting does not take place. This program is a replication of a program in Chicago called Ceasefire that has been scientifically proven to reduce shootings and killings by 40-70%.

The Crown Heights Community Mediation Center is asking artists to assist them in the creation of a logo that represents Save Our Streets Crown Heights (S.O.S. Crown Heights.)  The Request for Proposals is attached to this newsletter. To learn more about the Mediation Center, go to: www.crownheightsmediationcenter.blogspot.com

SmartMeme Book Release Event for Re:Imagining Change - Sunday March 28th 7pm

Please join us on Sunday, March 28th at 7pm at Bluestockings Radical Bookstore, located at 172 Allen Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, to celebrate the launch of RE:Imagining Change - How to Use Story-based Strategy to Win Campaigns, Build Movements, and Change the World (PM Press, 2010)!!

An evening of inspiration and inquiry with readings from Re:Imagining Change – a handbook for change agents that offers theoretical approaches and practical methods to reframe discourse and amplify progressive voices. Produced by the trailblazing strategists at smartMeme, this book explores how culture, media, memes, and narrative intertwine with social change strategies, and issues a call to action to build 21st century movements for ecological justice. Help us launch the smartMeme book in celebratory style!


Patrick Reinsborough co-founded the smartMeme strategy and training project as a vehicle to explore the intersections of social change strategy, imagination and narrative. He has been involved in campaigns for peace, the environment, and social justice for nearly twenty years, and previously served as the Organizing Director of the Rainforest Action Network. He lives in San Francisco.

Doyle Canning is a strategist, trainer, and organizer with a commitment to building holistic movements for racial justice and an ecological future. She came to the smartMeme collective in 2003 after studying critical pedagogy, working as a grassroots organizer, and being banned from Australia for her rabble rousing. She lives in Boston.

For more information, contact smartMeme Board Member Autumn Brown, autumn@iambrown.org.

Communicating Racial Justice: A Weekend Workshop for Boston Area Organizers: April 9-11

Are you an community organizer? Activist? Communicator of social justice causes in the Northeast? Join us for a weekend of inquiry, popular education, and sharing messaging strategies to build stronger movements for racial justice in Boston and beyond! 
This is a weekend workshop for activists, organized by the Progressive Communicators Network - Boston/New England Chapter in collaboration with smartMeme. Hosted by the YWCA of Boston, Inter-racial Dialogues Program.

WHY Communicating Racial Justice?

It is often a challenge to talk about the impacts of race and racism in social change campaigns, especially in today's context of the so-called "post-racial society." The conventional wisdom seems to be to avoid the subject all together! But that strategy has serious consequences for long term movement building, and will ultimately harm the cause of true equality and social justice.  

We believe that in order to succeed, social justice leaders must be equipped to effectively frame and lead conversations about racial justice principles and key issues in the public sphere: through the mainstream media, online media, public events, and the narrative of campaigns. If we are to achieve the changes that our communities and planet needs, we must also nurture and build diverse networks of solidarity for racial justice.

Join the Boston Area chapter of the Progressive Communicators Network for a multi-day intensive training experience that will deepen analysis, build skills, and strengthen relationships amongst a diverse group of 20 to 25 organizers and communicators!

Date: April 9-11th (Friday: 5:30-8:30, Saturday: 9-6, Sunday: 9-4)

Location: YWCA of Boston : 140 Clarendon, Ste. 403 Boston, MA 02116

Cost: Sliding Scale - $75-$200

Tuition cost includes 4 meals plus handouts and materials, including a copy of RE:Imagining Change -- How to use story-based strategy to win campaigns, build movements, and change the world (PM Press, 2010). 
(No one turned away for lack of funds - please apply!)

Application Process

Please fill out the application HERE by March 15, 2010 (5 pm et). 

* The Training Team requests that organizations send two people to this training. The Training Team will review all applications and select candidates according to PCN's diversity criteria (available HERE) and the goals of the training. Space is limited. In order to maximize the impact of this experience for the ongoing work, they will give organizations with a team of two priority when reviewing applications.

More About the Training

This training will include: 

Popular education on issues of race and racism, including working definitions of institutional racism and related concepts
Discussion of the theory and practice of framing, and racial justice framing specifically, looking at case-studies and examples and pulling from multiple sources such as the work of the Center for Media Justice, The Praxis Project, Talking the Walk, and others.
Introduction to the story-based strategy approach, and opportunities to practice using storytelling tools
Team-based simulations to apply learning

This training will NOT include:

-In depth anti-racism training. Participants are expected to have experience(s) with the analysis and practice of antiracism prior to this training.
-Traditional communications/media training, such as how to speak to the media, write press releases, or pitch news outlets

Training Team

Tom Louie, Progressive Communicators Network, Boston Chapter Coordinator
Amaad Rivera, member of PCN Boston/New England and board member of Community Change andsmartMeme
Doyle Canning, Co-Director, smartMeme

For more information

Tom Louie, Progressive Communicators Network, Boston Chapter: Tlouie@progressivecommunicators.net or 857-540-1316


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