Minds Wide Open builds cutting-edge publications by and for youth exposed to conflict
Youth living in areas of conflict suffer from intense exposure to propaganda, misleading media reports, censorship, and the absence of a free press. This unfortunate situation reinforces false narratives and discourages independent or critical thinking and therefore perpetuates separation of cultures and a limited worldview. This encourages self-censorship and can result in violence, racism and bigotry and apathy towards peace building.
Through hands-on projects or in-class workshops, WMO’s task is to help activist youth not only promote tolerance but practice tolerance. We can help build robust journalism programs and newspapers/websites for youth located in areas exposed to conflict as a tool to express their life challenges non-violently, accurately, and truthfully and to help promote peace building and a pluralistic worldview.
Free societies are societies in which the right of dissent is protected.
— Natan Sharansky
What do we do?
Watch 2:40 video to learn more about MWO classroom training and speakers.
Below are some audio highlights from the reprimanding session between a graduate student, Lindsay Shepard and her supervising faculty at Wilfrid Laurier…
After working on a lengthy research and editing project during the spring and summer, MWO will be working on new projects advocating…
Jackson Hole, Wyoming – In celebration of national Free Speech Week (October 17-21, 2016, www.freespeechweek.org/) Minds Wide Open founder and former alternative weekly…
… that Will Rahn’s piece, The Unbearable Smugness of the Press (CBS News) was spot on. Image courtesy CBS News.
Who we are?
One thing I learned after 20+ years as a publisher of outspoken newspapers and magazines, is that few people – intelligent and well-educated included – respect the concept of freedom of expression as a human right.
I believe that speaking to passionate, young activists about freedom of expression is very important because they require a difficult balance between promoting tolerance and practicing tolerance.
MARY GROSSMAN: In 2002, after a decade of publishing specialty publications, my husband and I founded the outspoken Planet Jackson Hole, Wyoming’s first, and only, free alternative weekly paper. The paper was accepted into the prestigious Association of Alternative Newsmedia because of its clear alternative voice and unflinching advocacy of free speech in close-minded Wyoming. After selling the newspaper to the Salt Lake City Weekly in 2015, I am now working on creating Minds Wide Open, an organization that helps youth and activists exposed to conflict understand the bold concept of freedom of expression in order to build a more peaceful society. I am also a consultant in independent publishing and youth media on the topics of global freedom of expression, free press and censorship issues, particularly with youth.
We bring a personal and effective approach to every project we work on.