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Non-sectarian non-profit Buddhist organization that aims to facilitate a significant Buddhist presence in the ever-expanding realm of computer communications technology, applying this technology to help make the Buddha's teachings freely available to all, as an online cyber-sangha. Affiliated with the Buddha Dharma Education Association Inc., which was first established as a Vipassana Meditation Centre in 1992 in Sydney by Australian meditation monk Ven. Pannyavaro.
You're Becoming a What?
Personal and educational article by the Venerable Thubten Chodron (author of Open Heart, Clear Mind and How to Free Your Mind, and founder of the newly-established Sravasti Abbey) about living as a Western Buddhist nun in the Tibetan tradition. Chodron's frankness and honesty (evident in all her writings) provide answers to monastic life, and about why she chose to become a nun.
Umbrella organization that gathers together a nationwide network of independent US booksellers. Buying local ensures that almost half the money will stay in the community, and indie bookstores are the last bastion of literary community events, knowledgability, and customer service.
National Book Critics Circle
PEN American Center
Speculative Literature Foundation
A socially-active online bookstore selling new and used books at competitive prices (with free shipping within the US, and only $2.97 to anywhere else in the world), with proceeds going toward worldwide literacy and education programs. Books donated and sold through the site avoid piling up in landfills, and shipping is offset by purchasing carbon credits to decrease their ecological footprint. Inexpensive books sold with an environmental and social conscience; what more could you want?
For those of us who feel compulsively urged to catalogue all our books. There's also a great social aspect as well, since people can comment on each other's libraries, and get recommendations on similar books. Books + geekery = LibraryThing.
The Asian site for Moleskine, maker of my absolute favorite notebooks in the world. I've been using them for years, gathering them up and hoarding them before their popularity recently surged; they are portable and fit perfectly in your pocket, their hard (but not too hard) covers give enough support to write anywhere, the sewn-in ribbon allows you to easily find your place, the memo pocket in the back holds odds and ends, and the elastic band binds everything nice and shut for traveling. I use them to jot down story notes, write first drafts, and make hasty sketches; it's perfect for the Vagabonder on the move.
MusicNine Inch Nails
Incredibly influential industrial band that constantly pushes the boundaries of innovation, run by frontman Trent Reznor. Possibly my favorite band, and it's been an exciting ride seeing Reznor progress from nihilism to social awareness to pioneering the way that music is delivered and enjoyed. The album "Year Zero" and the accompanying Alternate Reality Game revealed a mind deeply concerned with the state of the world and of reactionary US politics. Reznor's decision to release "Ghosts I-IV" and "The Slip" online under a Creative Commons ShareAlike licenses are revolutionizing the music industry, where his fans are treated as his supporting base, not as pirates. Plus, the music continues to kick ass nearly 20 years since the release of NIN's first single.
Social and Environmental ActivismSierra Club
America's oldest, largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with a mission to: explore, enjoy and protect the wild places of the earth; practice and promote the responsible use of the earth's ecosystems and resources; educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and use all lawful means to carry out these objectives.
World Widlife Fund
Directs its conservation efforts toward three global goals: saving endangered species, protecting endangered habitats and addressing global threats such as toxic pollution, over-fishing and climate change. From working to save the giant panda and bringing back the Asian rhino to establishing and helping to manage parks and reserves worldwide, WWF has been a conservation leader for more than 40 years.
Green Party of the United States
US branch of the international third party that believes in progressive values such as grassroots democracy, ecological wisdom, social justice, equal opportunity, nonviolence, decentralization, community-based economics, feminism, respect for diversity, personal and global responsibility, future focus, and sustainability.
American Civil Liberties Union
Founded in 1920 to preserve the priniciples of representational government and individual rights, and to fight for your First Amendment rights (freedom of speech, association and assembly, press, and religion, supported by the strict separation of church and state), your right to equal protection under the law, your right to due process, and your right to privacy.
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Donor-funded nonprofit that blends the expertise of lawyers, policy analysts, activists, and technologists to achieve significant legal victories on behalf of consumers and the general public in the field of digital rights.
Habitat for Humanity
Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world, and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action by building and rehabilitating simple decent houses with the help of the homeowner (partner) families. Habitat houses are sold to partner families at no profit, financed with affordable loans.
Established in 1944 to fight hunger and poverty all over the world. Instead of just providing relief, they supply families with livestock; a source of food rather than short-term relief.
International Campaign for Tibet
Nonprofit membership organization that works to promote human rights and democratic freedoms for the people of Tibet, through: monitoring and reporting on human rights, environmental and socioeconomic conditions in Tibet; advocating for Tibetans imprisoned for their political or religious beliefs; working with governments to develop policies and programs to help Tibetans; securing humanitarian and development assistance for Tibetans; mobilizing individuals and the international community to take action on behalf of Tibetans; and promoting self-determination for the Tibetan people through negotiations between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama.
Worldwide organization that seeks increased public understanding that economic and social justice are crucial to sustainable development. Through development programs, emergency work, research, lobbying, and campaigning, they strive to be a global campaigning force promoting the awareness and motivation that comes with global citizenship while seeking to shift public opinion in order to make equity the same priority as economic growth.
One of twenty members of Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO), and the only third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States. Fair Trade Certification empowers farmers and farm workers to lift themselves out of poverty by investing in their farms and communities, protecting the environment, and developing the business skills necessary to compete in the global marketplace.
Writing WorkshopsClarion Writers' Workshop
Teaching science fiction and fantasy writing for 40 years, Clarion is one of the oldest and most well-respected writers' workshops in the nation. Established in 1968 by Robin Scott Wilson with help from eminent science fiction writers Damon Knight and Kate Wilhelm, the workshop provides an intensive six-week education in the basics of creating speculative fiction. From 1972 to 2006, the workshop was hosted by Michigan State University in East Lansing. It is currently hosted by the University of California, San Diego. Both my wife Janet and I are graduates of the Clarion class of 2002.
Nonprofit established in the autumn of 2005 to ensure the continued existence of the Clarion Writers' Workshop through both financial and physical support. The Foundation's board of directors includes Kate Wilhelm, James Patrick Kelly, Leslie What, Nancy Etchemendy, Karen Joy Fowler, Walter Jon Williams, Kim Stanley Robinson, Kelly Link, and Cory Doctorow.
NCSU Young Writers' Workshop
A non-residential two-week summer writing camp that brings students grades 4-8 together with published North Carolina writers for classes in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and drama. Started in 1984 as a nonprofit project by the Raleigh Writing Alliance, a group representing writers and teachers of writing in the area. Previously conducted through the cooperation of NCSU's College of Humanities and Social Sciences and Humanities Extension/Publications Program, the workshop now runs under the auspices of the NCSU Department of English. I taught both literary and science fiction writing at the YWW from 2004-2006.
Strange Horizons Workshops
Started in 2002, these intermediate-level workshops were designed for fiction authors who have started publishing in pro-level markets, and who are interested in developing their craft further in the company of individuals at a similar level of proficiency. The discussion is on a generally literary level, focusing on how to make the stories better as stories, regardless of genres. Many of the participants workshop speculative fiction, but not necessarily all. I was an attendee of the Oregon workshop in 2004.