Since 1999, we have been bringing journalists and activists together for an extended week (nine to ten days) of seminars, informal discussion, public events and rest.
We are located in the pastoral setting of southern Vermont, just over the Massachusetts border, on stunningly beautiful grounds. We have cabins on the grounds, with individual rooms for participants. Each session we host from seven to eight younger journalists and activists and one to four veterans from both disciplines, whom we call mentors. We have seminars every morning from 9:30 to 12:30, then free time until dinner, to which we sometimes have invited guests who give informal talks after the meal. We have at least two public events each session, which are free and open to the community. These are our Movie Night and Speaker’s Night. Each session is organized around a theme. Our emphasis is on ideas, political analysis and history, with the aim of arriving at fresh perspectives and challenging our assumptions, , which we explore in the seminars and is often reflected in the public nights. whether as journalists or organizers. Every year at least one participant tells us the experience changed their life, an amazing and gratifying testament.
On many occasions we have collaborated with other organizations—the New York chapter of the Independent Press Association in 2001, the Eqbal Ahmad Initiative at Hampshire College in 2003, The Center for Independent Documentary (CID) 2006, 2007 to put on a second summer sessions. We recently added with CID, the Kopkind Grassroots Film Festival at the end of the CID retreat. We also have produced other educational events in collaboration or alone in other parts of the country.