[Hpn] Things to remember about StreetWise

Anitra Freeman anitra@speakeasy.org
Mon, 12 Feb 2001 23:14:37 -0800 (PST)

StreetWise provides more vendor services than almost any other street
newspaper in the country.

We have a different approach at Real Change.  We help them find out what
services are available, we provide facilities for learning and other
work, we support whatever they want to do, but we don't take the role of
case managers.  We provide computers and writing workshops, but we don't
write their stories for them.  We are one of the few street papers in
the country, I believe, that is edited by a committee entirely made up
of homeless, formerly homeless, and low-income people.

But I have the greatest respect for StreetWise and all other papers that
practice different models.  Diversity is the method of evolution.

Respect for all individuals is an essential of social justice.  
Management disrespect of and/or or gag orders on editorial staff, other
employees, or vendors is totally unacceptable in any organization, to
those who care about social justice.  Disrespect and gag orders from the
management of a street newspaper are also unacceptable, and have the top
priority for change, because how can we demand justice in socety when we
do not practice it among ourselves?

But we must not forget respect while we are pursuing respect.  Support
for the editorial staff of StreetWise can only strengthen our
movement.  Root-and-branch condemnation of the ethics, ideology, and
personalities of StreetWise staff, Board, and paper itself can only
weaken our movement.

This has been my personal, absolutely never humble, opinion.  

Write On! / Anitra L. Freeman / http://www.speakeasy.org/~anitra/
"We can't help everyone.  We can't fix everything.  It hurts. 
 But it is better to live with pain than to live without caring."