Writing with Photography

December 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

Illiteracy.

If there is one demon that will hamper the accessibility of  my NPJP to the entire US prison population,  is the inability of many on the inside to read or write.

But, I believe I have found the answer to this dilemma, which had not previously crossed my mind, until I read Pete Brook’s blog entitled Photography School: Rehabilitating Prisoners through Self-Representation. The blog was not about illiteracy, but as I’ve mentioned before, I look at all information I find through the lens of making the National Prison Journal Project successful.

Because conceptualization and the ability to read are not tied into one another, transformative information can be provided in forms other than the written word.  We see this everyday.  People are empowered to make personal changes in eating habits, sometimes to extremes, because of an image they interact with on TV or an old photograph.  More people have the confidence to travel to new places because of the images provided them on a map or via GPS.  These may be simple examples, but they prove that the information communicated through the image can cause people to expand and transform.  It gives them a level of hope and desire.  Both primary goals of NPJP.

Many publications targeting inmates feature drawings, paintings and poetry as art, but I’ve seen little photography.  In a situation where personal identity is so crucial, for a host of reasons, a photographic image could be a crucial rehabilitative step for many, not only those that cannot read or write.  With this new insight, it is clear that a good portion of the final National Prison Journal will incorporate extensive imagery.

Pete’s article helped me to identify and solve a weakness in my plan, but also opened me to another way to create the conversational tone I want for the journal via the “crowd-sourced” blog model being used by Livebooks.  He is utilizing this model as a framework for the Race, Diversity, Photography project he revealed in his interview with POSI+TIVE MAGAZINE.  The “crowd-source” model will allow a level of input and collaboration on journal contents that has never before been applied to a prison publication.

I’m thankful to Pete for publicizing this information and helping me make a great idea more accessible and achievable – even though he doesn’t know it.

Brainstorming on Magazine/Newspaper Categories

December 4, 2010 § Leave a comment

I envision the journal a magazine layout more than a newspaper.  Of course, the final layout will be determined by what will be easiest to get into all jails, prison, half-way houses and detention centers.  Staples may be a problem as screws in cassettes are a problem.  So, whichever option come close to fully clearing the hurdle will be the one we go with.

This list is what I’ve thought of to date.  In this section of the NPJP blog I will also break out and brainstorm each proposed section.  It’s all part of the journey!

  • Health
  • Nature
  • Want to Hear From You
  • Speak Your Mind
  • Research Corner
  • Questions (Inside & Out)
  • Letters
  • Politics
  • Self Awareness
  • Business
  • Re-entry
  • Jokes, Riddles, Cartoons, Contests, Recipes, Paper Crafts
  • Art
  • History
  • Literature
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • Math
  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • Cultural Studies
  • Media
  • Ethics
  • Advertisements
  • Subscriptions
  • Grammar/Vocabulary
  • Writing
  • Reality Check
  • …more

Now, looking at the list in writing, many of these areas may be combined or topics regularly covered.

I think the point that is made clearly is that the journal will be varied and stimulating.

Options to becoming a Non-Profit

December 3, 2010 § Leave a comment

One of the decisions currently being worked on here at NPJP is the business model that will work best for us.

The options that seem to make most sense (pre-investigation and consultation) are the following:

Seek Fiscal Sponsorship

Seek fiscal sponsorship instead of becoming a tax-exempt organization yourself. Fly under the cover of an existing nonprofit so that you can accept donations and apply for grants before being registered as a tax-exempt organization.

Organize an Unincorporated Association

Put together an unincorporated association to fulfill your mission without seeking tax-exempt status. Not all charitable organizations are incorporated and IRS registered.

Become a Social Entrepreneur

Become a social entrepreneur by forming a for-profit social venture to accomplish your social goals; or set up a small business with the goal of contributing some or all profits to a charitable cause.

There is even a new type of organization that is a hybrid of nonprofit and for-profit. It is an

L3C (Low-Profit Limited Liability Company

L3C organizations are a new way to fulfill a social mission. A hybrid of a nonprofit and for-profit corporation, the L3C is run in a similar way to a for-profit company, but is like a nonprofit in that its mission is to do something for the social good.

An L3C generates a profit but it isn’t the sole priority. It is not tax-exempt, but it can seek investors and investments that are program related for funding. The IRS does restrict how much profit an L3C can make and property it can own. Also, this hybrid organization cannot engage in political work or lobbying. The organization must make clear that fulfilling a charitable goal is the primary reason it exists.

SOURCE:  http://nonprofit.about.com/od/nonprofitbasics/tp/nonprofitalternatives.htm?nl=1

National Prison Journal Project (NPJP) is born!

December 2, 2010 § Leave a comment

National Prison Journal Project (NPJP) was born December 1, 2010, in the pages of the yellow and black marbled composition book I now carry with me everywhere.  That was the first day all of my mental traffic converged into a single, comprehensible, achievable idea.

On December 2, 2010, I entered the blogosphere without the hesitation I held for quite a while.  Why?  Because I had a reason, other than my own musings, to do it.

That same day I took action.  Perhaps the hardest part of anything.  Going from the walk of thought, to the jog of writing, to beginning the marathon of  action and realizing a goal.

So here we are.  NPJP and myself.

Currently, we are two separate entities.

Where Am I?

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