The Progressive Communicators Network (PCN) has been in a quieter phase of reflection and planning. For the first time in twelve years we chose not to hold our annual national gathering in 2012. Originally started as a project of Spirit in Action, PCN soon grew to become its own nonprofit. PCN is a national network of people who work as communications professionals or organizers and are focused on racial or economic justice, and who use communications tools and strategy. We learn from each other, we support each other, and we help each other navigate the tough world of social justice communications. Like many nonprofits, we’ve seen a dip in funding from several long-term sources and needed to reduce staffing and programming, bringing our activity almost to a halt.
Because the network has supported so many of us over the years, PCNers were not willing to let go. In June 2012, the Leadership Council met, with the support of the Spirit in Action staff, to consider our options and look for opportunities where the power of networking can help us to have a greater impact. We explored many options for PCN, and in the end we were delighted to return home. Spirit in Action, in its role as a network builder, stepped up to provide fiscal and organizational support at a time when we need it the most. As project of Spirit in Action we have hopes of again growing ourselves to sustainability and, more importantly, sharing our expertise in media and messaging to our movement. We’ve re-committed to the rebuilding of the network with a renewed focus on supporting organizing. In the immediate future, and hopefully for the long haul, we will be organizing to support civic engagement across communities.
Civic engagement for us is not just communications for voter registration and voter turn out, but the deep work to build political power through ongoing engagement of communities of color and working class communities. We will support communicators who are working year-round in organizing groups that are based in communities of color and working class communities and engage in civic engagement that moves our communities into action.
This fall, we are beginning our work to restart chapters (with work on that front in Boston and New York City), as well as a national conference call on October 17th, Civic Engagement Communications: Sharing Best Practices.
PCN has supported the development of many communicators over the years (take a peek in our Meet a PCNer profiles), and we look forward to continue to support the development of emerging communicators who have a connection to organizing and a commitment to cross-sector work.
If you’re interested in reconnecting with your PCN colleagues, or getting to know more about how strong communications can increase the effectiveness of organizing, get in touch with PCN.
We invite you to join and learn from us by registering for our up coming call Civic Engagement Communications: Sharing Best Practices and let us inspire your work by participating at the upcoming Be the Media Conference in Boston.