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Joel Pomerantz → writer statement


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A few years ago in Cape Town, South Africa, I was privileged to meet the post-apartheid activist Phila Xusa. In our conversation, she described the period after the white government fell as a time of unusual democratic promise.

According to her vivid account, nearly everyone was reading more than one paper daily. More than a fifth of the population of that country set aside their usual activities to participate directly in building a new society. She presented a picture of an entire nation undergoing an optimistic, grassroots-based shift.

The search for these society-wide transitional moments drives my writing.

My aims are to illuminate innovative thinking and to turn outstanding solutions into action. Sometimes I do original research to accomplish this. At other times, I rework and redirect "insider" information for general audiences, drawing the disaffected back into the process.

My biggest reward is when I can energize the public in both ideas and action.