Peacemakers In Action
I was hired by the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding to write, edit and produce a new narrative documentary series that profiles the recipients of its Peacemakers In Action Award. These are people who have risked their lives to end the bloody armed conflicts destroying their countries — and not surprisingly have incredibly inspiring stories to tell.
Through a mix of interviews, archival material, host narration and music, the first season of “Peacemakers In Action” — released in Summer 2021 — focuses primarily on two individuals:
- Dishani Jayaweera – a former attorney in Sri Lanka who left the legal profession to work on grassroots peacebuilding efforts between Sinhalese Buddhists and Tamil Hindus
- Jacky Manuputty – a Protestant minister in Indonesia’s Maluku Islands, who went from helping his fellow Christians wage bloody battles against their Muslim neighbors to leading an interfaith peace movement that brought an end to the violence
City of Refuge
As a journalist first getting interested in social movements over a decade ago, I came across a story that convinced me of the power ordinary people possess when they organize. It was the little-known story of a small French community that openly resisted the Nazis and saved thousands of refugees. The fact that they were able to do this without resorting to violence was something I never forgot, and it was a great inspiration to me, particularly as I went on to co-found the independent, nonprofit media platform Waging Nonviolence.
In 2016, amidst rising authoritarianism and another global refugee crisis, I saw an
opportunity to bring new light to this overlooked story and focus on the lessons it offers today. After two years of reporting, writing and production, I released the 10-part podcast series “City of Refuge” via Waging Nonviolence in 2019. (You can listen to the trailer above.)
Through original interviews with still-living community members and some of the people they saved — along with archival recordings and other historical materials — I tell the story of this remarkable resistance and rescue effort that took place in the middle of Occupied Europe. “City of Refuge” is available on most services, but is best accessed on Waging Nonviolence, where there are transcripts, photos and other resources. Episodes are listed in reverse-chronological order.
We Are Many
What's the Story?
I created and produced this limited fiction series — think “This American Life” as a workplace comedy — with some really talented friends who write, act, make music and do sound design. Full episodes are here. Alternatively, you can listen to a segment I wrote from our first episode here, as well as other clips from the series.