Call for Articles, Communities #148: Power and Empowerment
From: Fred H Olson (
Date: Sun, 28 Feb 2010 06:19:31 -0800 (PST)
 Communities Magazine <editor [at]>
is the author of the message below.  It was posted by
Fred, the Cohousing-L list manager <fholson [at]>
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Communities magazine is now seeking articles for issue #148, "Power and
Empowerment." The issue will be out in September 2010.

Please send your article idea to editor [at] by Monday, March 29, 2010,
or sooner if possible.

Your final article must reach us by Friday, May 14, 2010.

1. Theme articles: Power and Empowerment

    possible questions to address (feel free to pick and choose or

    * Please describe what "power" means, and how it is exercised, in
community and cooperative settings in which you've participated. Does
this differ from how power is conceived of and wielded in the larger

    * Do you notice different types of power within your group? (For
example, power to do something; power to stop something; power in process
and decision-making; power in execution or action; power in nurturing or
serving; etc.) How does power usually manifest?

    * What different power structures have you experienced within groups?
What have been their effects on how community members relate to one
another? on how well and effectively work is accomplished? on your
personal sense of empowerment?

    * How can members of communities and cooperative groups achieve a
feeling of personal empowerment? Is there a difference between personal
empowerment and group empowerment? In what ways can a group's process and
power structures serve to empower or disempower its members?

    * What power dynamics operate within your group? Are they
hidden/obscured, or clear to all involved? Are these power relationships
consensual or coercive? When you meet together as a group, are there
elephants in the room?

    * What does leadership mean in your group? How can it be wielded to
the best benefit of all? How does your group relate to leadership? What
are the rewards and liabilities of stepping into leadership? What roles do
other community members play in appreciating or challenging leaders?

    * Are there situations in which you are happy to "give power
away"? What are the effects of "followership" or mentorship?

    * Have you experienced a guru-disciple relationship? What was it like?

    * How do you attempt to address perceived power imbalances? Are they
seen as a problem?

    * On a spectrum with an authoritarian, strict hierarchical model on
one end, and egalitarian power-sharing on the other, where does your group
aspire to fall? And where does it actually fall? What are the challenges
in achieving your desired model?

    * What structures and practices have you found that help your group
relate well to the dynamics of power and empowerment?

    * How can community and cooperation empower us and help us relate more
effectively to the forces of "power" in the larger world? What are the
challenges in finding this sense of empowerment?

Please remember that we are looking for stories, personal experiences, and
concrete examples in your answers--these are what will make your ideas and
observations most "real" and relevant to readers.

[Please forward this email to anyone you think has a good story on this
theme for Communities.]

2. We are also seeking articles about:

    * Creating community in your neighborhood;
    * Starting a new community;
    * Process and communication issues in community; and
    * Seeking community to join.

Suggested submission length is from 300 to 2500 words. We invite
submissions ranging from short vignettes to extensively-developed
articles, and also invite suggestions of recommended resources and article
leads. We're seeking articles written in a reader-friendly,
popular-magazine style, rather than in an academic style. We ask
contributors to share stories and experiences, not just ideas; write about
challenges, not just successes; and describe specific situations that will
help your story come alive for the reader. Before you start writing,
please check or contact us for our
full Writers' Guidelines--and let us know your article idea so that we
can give feedback on how it may fit into Communities. Contact Chris Roth
at editor [at]

If you don't want to write an article but want to submit photos, please
check or contact Yulia Zarubina at
layout [at] for our Photo Guidelines.

I. What "Submitting an Article" Means. We will promise to read your
article, but we may respectfully decline it and not publish it, or save it
and publish it in a future issue. We also reserve the right to edit,
shorten, or revise your article. Most of the time we contact authors about
this ahead of time and get their comments, corrections, etc.

II. Getting Permission Ahead of Time. Please send the article only when
you have permission from anyone you need it from, such as fellow community
members. We endeavor to present a diversity of views on community,
including controversial or critical views, yet we hope to do so in a
respectful and cooperative manner and prevent antagonistic back-and-forth
dialog in our letters-to-the-editor section. If the article may provoke
controversy or strong reactions, please share your draft with group
members to get their input before sending it to us. (Please see our
Writers' Guidelines for additional details.)

III. Publication Rights. Once your article appears in Communities, we own
first North American Publishing Rights. This means your article appears in
Communities the first time it appears in North America. In addition to
appearing in Communities, your article may also appear on our website or
in future compilations. You retain all other rights to it. If you'd like
to use it elsewhere, you can, and we would appreciate your using an
attribution line saying, "This article first appeared in Communities:
Life in Cooperative Culture, (date); for further information on

IV. Photos. If we publish your article, we want to accompany it with
compelling images that illustrate your subject. You know your subject
best, so we are appealing to you for images. If others in your community
or group like taking pictures, they might already have great images to go
with your article. If you would like to submit an article but cannot
supply photos, that's fine; however, please give us plenty of advance
notice so that if we use your article we can get an illustrator. Please
check or email us for our full Photo
Guidelines. We also appreciate an author photo to accompany your short
(several-line) author bio.

Thanks for your contributions!

Chris Roth
Editor, Communities
editor [at]

Chris Roth
Editor, Communities
RR 1 Box 156
Rutledge MO 63563-9720
editor [at]

for Communities advertising,
please contact ads [at]

for photos and layout,
please contact Yulia Zarubina:
layout [at]

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