Mobile freelancing: Reporter goes rocking and rolling for peace

By Jenny Knizner, Moonlighting, May 15, 2018, USA TODAY.

Susan Beaver Thompson traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway with #TripForPeace, a peace journalism adventure showcasing peacebuilders in action across America.(Photo: Moonlighting)

“By creating an ideal in your mind, you can identify yourself with it until you become one and the same with the ideal, thereby transforming yourself into it.” — Wayne W. Dyer

The same is true for peace. You can’t give away what you don’t have. One must learn to be peace in order to spread it. Peace is possible. We just need to live it, act on it together, and choose leaders who make peace our primary objective. It’s important that we are for peace, instead of ‘anti’ anything, including war. Those who embrace war will eventually become irrelevant.

This is the ideal that propels Susan Beaver Thompson.

As a freelance mobile journalist, you’ll find Susan traveling the U.S. and Canada for #TripForPeace, the social enterprise she launched last September to help make peace the No. 1 priority on the planet. Her sense of adventure, love of travel, nature and people, and concern for the planet – and the writing, marketing and alliance-building skills she’s cultivated all her life – are now all coming together for good.

Catching up with Susan on the Blue Ridge Parkway as she listens to a little Lynyrd Skynyrd and Eagles, she explains: “There are so many peacemakers and powerful peace projects happening in our country, but you don’t often hear about them in the news. I want to change that. I want to help change the dialogue – and our shared reality – from war to peace.”

Inspiring Susan to start a Peace Log called #TripForPeace, she posts eyewitness articles about peace each week from the road. During April, she covered peace leaders at the MLK50 Conference in Memphis, Tenn., and at “The History and Future of the Peace Movement,” a weekend seminar featuring David Swanson and Glen T. Martin, PhD at the Peace Pentagon in Independence, Va. She got to meet Peter Yarrow, from Peter, Paul, and Mary at a small concert in Charlottesville, Va., a week later.

As part of this effort, Susan has also launched the #PeaceSalon, a weekly “Peace Gathering of the People” on Zoom. The #PeaceSalon is a chapter of World Beyond War. It meets every Thursday night at 9:30 EDT. Details can be found at TripForPeace.com.

As a peace journalist, Susan will be covering more large peace events in 2018. But, as she remarks, #TripForPeace is really dedicated to telling the stories of the thousands of everyday peacebuilders in communities across America – people like Siloh Moses of Las Vegas, Nevada and Anne Carlson of St. George, Utah.

As both a publishing platform and a production in its own right, #TripForPeace shows the realities of peace activists and the peace movement, both the highs and the lows, using a Gonzo journalism style and solutions journalism techniques. Producing a podcast and YouTube series, as well as peace products, is also in the works.

To fully realize her peace journalism initiative, Susan requires financial support. So she started a crowdfunding campaign through Moon$hot Stories.

Thus far, Susan has been traveling by car, which though not ideal, is a start. Recently, she’s had car problems. Through Moonlighting’s crowdfunding tool called Moon$hot Stories, Susan has found a platform to share her mission and begin raising funds. Ultimately, Susan aims to raise $10,000, which will be enough to get a new or used RV or bus and turn it into a mobile press vehicle where she (and other peace journalists) can videotape peace-builders across the country and post their stories to journalism sites and social media.

“So much is changing now on our planet and in our galaxy. The timing is perfect for peace. As a social entrepreneur, I envision peace busses with young peace journalists traveling the country promoting peace and inviting others to join in. Later, I see a large peace ship sailing the globe, stopping at ports of call all over the world, holding “Peace Conferences of the People.’ I also see peace missions into the Milky Way in the future. Using #techforgood – rather than to control – is all part of the plan.”

Learn how you can support Susan’s peace journalism initiative #TripForPeace.

Prepped and ready to start your own crowdfunding campaign? At Moonlighting, we want to help you turn your passions into a successful business. Join this amazing community of freelancers, entrepreneurs, and gig workers changing how America works. Sign up and tell your Moon$hot Story to begin raising money to help fund your future today!

Members of the editorial and news staff of the USA Today Network were not involved in the creation of this content.

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