lag4peace: Don’t Iraq Iran

FOR's virtual office Tomorrow a large coalition of activists is organizing a series of events in Second Life to raise awareness about preventing a war with Iran. I’m really excited about it and I will be there most of the day helping out as a media contact. This event also inspired me to add some Iran info to the virtual office for my organization the Fellowship of Reconciliation (seen at left).

There is a whole day of events, but if you don’t want to be there all day, please come and check out the keynote and opening rally at 11:45am EST. It will be at the Commonwealth Assembly Area which can hold over 300 avatars (a lot for SL!).

Full info about the day of events is below. Sorry to post the entire press release, but this info doesn’t seem to be online anywhere else.
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Why I’m fasting tomorrow

Interfaith Fast Because it’s not enough to vote in November. Because it’s not enough to write letters to Congress. Because it’s not enough to march in the streets of Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Fayetteville, and Washington. Because it’s not enough to reduce my consumption of fossil fuels and boycott businesses that support the war and the Republican party.

Because we all must be the change we want to see in the world.

I will join thousands of other Americans tomorrow in refraining from food from dawn to dusk. I will meditate and I will generate compassion and love (metta) for the people of Iraq and the U.S. service members, who are suffering every day that this war goes on and will continue to feel the physical and mental pain of war for years to come. And like many others, I will join with an interfaith community to break the fast and celebrate our unity around the cause of peace.

Find out more and find a fast-breaking near you at

Join me in Second Life to feed our avatars and our souls at 7pm EDT. keep reading for more information.
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Burma is burning

Here’s an update on Burma that I just posted at the FORpeace blog:

[avatars in red t-shirts] Over the past week there have been countless demonstrations around the world is support of freedom and democracy in Burma. Even in the virtual world of Second Life there has been a red t-shirt campaign and a "human chain" action to bring people together, spread the word, and show support for the people of Burma. On Flickr you can see many more pictures of this innovative action as well as photos from demonstrations around the world calling for peace and justice in Burma.

[Israeli protest]Our colleagues at the Buddhist Peace Fellowship have been hard at work and have a lot of information to share including this list of Burma events around the U.S. and the world, a collection of statements from Buddhist communities in support of their brethren in Burma, and most importantly an updated list of what we can do to support the people marching for democracy in Burma.

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Fun with Newt

Newt in tank Today newt Gingrich is making a visit to Capitol Hill on Second Life. I’m trying to think of slogans to put on our avatars’ signs and t-shirts. I can’t decide whether to go for sarcastic (“Newt ’08”) or angry (“lying hypocrite”). Suggestions?

Newt links:

Virtual registration of real voters

Since you read my blog religiously (what? you don’t???) you know that I have been facilitating weekly meetings of the SL Netroots group that emerged from RootsCamp in Second Life back in November. In January, this group put on Avatars Against the War, bringing over 100 people to a peace protest held at Second Life’s Capitol Hill. Since then our participation has ebbed and flowed. I haven’t had as much time as I’d like to put into it, and many of our leaders were also engaged with other important activities like organizing against fascism in SL and putting on Yearly Kos in Second Life (YKSL).

At last week’s meeting we had a lively group with some regulars and some newcomers and folks came up with a great idea: a voter registration drive to make SL residents aware of the need to register and vote and to make it easier for them to do so. Being the voice of reason (a.k.a. seasoned cynic), I recommend that our volunteers bring us a plan to be discussed at our next meeting. (We’ve had issues with folks bringing good ideas but not following-through.)

Sure enough Jamming Independent (a.k.a. John Breyault in RL) has come up with a plan, and we will be discussing it at our weekly SL Netroots meeting tomorrow (Thursday) at noon PDT/3pm EDT. We will also be talking about the Netroots Nation group that emerged from YKSL and how to work together with them in the future.

This is great stuff going on and I am very excited! If you’ve been meaning to come or if you used to and haven’t been in a while, this one is the meetup to attend. Hope to see you there.

NPC opening now!

I’m settling in at the Nonprofit Commons (NPC) opening in Second Life. I will be liveblogging by adding stuff to THIS POST rather than posting a new blog entry each time, so please come back and scroll down…

8:40 pm EDT
The sim is already full and folks can’t get in. There is an overflow space at

My first pictures are up at
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We are currently listening to a woman doing a nice solo guitar-and-singing thing. Enjoyable, but I always find it funny to hear folk music in virtual worlds…

Here are the ladies of the hour, from left to right: Glitteractica Cookie (Susan Tenby of TechSoup, organizer of this event and this community), Jeska Linden (NP liaison for Linden Labs, not sure if LL did anything in particular for this besides create Second Life), and Anshe Chung (SL real estate baron and donor of the island and buildings that house the NPC)
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SL crashed my computer, as it does about once per visit on average.

I am back in-world, amazingly was able to get back to NPC, and the live video from San Fransisco is now starting. Susan Tenby is telling the crowd about TechSoup’s work in Second Life. 300 group members, thousands of avatars have come to their weekly meetings.

I’m told the video is also available at

And crash #2.

I was in for about a second and then crash #3. Restarting SL now…


OK, I’m back in and I’ve got more pictures up. Here’s Susan Tenby appearing by video (behind the stage where her avatar is sitting).
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Anshe Chung’s avatar is on the video and she is speaking from China. Susan is pointing out the avatars to people in the audience.

Susan reports that there about 100 avatars in attendance including the overflow area.
Next up: Coughran Mayo from Preferred Family Healthcare speaking via Skype.

Here’s Evonne Heyning on screen while her avatar In Kenzo is on stage.
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Oh no! Evonne says that Vivienne Cassavetes was not able to get in to the event! She has been doing great nonprofit stuff in SL! Also we are being reminded of the URL:

Now there will be a Q & A with questions from SL.

Question: what predictions do you have for the future of non-profit activity in Second Life in the coming year?
Susan: Don’t know but has ideas about how to grow NPC.

me: I predict: it will grow.

Some discussion of volunteer efforts in SL and funding. Rik shared this link about Macarthur’s announcement today:

Here are some folks hanging out:
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There was a question from the SF audience about how a nonprofit employee could justify SL to their organization. I think they meant how to do you get your org to support using SL. Here’s what I and others said:

Ruby Glitter: Do you also have to “justify” using the web?
Ruby Glitter: Let’s not use this word “justify!”
Ruby Glitter: My org trusts me and I do it during 9-5.
Spirals Sol: we told our org. that it’s a new fancy way to reach out to the world
Master Quatro: if you volunteer then you don’t have to justify .. use your volunteers to do this
Fletcher Dovgal: I think results speak, so someone has to do the legwork, but then more get on board when it works
Huckleberry Fargis: justify is appropriate as an eval of effectiveness
Ping Rau: thanks
Ruby Glitter: This is just as important as doing online outreach in any other medium. True we don’t reach everyone, but there is an important constituency here and it’s growing.
Carmen Gray: I think it is a a great idea
Fletcher Dovgal: sometimes I just say ‘it’s email/chat with pictures’
Rik Riel: pepole with aspergers and autism use Seoncd Life
Carmen Gray: that is needed
Rhiannon Chatnoir: This space has allowed the extension of real life programs for non profit organizations I work with like Global Kids who are able to do outreach programs … just in a different way
Ozma Malibu: my org gives input into what we want
Dru Rossini: /deaf people can read

Now folks are visiting the 32 nonprofits who have offices here at NPC. I am mostly visiting one that is Yehoodi, the swing dance society run by the fabulous Rik Riel. Rik is DJing for us a real time, the swing music is great! Here we are getting down:
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It’s about bedtime for me so I think that’s end of my updates. All my pics are at

Go visit on the web and in Second Life. Good night!

Nonprofit Commons gala opening tomorrow

The Nonprofit Commons is an island in Second Life that houses 32 virtual offices and meeting space for NGOs. They’ve been up and running for a month or so, but tomorrow will the be their gala mixed-reality opening celebration. I recommend showing up early before it gets too crowded. (It shouldn’t be too hard to come early as they are doing it on west-coast time. The challenge will really be staying until the end.)

Much more information is posted below and check back here for live reports and pictures from the event tomorrow night.

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Progressive/nonprofit guide to Second Life

I just compiled this list of resources for a colleague and thought it might be helpful for others:

Nonprofit Commons –
Weekly meetings (Friday at 8:30 am PST) for their community of 32 nonprofit offices and other orgs, manged by

Commonwealth Island –
A natural-themed home for progressive advocacy groups, especially environmental groups. FOR’s virtual office is there as well as ACLU, Code Pink, and the Prison Dharma Network.

A Better World in Second Life
Short documentary by a grad student exploring the potential for social change in Second Life.

SL Netroots –
Progressive activist group with weekly meetups (noon PST Thursdays) on Progressive Island in Second Life. I am the facilitator and co-founder of this group.

MacArthur Foundation
, Digital Media and Learning – &
“five-year, $50 million digital media and learning initiative … to help determine how digital technologies are changing the way young people learn, play, socialize, and participate in civic life”

Daily meditations for global peace –

Interesting discussion of faith-based groups in SL and how to deal with “decency” issues:

What did I miss?

Let’s go to BlogHer

BlogHers Act Today is the first day of the third annual BlogHerCon, and the third year that I have been unable to attend. But this year something is different: BlogHer is happenning in Second Life as well as in real life!

The published a schedule of SL events. I’m going to go check in right now, and you can find me there on a panel with two of my favorite avatars – In Kenzo and Glitteractica Cookie. We’ll be talking about online activism at 5:30 pm EDT. Here’s a link directly to the conference hall in Second Life. Hope to see you there!

Update: Here’s a description for our panell…
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Nonprofits at SLCC

More good news for nonprofits in Second Life: this year’s Second Life Community Convention (SLCC) will have a “nonprofit and philanthropic” theme thanks to the MacArthur Foundation, who is spending a year exploring the role of philanthropy in virtual worlds. I have to admit, this makes the SLCC much more appealing than it has been for me in the past. Still, I am having a crazy summer and I just don’t think I can handle much more travel.

(Random: Funny how many conferences are in Chicago this summer: Yearly KOS (which I am attending some of, because I got invited to be on a panel), BlogHer Con (I will participate via Second Life), and SLCC. What gives?)

I can’t find this press release on the web, so I’ll post the entire thing below.

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