Archive for October, 2012


My wife always turns Halloween into a four day event when she can.  She scours the paper looking for any trick or treating opportunity.  She doesn’t care if it’s a fall festival, a Hallellujah Night, a Trunk or Treat, or Halloween, she spends the bulk of October brainstorming costumes for her* and the boys (during one particularly excessive year, she had a different set of THEMED! costumes for each night).

I’m not a huge fan of Halloween, probably for three reasons:  1) early childhood trauma; 2) I love to defy expectations and horror writers are expected to automatically love it; 3) every year I get embroiled in some argument tenuously framed as “the Church vs. Halloween.”  So it’s not a season I look forward to.

This is that time of the year when I’m bombarded with a lot of silly.  When Twilight and the Harry Potter books are condemned as evil and occult (of all the very real reasons to not read Twilight, it being “evil” isn’t one of them).  When people’s faith is questioned if they watch horror movies.  Last year I wrote a blog in response to some folks declaring all fall festivals somehow sinful.  I appreciate their concerns because we all struggle with how to apply various passages in the Bible, in this case the biblical injunction not to engage in witchcraft or commune with the spirits of the dead (Deut. 18: 10–13), though we ought to be … cautious in applying Old Testament laws.  However, one may want to get to know some actual witches before you go pronouncing that fantasy is somehow the gateway drug to witchcraft.  I’m pretty sure that’s not the way it works.

Hallelujah Nights, the Christian alternative to Halloween, tend to set my teeth on edge.  I suppose they shouldn’t.   As Lisa Morton points out, “the Christian influence on Halloween actually begins in 601 A.D., when Pope Gregory I instructed his missionaries that, rather than obliterate native peoples’ customs and beliefs, they should try to use them; hence, Catholic holy days were set at the times of native holy days, celebrations and festivals. As Christian missionaries moved into Ireland, they practiced Gregory’s doctrine of “syncretism” and replaced the Celts’ Samhain with All Saints’ Day (Pope Gregory III moved the observation to November 1 in the eight century).”  It’s not like we didn’t co-opt Yule/Christmas.

And in the end, syncretism or not, all kids care about is dressing up and getting free candy.

So I’ll suck it up and head out to Hallelujah Night** or Trunk or Treat or whatever it is that’s passing out free candy, having bounce houses, has a petting zoo, and … wait, that doesn’t sound too bad.  What was I griping about again?  (If I were being dragged to a “Hell House” okay then I’d be in full rant mode)


*Okay, here’s the thing:  my wife really wanted to be a gumball machine this year.  She had to move the coin slot/candy dispenser she was so proud of having hand crafted because of my observation that her placement of it would give a whole new meaning to the phrase “coinbox”.

**That being said, I could use some costume ideas for the next time I’m invited to a church’s Hallelujah Night.  I’m thinking me and my wife could come as pre-Fall Adam and Eve, or I could be drunk Noah, or the guy who had a tent peg rammed through his head.

Second Story’s Write of the Living Dead Re-cap

So Cat Valente told me a story about how when she was in school Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn, visited.  That visit helped to add kindling to the slowly building fire that would become Cat Valente.  That’s one of the reasons why she loves going into schools to talk to students these days.

It’s a reason why I became involved with Second Story:  We work hard to connect with neighbors across Indianapolis and collaborate with other community-based organizations that can use our help including youth writing in their efforts.  Second Story is dedicated to helping students take advantage of their communal spaces.  Just as we do with our in-school programs, Second Story currently brings trained teaching teams made of writers, educators and college students into existing after-school supplemental creative writing instruction in small-group settings.

As a fundraising event, we brought in Catherynne Valente, Laird Barron, and Gary Braunbeck … and we worked them.  Between them, they went into six schools, spoke to hundreds of kids, did readings, put on workshops, and in general, were awesome.

I can’t help thinking about how none of us got to where we are on our own.  We’ve all had people who inspired us, encouraged us, or supported us along the way, be they parents, teachers, or other writers.  (I know I’ve been blessed by having Wayne Allen Sallee, Brian Keene, and Gary come into my life just when I needed them).  Giving back is part of the tradition of stories, I believe, and Second story is all about that.  Rather than bemoan how “this generation doesn’t read,” coming alongside teachers and librarians to raise up another generation of writers and readers.

Last year, I had the privilege of going into my sons’ school and speaking to their classes.  A sea of brown and black faces seeing a face like theirs talking about being a writer.  Letting them know that their stories are worth telling and can be told.  By them.  I saw the same look on dozens of little girls’ faces as they listened to Cat talk about writing about what she could relate to.  And that they could do that.

So I’d like to thank Cat, Laird, and Gary for their selflessness and generosity, modeling what it’s like for writers to give back.  Also the IHW for supporting and coming alongside this entire endeavor.  And Second Story for providing the mission.  It was an awesome weekend!

Family Dinner (A Story)

First off, I am up with two new podcast appearances this week, both at The Round Table Podcast.  The first is a 20 minute interview with me (with one of the best introductions of all time).  The other one is a live workshop of a novel idea by a writer who needs to hurry up and finish his novel, Zach Ricks.  

Second, I was one of the winners of  Punchnel’s Zombific(a)tion! zombie story contest.  Here’s my story, Family Dinner.  Let us prey…

You always hated end-of-the-world stories. You loathed the idea of being one of the survivors. Better to be one of the nameless millions, lost and forgotten in the first wave of The End, whatever that end may be. At least their misery was over. Not wearing telephone books—finally they came in handy for something—duct-taped together as body armor while carrying an aluminum bat against thieves searching for an unguarded entrance. You do what you’ve always done. Pretend everything was okay, burying your feelings and reality, as deep as possible, desperate to cling to anything resembling normal.

You set a dish in front of your mother-in-law, careful to stay out of her gnashing reach while you arrange the place setting.

(continued on Punchnel’s site)

Me Around the Web

As I continue my promotion blitzkrieg for Dark Faith: Invocations as well as the newly released Knights of Breton Court omnibus, here’s where you can find me:

Over on SFSignal, they ask the questions: What makes a hero (or heroine) a hero instead of merely a protagonist? Is the idea of a straight up hero old fashioned or out of date in this day and age? And me, Matt Forbeck, Chris Holm and others sound off.

Over on Mary Robinette Kowal’s blog, I discuss some of the behind the scenes things that I loved about writing the Knights of Breton Court. Be warned: I’m a nerd. (One thing I left out, as a part of researching the book and some of the ideas in it, I had a huge discussion with Catherynne Valente about whether or not King Arthur ever loved Guinevere…)

You know how new writers are advised not to discuss things like politics and faith on their blogs? Well, Robert Swartwood and I said “screw that!” as we discuss (dark) faith and politics and Christian horror in this podcast.

Not on the web, but still on your newsstands, the latest issue of Rue Morgue (#126) has a write up of Dark Faith: Invocations, where me and Jerry Gordon sound off.  Between this and the review in Fangoria, I’m a happy nerd this week.

There are a couple new interviews up. I’m the featured author as a part of Celebrate Knoxville’s October Frights. And SpecMusicMuse and I discuss some of the music I write to.

Btw, have I mentioned my appearance on Writing Excuses 7.40: Writing the Other?






Runaway Republicans

“I can understand if you’re asking these questions as a devil’s advocate.  But if you are having these questions, I have to question your conservatism.”  – CL Bryant to me

The main reason I hadn’t waded into any political discussions on my blog is because this election cycle, I’m tired.  The horserace aspect of it all doesn’t interest me.  The “fate of the country as we know it” pseudo-import of it doesn’t interest me.  The dialogue itself doesn’t interest me.  Facebook, for example, encapsulates all of the problems, as “friendships” are reduced to labels and we conflate political discourse and personal attack.  Every four years, we stop being people become labels to be vilified or demonized.  Suddenly I’m not “Maurice,” I’m a political party or believe.

But writing the review of Runaway Slave has me thinking about a few issues, including the idea of being a Black Republican.  [Black folks at the Democratic Convention–>]

My political journey is almost the mirror opposite of C.L. Bryant in the movie.  I grew up in a (white) conservative church and had it drilled into my head that any right thinking Christian had no choice but to vote Republican (read: pro-life = WWJD).  As such, my personal leanings tend to skew to the right.  However, my love for social justice and environmental concerns doesn’t allow me to exist there comfortably. I believe in personal responsibility and the community taking care of its poor. I’m a capitalist who believes that with great wealth comes great responsibility, and spending has to be tempered with compassion. I think that Democrats take the black vote for granted and the Republicans have written off the black vote. And I want my taxes cut.

We give too much credence to the idea of being able to legislate our problems away; trusting too much in laws and too little in the corrupt nature of man. Republicans are going to (continue to) look racist if they simply scrap programs for the poor without having a different plan to replace it with. Democrats are going to (continue to) enable this co-dependent relationship that keeps a disproportionate amount of us suckling at the government’s teat.

Stepping on the necks of the poor all the while telling them to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps is BS and elitist: pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps is great, if you have boots.  It’s like trying to come into a game of Monopoly after everyone else has been around the board a bunch of times.  Nor can you just throw money at folks as the cure for poverty.  We need better, more comprehensive strategies for dealing with poverty. [<– Black folk at the Republican Convention]

I live in a state of tension: I don’t trust government, want it shrunk, but want it to do what it’s supposed to do.  The government does have a role to play in things, after all:  in spending on education, in supporting the working poor in their efforts to pull themselves up. Yet I also value personal responsibility.  Our responsibility is to value education. We have a history as scientists, artists, business people, and explorers. More than being athletes, entertainers or drug dealers, education is the best sure route out of poverty.

President Obama took 95% of the Black vote in 2008.  The Joint Center for Economic and Political Studies put the number of black delegates at the Republican convention at 46—about 2% of the delegate population (in 2008, only 36 of the 2,380 delegates seated on the convention floor were black, the lowest numbers since they have been tracked).  And I can’t help but wonder just how many black people are in Mitt Romney’s inner circle.

Republicans can’t get out of their own way when it comes to being the messengers.  Employing their Southern Strategy, gaining political support in the Southern section of the country by appealing to white fears (racism), seems inbred into their very DNA at this point.  They like to play coy, being too smart by half using racially loaded language and imagery (from tar baby to throwing spears), yet telling themselves they’re not being racist. The way the party is presented, there’s neither an attempt to reach out to black votes nor an embrace of black voters.  And, real world interactions have taught me that having a place where you feel you belong often trumps any differences in ideology.  The Republican party needs to do more than stick a Negroes Welcome sign on their doors or else they’re going to be getting a lot more letters from former black conservatives.

Now back to my regular blogging …


An Interview with CL Bryant

Me:  Who do is Runaway Slave aimed at?  Who is your target audience?

CL:  The entire psyche of the American people is our target audience.  We wanted to make the point that Black people have been used as a test case for over 60 years with a design that will be played out on the rest of the American people.  We want people to see how Black people have been used and are being used. (Herman Cain and CL ->)


Me:  How old is the Black Conservative movement?

CL:  The Black Conservative movement is as old as the Civil War, when Blacks were emancipated.  The first Black people in Congress were elected in the late 1860s and early 1870s and all of them were Conservatives and were Republicans.  They were Conservative in the sense that there was a new awakening among Black people that they did have an investment in this country and also a promissory note that they should cash which the Constitution had given to them.

When we look at the Progressive Liberals/Democrats who have perpetuated a fraud on Black folks for over 60 years by convincing them that the word “Conservative” is something alien to them and the Republican party is something against them.  And it proves how out of touch most Black people are with their history.


Me:  What would you say is the size of the Black Conservative movement today?

CL:  The movement is much larger and prominent than people think.  The reason it’s not even larger is that most Black people do not want to go through the trauma and disenfranchisement from our own people when we make it known how we feel about politics and the American free market system.


Me:  Why do you think Republicans are seen as racist?

CL:  The lie has come from the Progressive Left.  They’ve been successful by and large through the Black pulpit.  Over the last 50 years, they have co-opted the Black preacher by having them preach a gospel, in many circles called Black Liberation Theology, that says if Jesus Christ doesn’t alleviate the social pain that Black or poor folks feel, then what good is the religion.  They have pushed forth the idea that Democrats are the champions of the poor and downtrodden and those who are Black.  In doing so, they have won the hearts of Black people, especially in the 1960s when a Democrat president signed the Civil Rights Act.  But what Black people fail to recognize is that the Civil Rights bill would not have been there if it wasn’t for Republicans in the House and the Senate.


Me:  Looking at the Republican Party, the Southern Strategy seems to woven into the fabric of who they are today.  There’s no sense of “welcome” or outreach effort from the party, as if they have just written off the Black vote.  Considering the level of race-tinged rhetoric from the Tea Party, at what point does the Republican Party have to look inward in terms of how they approach Black people?

CL:  Why should they reach out to Black folks?  Why can’t they see for themselves what the best thing is for their pocketbooks, for their families, and America?  Why do Black folks have to be led around and told this is what’s best for you.  That’s almost insulting.

Black people can read for themselves that the first Black Senators, the first Black Congressmen, the first Black people who legally governed in this country were all Republicans.  That it was white Democrats who stood in the doorway of the University of Alabama with George Wallace trying to keep Black folks out of it.  That is was white Democrats who stood in front of Little Rock and a Republican president, Eisenhower, had to send in the National Guard so that the Little Rock 9 could go to school.  How come Black people can’t discover for themselves that it was Democrats that created the Ku Klux Klan?

Republicans have always reached out to Black folks.  Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. The first Black Democrat Senator, Carol Moseley Braun, was elected until the late 1980s.  The second was Barack Obama.  I have traveled across the country, even helped form the first Tea Party in Tel Aviv.  I have never met a person who is racist in the Tea Party.  The idea that the Tea Party is a bunch of racists is the biggest lie that has even been told.  Why?  Because racists don’t mind being called racists, but Tea Partiers do.


Me:  Why is there not more of a Black presence at the Republican Convention?

CL:  I came from a family who came from the plantation.  One thing about the plantation is the same for the Democrat Party:  whenever you look at the Democrat Party, you see a whole field of Black folks.

When you look into states where Black folks were free, you didn’t see very many of them.  Why? Because not very many had the courage of the runaway slave.  It took a lot of courage to say to the master “I don’t want your clothing, I don’t want your housing, I don’t want your food, I don’t want your handouts.  I’m going to get my own.”  And when free Black people come back to the plantation, they are vilified.  The ones who are still trapped in that system will actually go back and tell their white masters that we’re hanging around trying to tell them that they can be free. Why?  So they can enslave us again.


Me:  Then why aren’t there more Black voices in Mitt Romney’s inner circle?

CL:  That doesn’t matter.  My grandfather told me that he didn’t go through all that he went through so that I could be Black.  He went through all that he went through so that I could be free.  Let me tell you something, the one thing that holds Black people back is that we live our lives trying to be Black.  We’d be much better served living our lives trying to be free.

This is what I have seen:  in the inner circles of Democrats, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton should be included in their inner circles.  But those two men, who have delivered more votes to the Democratic Party than perhaps any other two men alive, but they have been treated like prostitutes:  only trotted out when Democrats want to use them.  They have never been offered an ambassadorship or a cabinet post.  So let’s ask the Democrat party that question.

In the Republican Party’s 150 year history, Black folks have always been in the inner circle: from Frederick Douglass to Alan West to J.C. Watts to Herman Cain to now. We’ve had three Black chairmen of the Republican convention, the Democrats have never had one. If Mitt Romney does or doesn’t, that’s on him, but historically, Republicans have.


Me:  Part of your journey was prompted by your faith coming into conflict with your politics.  How do you see your faith meshing with your politics these days?

CL:  The reason the Democratic Party left me is because they started going in directions my God tells me we should not go.  When I consider the fact that I am against abortion, when I consider the fact that I am against gay marriage, the Republican Party platform stands against those things.  So my faith meshes perfectly.  The platform of the Democratic Party is all for those things, so my question to the so-called Black Democrats who call themselves Christian is how does your faith mesh up with your politics?

Runaway Slave – A Review

Runaway Slave is a movie in search of a target demographic to convince of its rightness.  It positions itself as a travelogue of sorts revolving around the journey of C.L. Bryant, a Baptist minister and former President of the NAACP chapter in Garland, Texas.   He began to drift from his “progressive liberal” stance when it began to conflict with his faith, starting with the abortion issue, and ends up a member of the Tea Party.

What could have been an interesting discussion of that journey instead becomes the worst kind of propaganda film.  Written and directed by Pritchett Cotton (the irony of this last name goes without comment), Runaway Slave was produced in partnership with the FreedomWorks Foundation, with the agenda of freeing the black community from the economic slavery of the government.  The entitlement mindset of the “progressive” black community is the equivalent of trading one form of tyranny for another, so Bryant and the film strives to create a postmodern “Underground Railroad” to help black people escape from the plantation of government entitlements.

Bryant points out that the Black community has 40% of its population on welfare, 72% of its children born out of wedlock and a 48% abortion rate, and asks “Is this what the black community has to show for its 95% support of the Democratic Party?”  Along the course of his journey, he interviews several prominent conservatives in the black conservative movement.  Leaders like Rev. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are described in interviews as “poverty pimps” because they profit while claiming to represent the best interests of black America.

This is where the provocative discussion breaks down, because the solution becomes “join the Republican Party.”

“Why do we continue to deal with the past instead of looking toward our future?” –C.L. Bryant

Runaway Slave takes great pains to go over some of the history of the civil rights movement and the Democratic and Republican Parties that is not generally known, such as it was Republican President Eisenhower who desegregated the American military and introduced the first civil rights act since reconstruction – The Civil Rights Act of 1957.  But then there is a lot of arguing about labels and titles that becomes the underpinning of the remaining discussion.

For all of the Republicans/Tea Party’s defensiveness about being labeled, they are quick to label others, as socialist or Marxist.  They also conveniently do not address the racist rhetoric among the Tea Party or acknowledge how must the “Southern Strategy” of the Republicans or the inflammatory rhetoric of the Tea Party has cost them.  Instead, black conservatives are reduced to distinguish themselves as Frederick Douglass Republicans (the Black equivalent of the Log Cabin Republicans).  In short, black people are encouraged to escape the plantations by running to a party where they aren’t wanted.

One only has to go to any barber shop or any place where there’s “real talk” to realize that black people aren’t a monolithic political group.  Economic policy, abortion, gun control, all issues get vigorously debated.  And the fact of the matter is that a socially conservative platform could find a home within the black community, and that message resonate loudly.  Unfortunately, Runaway Slave, as with many agenda “documentaries” spends too much time asking the wrong questions.

Runaway Slave fails to give any real scope or context to the black conservative movement. Once we’re introduced to all of their buzzwords (“the new plantation”) all the viewer is left with is more of the “by your bootstraps”/“think for yourselves” (read: become a Republican) dogma.  Nor does the film go down easy.  It’s dull and humorless (squandering a sequence where Rev. Al “I never saw a mic I didn’t speak into” Sharpton refuses to talk to them), repeating its central message over and over rather than advancing its thought.  Uninteresting and not especially compelling, despite the provocative nature of its premise, the movie comes off as a stiff lecture from people who believe they’re smarter than you.

Conflating Faith and Politics

[synchroblog is a collection of similar articles or posts made by a diverse group of bloggers who have agreed to blog on the same topic on the same day.]

It’s that time of year again.  Even with me doing my level best to ignore the political diatribes that pass as dialogue, I am still awash in folks who conflate their religion with their politics.  Too often we get it in our heads that one political party speaks for Christendom.

There are black churches that condemn Republicans as evil (and black Republicans as sell outs); and white churches that seem to proclaim that the Republican agenda is God’s agenda and anyone against it amoral, irreligious, or anti-God (I still find it curious that Evangelicals, after being so up in arms about President Obama *possibly* being Muslim, seem relatively quiet about Mitt Romney being a Mormon).

I think that Democrats take the black vote for granted and the Republicans have written off the black vote.  I’ve been to Republican and Democratic meetings and found them both generally attended by people who love this country and seek its best interests (and both opened their meetings in prayer, but this is Indiana).  And there are nuts on both sides.  In other words, I’m not a big believer in demonizing either side.

I have no problem with our spirituality informing our politics, but have huge problems with our politics informing our spirituality.  It’s difficult to be faithful to your own beliefs and convictions and still do what is best for everyone.  It may be that I call myself a “black Republican” just to piss off every side in any political discussion, but I find that there is no place that I fully comfortably fit.  Here’s where my faith and “politics” converge:

1) Pro-Life.  Judging from the e-mails I get (I guess the comments feature on my blog is moot), my most controversial blog during the last election cycle was how I’m still consider myself pro-life and feel comfortable voting for President Obama:  “I still believe life begins at conception, but being pro-life means that I don’t stop worrying about kids once they’re born. Being pro-life means I don’t get to move away from all “the problems” of the city and build personal compounds in the suburbs. It means that all life is valuable: the unborn, the underserved, the abandoned, the forgotten. Here’s the bottom line, mine is a nuanced position is hard to encapsulating into a bumper sticker.”

2) Pro-Environment.  One of the lessons from the Genesis account of creation is that we were created to be stewards of creation. Yet, we’ve lost our connection with creation, continuing to develop new ways to either insulate ourselves from it or encroach our brand of civilization into it. Our souls are starved for God’s creation and all people should enjoy it, embracing it the way God intended for us. Maybe we need to recover the mystical part of spirituality, learning to exist in harmony with God and others as well as creation.  So, for me, environmentalism should be a moral issue.

3) Social Justice.  With verses like “’I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’” (Matthew 25:40) and “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” (I John 3:17), churches are charged to take care of the poor. There almost seems to be the perception in some camps that the poor want to live in poverty, like they are there because they are lazy or are there strictly as the result of their choices. The reality is that most have been let down, if not abandoned, by the system.  How we treat the poor defines us as a culture and as a country. The government needs to assist those unable to take care of themselves.  But that system needs to be checked because supporting dependency without accountability hurts any community, especially a community burdened by institutionalized racism.

Poverty and homelessness is such a multi-pronged problem covering a variety of physical, emotional, spiritual, and social needs; and involves matters of economic development, health, and education.  The strategies tend to be holistic in nature.  Education is a “silver bullet”, which means that I have vested interest in having the best education system possible. God identifies with the poor and those in pain, liberating them from injustice. So I have a huge problem with “Evangelicals” talking about “the welfare state” since my position is that the government wouldn’t have to do so much if the church was doing its job (that sound you hear is crickets from our large, comfortable suburban churches).

4) Tax Cuts.  There is no Biblical position on taxes beyond “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” (Matthew 22:21) and I’m willing to pay my fair share.  I care about economic issues, like unemployment, because I have a family (my first/primary ministry) to take care of.  I believe in personal responsibility and the community taking care of its poor. I’m a capitalist who believes that with great wealth comes great responsibility, and spending has to be tempered with compassion. I also don’t trust the government and like it shrunk as much as possible (yes, it sounds like another nuanced position, but I want the government as small as possible while it does the things it has to do).

No, that isn’t an exhaustive list of all my positions, but those are several issues I think about when it comes to my faith impacting my politics.  And I try to listen to the diverse voices around me to further inform me. I try to keep in mind that the Bible is not a political treatise.  In fact, I doubt that the people who espouse political views from the Bible would like the kind of politics that the Bible would endorse, because Jesus’ message wasn’t pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.

Christians need to bear witness to the biblical story within a cultural context, however, we are to do so without being co-opted by the culture.  Let’s not confuse a “civil religion with Jesus flavored rhetoric” (American Christianity) with a Jesus-shaped Gospel.  As I’ve said before, I don’t ask “What Would Republican Jesus Do?” because in the final analysis, the American government is not my Lord.  The Republican Party is not my God.  Politics is not my call to worship.  Jesus didn’t die for lower taxes, smaller government, pro-business policies, and an individualistic worldview.  If your religion is to mean anything, then be about the poor, the “least of these”, and then get back to me.  Until then, spare me your rallies and rhetoric.


Other Synchro-bloggers:

We The People by Wendy McCaig

Pulpit Freedom, Public Faith by Carol Kuniholm

Plumbers and Politicians by Glenn Hager

Conflating Faith and Politics by Maurice Broaddus

You Cannot Serve Two Masters by Sonja Andrews

Would Jesus Vote by Jeremy Myers

A Kingdom Not Of This World by Jareth Caelum

I am a Christian and I am a Democrat by Liz Dyer

5 ways to make it through the election and still keep your friends by Kathy Escobar

Why There’s No Such Thing As The Christian Vote by Marta Layton

God’s Politics? by Andrew Carmichael

Faith and the Public Square by Leah Sophia

New Stop the Violence Indianapolis Web Site



For Immediate Release
October 7, 2012
Media Contact:
Beatrice Beverly
Another Donation Given To
Stop the Violence Indianapolis, Inc.
Stop the Violence Indianapolis, Inc. is a catalyst for change – empowering people to take actionStop the Violence Indianapolis assists individuals through education and a broader awareness of positive alternatives to gun violence, gang violence and domestic violence.
Please join STOP THE VIOLENCE INDIANAPOLIS, INC. and 4 other Non for Profit organizations today at 2:00PM as we launch our new websites donated by a team of volunteers from all over Indianapolis and the surrounding areas via INDY GIVECAMP.  The Indy GiveCamp is hosted by MID Technologies, LLC.
Indy Give Camp (MID Technologies, LLC) is located at 9800 Association CtIndianapolis, IN 46280.  The website for more information on Indy GiveCamp is:
Stop the Violence Indianapolis, Inc. would like to thank all the sponsors of Indy GiveCamp.

Indy GiveCamp Sponsors: MID, 5-Hour Energy, Steak and Shake, Applied Innovations, Centric Consulting, Saas Made Easy, hc1, Qdoba

About GiveCamp
GiveCamp is a weekend-long event where software developers, designers, and database administrators donate their time to create custom software for non-profit organizations. This custom software could be a new website for the nonprofit organization, a small data-collection application to keep track of members, or an application for the Red Cross that automatically emails a blood donor three months after they’ve donated blood to remind them that they are now eligible to donate again. The only limitation is that the project should be scoped to be able to be completed in a weekend.
During GiveCamp, developers are welcome to go home in the evenings or camp out all weekend long. There are usually food and drink provided at the event. There are sometimes even game systems set up for when you and your team needs a little break! Overall, it’s a great opportunity for people to work together, developing new friendships, and doing something important for their community.
At GiveCamp, there is an expectation of “What Happens at GiveCamp, Stays at GiveCamp”. Therefore, all source code must be turned over to the non-profits at the end of the weekend (developers cannot ask for payment) and the non-profits are responsible for maintaining the code moving forward (non-profits cannot expect the developers to maintain the codebase).
We would like to thank our Sponsors for making the 2012 Indy GiveCamp possible!

A Day in the Life (Non-Profit Edition)

8:00 a.m.  Pick up a couple of fellas from the Cities of Refuge transitional house

8:30 a.m. Met up at the Stop the Violence Indianapolis house for the first collaborative project between Cities of Refuge Ministries, Stop the Violence Indianapolis, and A New Way of Life.

9:00 a.m. Realized we had actually assembled a construction crew made up of ex-felons, ex-gang members, ex-addicts, and ex-homeless.

10:00 a.m. Arrived at the Outreach Inc house for morning drop volunteer duty.  Was immediately blessed by the kids.

11:45 a.m.  Took a break down at Calvin Fletcher Coffeeshop.  Came up with the first line (and first paragraph) of my next novel.  Finally.

12:15 p.m.  Arrived at A New Way of Life, but I was there not as a board member but as a volunteer for IndyReads (a literacy advocacy group)

2:10 p.m. Had an impromptu board meeting for Cities of Refuge.

3:00 p.m.  Home for a nap.

5:10 p.m.  Took the family to meet with a friend to discuss a possible church plant idea.

8:40 p.m.  Settled in with the family.

11:10 a.m.  Realized the house was quiet and figured I might have time to squeeze out a page or two of my novel before Richard Dansky crawls through the Interwebz to remind me to write.  But this is what my life looks like these days (to explain my lack of tweeting, blogging, Facebooking, and writing productivity).  I know, I know, I’m supposed to be strictly freelancing, but every time I get out …