<i>"The Name of Our Country is América" - Simon Bolivar</i> The Narco News Bulletin<br><small>Reporting on the War on Drugs and Democracy from Latin America
 English | Español August 15, 2018 | Issue #67

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Al Giordano

Opening Statement, April 18, 2000
¡Bienvenidos en Español!
Bem Vindos em Português!

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The School of Authentic Journalism is a Vibrant Community That Grows Each Year

By Alejandra Collado
School of Authentic Journalism 2016

March 3, 2017

This appeal was originally published as a guest column in the newsletter ‘Al Giordano’s América.’ Subscriptions to the newsletter are available as a donor prize as part of the Kickstarter drive.

Greetings! I’m Alejandra Collado. I live in Mexico City. I do research on Social Media and I belong to several feminist organizations. I came to the School of Authentic Journalism because of one of those chance occurrences that happen in life, for which I’m grateful with all my heart.

Alejandra Collado, School of Authentic Journalism 2016

The School of Authentic Journalism is a wonderful project that gives scholarships every year to journalists, communicators, and people that tell stories of injustice and inequality, but also of faith and hope. People that want to, and believe they can, change the world.

At the School, scholars receive an intensive training given by great and talented people that fight for different causes and share their experiences. Each scholar acquires, or renews and improves on, their knowledge of communication tools: photography, videomaking, radio broadcasting, writing and social media management, to name a few. Another part of this intensive training is about social organizing: strategies to move through the streets, to make yourself visible, and to protect yourself and the cause you belong to.

The school has wonderful, creative, patient, fun and disciplined professors, with great experience in the subjects they teach, willing to share and also learn from the scholars. Professors and scholars become a vibrant community that grows each year with every passing generation, always with the support of those who contribute to this important project. The bonds forged through this experience are lasting.

To me, the school was a turning point in how I view myself and how I live the causes to which I am committed, as well as my vision and understanding of the role I play within them. It gave me the possibility to meet people from various parts of the world, with whom I still keep in touch and hope to continue to do so for a very long time.

The opportunity to learn from them, admire them, and share experiences has an immeasurable value. Scholars and professors alike begin to share with one another instantly at the school, as if we had always known each other, because what binds us connects us from the moment we introduce ourselves. This is the result of an excellent recruiting process.

Alejandra Collado, Escuela de Periodismo Auténtico 2016

At the school I learnt a great deal from the work of my companions, and I saw myself reflected in many of them. I regained my faith in people. I learned other ways to tell stories, to tell my story, to denounce and to resist.

Above all, I learned we are not alone. I learned that I can fight and at the same time laugh and dance, because joy can also be a political act. I learned no theory is sacred, that hope and victory can go viral, and that great victories are made of small victories. I also got to know the perfumed scent of laughter.

I believe the world needs the school because if there’s one thing we lack at this moment in history, it’s unity and places where we can be, believe, and trust. We need people to share and create strategies to transform the world. We need the school because there are many journalists, communicators, activists and people who love to tell stories, that carry the fire of the revolution in their hearts, and a longing to transform everything around them. We need a place to learn and understand organizers’ and activists’ experiences from different times and places, from different struggles that are relevant to ours.

The knowledge shared at the school is invaluable, and so is the community-fellowship that is achieved. I maintain that every graduate of the school returns to the world with a renewed energy, stronger and reaffirmed ideas and convictions, and with great inspiration, motivation and emotion. It’s a true privilege to have been part of the Generation 2016. I met people who I deeply admire today. At the school I remembered why I’m still here and why I don’t abandon my struggles or my passions. The school reminded me who I am, why I chose this path and why I will continue to do so.

This is the reason why we need your support, since to keep this project going we need funding and resources. Help us make another year of Authentic Journalism possible! Your donation can help another scholar join and live this amazing experience. You can contribute to the fight for a better world.

Donate to the School of Authentic Journalism 2017.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Alejandra Collado
SAJ, Generation 2016

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The Narco News Bulletin: Reporting on the Drug War and Democracy from Latin America