by Larry Pareles
Volunteers from several Indivisible groups, including Swing Blue Alliance, joined together last year to create the News-MAGIC (MA Grassroots Information Collaborative) group. Our dream was to build an inclusive online community where grassroots progressive groups can find and share information quickly and easily. We hope this will encourage connections between groups, increase progressive strength across the state, and help everyone become more effective activists.
News-MAGIC has now grown to include:
- A full-featured website with a calendar of progressive events across MA
- Newsletter articles for editors to choose from (in Slack)
- Directories of active progressive groups and statewide organizations in MA
- Free online classes in technology and problem-solving for activists
The clearinghouse on Slack offers articles and events that editors can easily “drag-and-drop” into newsletters. All progressive groups are welcome to post in Slack channels (such as democracy reform, environmental activism, and civil rights) so people can easily find information about their activities.
This information flows into an events calendar at News-MAGIC.org. You can filter the calendar to highlight your interests by actions, issues, or individual groups, and easily import content into your own calendars. We are proud of this calendar which showcases many of the most important progressive events in MA. There are also up-to-date lists of progressive groups and statewide organizations to share.
Our newest offering is free online classes for small groups that focus on using key types of technology and solving specific problems so activists can get up to speed for the midterm elections and other important events ahead. We’ve offered both beginner and advanced classes in Google Docs and Google Sheets, emails, calendars, Mobilize, Action Network, and other tech, and are now expanding our offerings to include problem-solving for activists such as writing group emails and organizing Zoom meetings. We are looking for more topics that will help Massachusetts activists build their skills. We are fortunate to have several dedicated interns who are working to improve all our offerings and build a new directory of youth groups in the state.