DoeWalking Community Award--Pages that Empower

Criteria and Description

Award1So the World-Wide-Web is here at last, and we all have pages. Some of us even have free pages on generous servers that want to give everyone her voice. I think this is a wonderful thing.
         Now let's do some even more wonderful things with this wonderful thing. Let's make the world better. Let's raise consciousness. Let's use this creation to help everyone else.
         I have decided to offer an award to those pages that I feel empower people to live in the community of the world. I do not mean just within a community of limited size, like the pagan community or the christian community or whatever. I do not mean pages that deal with education in the limited, school-based sense, such as pages devoted to the "facts" about one author or historical figure.
         I mean pages that help people to become stronger and more self-sufficient. Pages that help others to heal, to defend, to grow, to survive. Pages that recognize the worlds that extend beyond everyday middle-class, Euro-American experience; pages that challenge the reader to become involved or sometimes simply more aware or knowledgeable about the community at large. Pages that encourage us to be better citizens of the world. Most of all, I mean pages that make me feel as though I am a better person for simply knowing about that Web site.
Award2 Have I just described your site or at least a page within it? Then email me. I would love to give you this award and add you to my list of the winners, so that others can benefit from seeing your hard work and your commitment to the good causes of this world community. Have I described a site that you've seen elsewhere and that moved you? Please nominate that site.
One award per week will be offered. Thank you for your interest, and, as always, Blessed Be!

Sites that Have Received the Award:

Week of April 20, 1998:

The Disability Resources Monthly (DRM) Guide to Disability Resources on the Internet, a fantastic site dedicated to helping "people with disabilities [to]... live, learn, love, work and play independently and in the mainstream of society." Starting from the premise that "knowledge is power," the wonderful people at DRM have assembled a site that is stuffed with every sort of information they can find on the Web for the disabled and for those who support them. Best of all, this site is updated constantly. I just can't fit every thing that is on this superb site into this space; please read their introduction for a complete description. Thanks so much, DRM Folks!

Week of April 13, 1998:

Rape Recovery help and Information Page, for a comprehensive, sensitive, and wonderful site dedicated to helping all the victims of rape, including survivors, loved ones of survivors, and any of us who must combat our fears for ourselves and our children. In other words, these pages are for everyone at some stage of their emotional journey, since we live in a country where a woman is raped approximately every 12 seconds--often right in the workplace. Since this means that all of us know or will know a rape survivor, all of us are victims at one time of another of this crime. This site gives us all a place to learn more and to develop strategies for survival and recovery. Many grateful thanks to Gayle Crabtree for a moving, wise, and terribly necessary gift to the Web community. And, if you need help, please contact R.A.I.N.N. They operate a 24 hour line that will connect you with the nearest rape crisis center in most cases. The number is 1-800-656-HOPE.

April 6, 1998:

The Waiter's Revenge, a hilarious collection that gets here, first, in honor of April Fool's Day, and, second, because in its direct way, it addresses the abuses that people in less opulent jobs must take as a daily part of earning their way in the world. After six months myself in a nation-wide copying, typesetting, and binding chain, I can tell you that people in these sorts of jobs are exploited by employers and mistreated by customers. Please, next time you are ordering food, having copies made, developing film, or ordering burgers, PLEASE remember that you are dealing with another human being on the other side of that counter or wherever, who is doing demanding and often tedious work. And thanks to the folks at the Waiter's Revenge for helping us all to see this a little better!

Week of March 30, 1998:

Debbie's Adult Home Pages, a site "devoted to giving you alternatives, answers, and tips for surviving the difficult decisions of long term care solutions." Who better than a person running an adult group home for senior citizens to tell you about the options in this area? And that's just what Debbie does, providing pages on how to handle such difficult moments as having a loved one In the Hospital and various pages of information on the different options available for long-term health care for older people. I highly recommend this site for its hard-headed look at the facts relating to each option and its lack of bias, especially considering that the author is actively involved in this field as a provider. Well done, Debbie, and many thanks!

Week of March 23, 1998:

Invincible Summer, a site "primarily for those who have no surviving children, [but] all those who have lost children are welcome, as well as those who wish to help bereaved parents." I would recommend this site based on one page alone, "When In Doubt, Bring Lasagna: Do's and Don'ts in Helping a Bereaved Parent", a heartfelt, yet very kindly guide to real things you should and should not say or do to a grieving parent. Let's face it: most of us feel so awkward around grieving parents because we have absolutely no idea what they are experiencing and have never been warned what we should offer to them in way of support. Well, here's our chance to learn. And while you're at it, don't miss the excellent collection of columns and essays on the loss of children or the moving group of quotations. Many warm thanks, Carol Hall, for such a wise and poignant site.

Week of March 16, 1998:

Blended Family Resource Guide, a very wise and helpful site based on a wonderful, common-sensical idea by Wooberry (her "buddy name") to share what she and her family have learned as they have worked to make two rather disparate groups of people into one family. Wooberry explains her general concept quite clearly: "A Blended Family is a new family generated after a couple marries or lives together as a family, having been previously in a relationship or marriage. The previous relationships have resulted in children. Sometimes the new couple [have had]... a child together as well as children from previous relationships." Sound difficult? Well, the resourceful Dr. Wooberry (she really is a physician) will tell you a great deal of what you'll need to know, with links to sites concerning everything from biological parents to blending pets into your newly blended (human) family. Three cheers to you, Dr. W., for a really useful site and a hard-headed, honest approach to a topic that so many of us need information about just now!

Week of March 9, 1998:

criatura's cave, run by the rather amazing petra, for a quiet call for peace, activism, and the core values that give feminism, when rightly understood, its remarkable power. This is a site to explore with a steaming cup of herbal tea in one hand, to soothe, and a frantically scribbling pen in the other, to keep track. For petra has a fantastic list of books to get you thinking and a helpful list of sites dedicated to peace-work to get you active and to show you the many faces that activism can take on this Web of ours. In its own calm way, it can be a rather exciting site. When you have read and pondered and scribbled, please go back and be sure to read petra's own "Who Am I?" as well. Consider this site a gift to your own sanity, as well as to the world's. Many warm thanks, petra!

Weeks from January 26 through March 2, 1998:

Due to a rather nasty case of carpal tunnel, I have had to take a lengthy break from Web work. So I cannot say how often I will be able to do these awards anymore, but I plan to keep trying when I feel able. Considering the amount of love, energy, and sheer hard work the creators of these pages have done, this is the least I can do, in return. And many warm thanks to petra (see award above) whose quiet enthusiasm gently reminded me, however accidentally, of this truth!

Week of January 19, 1998:

Justice for Children, a group that describes themselves better than I ever could: [JFC was] "founded on the belief that there is a need in our community for an organization to protect abused and neglected children from further abuse when existing agencies fail to help. It is unique in that it advocates for and intervenes on behalf of abused or neglected children at every step of the child's case depending upon the source of the problem." Please especially read this site's page concerning The Child Abuser's Bill of Rights. Ways to volunteer or to report a case needing JFC's attention are provided on their front page. Thank you so much for doing this, JFC!

Week of January 12, 1998:

The HIV Zone II, a moving and intelligent site authored by long-term HIV/AIDS survivor Tony Gardner. This site has much to offer--for example, a page updating the reader on developments in AIDS research and news and one containing a set of useful and interesting statistics concerning the spread of the disease. But for me the most important and worthwhile page is Tony Gardner's own story about how he arrived where he is today. His history is not especially flashy or remarkable, but his voice--clear, intelligent, humane, and informed--stands out as that of a real and very human person trying to gave a face to the often invisible victims of this disease. Beyond all the news stories, the representations, and the misrepresentations that have been attached to our ideas of this disease, Tony reminds us that real people are involved and need our support. Thanks for a wonderful and helpful site!

Week of January 5, 1998:

Myst@RainForests - "Where there is a balance" RainForest, Environment, Conservation, Earth, Recycling., a site for which the title says it all--where an index is concerned, at least. What the title cannot tell you, however, is how well-conceived and executed this fine site truly is. Catch up on the latest site news at News @ Myst, search out other activists concerned with the rain forests at Taking Action, or enjoy the wonderful imagery throughout the site. Most of all, bring your young ones, as this is a vitally important site for all of us. Well done, NoirMyst!

Week of December 29, 1997:

The Patrin, a site dedicated to spreading accurate information about the Romani (Gypsy) people, surely one of the most maligned and misunderstood peoples to ever walk the planet. Along with excellent pages on the culture and history of the Roma, Patrin provides updates on the status of Roma throughout the world, recent news items concerning individual Roma, and information for pro-Roma activism. Thank you, Patrin, for your wonderful contribution!

Week of December 22, 1997:

Death of an Infant- Resources for Parents , for a page that addresses an agonizing and very important topic--dealing with the loss of a child. Dawn Reagan has created a dignified and very moving memorial to her late twin sons, John and Michael, and she has collected a set of links for other parents coping with the same crisis. But I would recommend this site, compact and highly readable as it is, to anyone who knows a parent trying to handle such a loss, since the understanding of people around the parents is so valuable and since so few of us who are not parents have been taught properly how to support them at such times. Thanks, Dawn, for allowing your loss to help to transform the lives of the rest of us.

Week of December 15, 1997:

llama central, a witty and humane site that deals with, among other topics, Self-Injury and Prozac. I cannot sing the praises of these two pages enough; the site on self-mutilation is especially valuable, as it approaches this painful topic in an empathic and supportive way, offering well-researched information and many resources and discussion sites. The page on Prozac should be read by anyone who has ever questioned the value of antidepressants or by anyone who knows anyone on those drugs. Thank you so much, llama!

Week of December 8, 1997:

Deaf Resources on the Web, a magnificent project by Carrie Griffin for her Beginning American Sign Language class, taught by Mary Morrison at the University of Montana. Carrie has collected a very impressive set of links relating to deaf issues, including sections on deaf culture, disability and support services, education for the deaf, legal issues, and job opportunities. Very well done! Thanks so much!

Week of December 1, 1997:

Kids Learn About Diabetes, an outstanding site created by Brendan Hannemann of Troop 1140, Springfield, Virginia, for his Eagle Scout project. The clarity and readability of this site for its intended audience--children interested in diabetes--deserve great praise, as these pages present both a very user-friendly format and information reviewed and cleared by a doctor. Readers can access a tutorial about this disease or go directly to a Table of Contents as they research material written by young people for young people. This is a great place to begin research on this disease, so don't just leave it to your children to read. Excellent work--thanks!

Week of November 24, 1997:

This is a good opportunity to thank all the people who have created the sites honored on this page and all of you whose sites I have yet to discover. I want you to know what pleasure I derive from researching this award and the happiness I get from constantly seeing all the altruism and volunteerism present on the World Wide Web. Happy Thanksgiving and may you all be blessed for your generosity and kindness!

Week of November 17, 1997:

Christine's Genealogy Website, for a simply monumental and brilliant compilation of materials on African-American history, genealogy, and ignored or overlooked ethnic groups in America and elsewhere. In a highly accessible format, this site brings together information on a vast range of topics related to slavery in the United States, including trade routes and ships, family histories, surviving groups with notable backgrounds, and the crimes committed against the victims of American slavery. What a remarkable achievement this site is and what an excellent starting point for so many research topics! Thanks so much!

Week of November 10, 1997:

The Virtual Dolphin Project, A Modern Approach to Dolphin Facilitated Therapy For Children Suffering With Chronic Illness & Developmental Disabilities, for a unique and insightful resource concerning the survival of dolphins and the care of humans. Pages especially worth the visit (in a site that is well worth reading through in its entirety) are The Mother's Corner, a monthly column for and by mothers of children with life-threatening illnesses, and Tir Na Mara, a page of whale- and dolphin-related links, including sites for activism and therapy programs. Well done and thanks for such a fantastic and compassionate resource!

Week of November 3, 1997:

Quavajo, for a site that makes its contribution simply by demanding that its reader really think about the nature of the Soul while reviewing its pages. While I do not agree with several significant opinions within this site, the author's determined effort to truly examine the nature of the Ego and the Spirit involved me in a worthwhile dialogue between my own ideas and his pages. Especially worth investigating are the page concerning "your true self and other things" and the assortment of links concerning the preservation of personal freedoms at the bottom of the front page. Thanks for a really thought-provoking reminder of the treasures we all hold within!

Week of October 27, 1997:

AEGIS, for its top-notch coverage of AIDS information and news. The Sisters of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary have assembled a remarkable site which provides patients, students, and the medical community with the latest and most accurate information on this crucial topic. Based on an idea conceived of ten years ago by Jamie Jemison of Orange County, CA, this clearinghouse for knowledge has blossomed into a nonprofit charitable and educational corporation under the guidance of Sister Mary Elizabeth. Well done and warmest thanks!

Week of October 20, 1997:

Richard Hooker's World Cultures Internet Classes, for a project so ambitious and a gift so vast to the Web community that it boggles the imagination. Mr. Hooker has done nothing less than trace and explain world history and civilization--ALL of it--on his site, as an integral part of the classes he teaches at Washington State University. The fact that such a deed is simply impossible within one human lifetime does not seem to bother this author; he frequently adds new sections to his on-line textbook and explores topics such as art, philosophy, and intellectual development. The astonishing breadth of scholarship represented herein would be enough to earn this award, but Hooker's struggle to avoid a white, Western bias, as well as his superb design and graphics, makes this site one of the most amazing I have yet encountered. Thanks so much for this gift to the world!

Week of October 13, 1997:

Barbara Boal, for a site on American Indians that is simple and yet highly effective. Specifically, her page on Quotes should be read by anyone who claims American citizenship; it is a moving commentary on the relationship with this land held by its indigenous peoples. Also especially worth a visit is her page For Your Info, which refers to the histories of some eastern tribes, groups which tend to be even more overlooked in recountings of American history than their western counterparts. This is a site which I hope to see develop even further, especially in its consideration of the eastern peoples. But still, thanks for what's already there and well worth the knowing!

Week of October 6, 1997:

Scott's Counseling, Health, & Wellness Room, for a remarkable resource devoted to an extraordinary and wide range of counseling information. Here you can find materials for academic research on counseling topics, for locating a personal counselor in one's own area, for career counseling, and even for college counseling. The page is updated frequently, and the links cover the main areas of psychological intervention, including links on depressive disorders, stress and anxiety disorders, domestic violence resources, eating get the picture. This is the place to send any first-timer on the Web who is searching for information of any sort related to psychotherapy. Thanks, Scott!

Week of September 29, 1997:

Lyn Reid's, Carol Hawthorne's, Dimitrios Alexiou's, and Katy Riley's excellent project for their Women's Studies class is a must-see, as their consideration of Women and Slavery in the US is simply top-drawer. They have broken a vast, important, and largely overlooked topic down into several useful sub-categories, and they provide a fine list of related links as well. My only hope is that they will continue to maintain and expand this site, as it is a great service in plugging the gaps in research on this topic at a good introductiory level; many thanks, Ladies!

Week of September 22, 1997:

In late 1994, Brenda Parris Sibley made the decision to quit graduate school and take care of her mother, who had Alzheimer's Disease. She does a magnificent job in capturing what this spiritual and emotional journey is like for all involved at her site A Year to Remember...with My Mother and Alzheimer's Disease. Beyond that, she provides a great range of informational links and support resources for others coping with this disease. This is the one award I feel the most honored to bestow, as it's about more than generosity and knowledge--it's about personal strength and goodness that nearly run off the human scale. My deepest respects to two great human beings--Brenda and her mother.

Week of September 15, 1997:

Wise Women of the Web, a beautiful site making a single-handed effort to bring together women raising their kids at home without alienating (and while trying to support) other women who do not have this option. As per their excellent mission statement, they do represent a new and most welcome generation of feminists; indeed, they are helping to create them from the grassroots. Well done!.

Week of September 8, 1997:

This Week in American Indian History , a site which makes me both cheer with relief that someone is working to remedy the general one-sidedness of the typical teaching of American history and groan with shame that this effort should even be necessary. Thank you, Phil Konstantin, for your painstaking research and your work to make the rest of us remember that "American History" is more than the tale of merely one race, one people, one economic class, and one gender, as it often becomes in our schools.

Week of September 1, 1997:

Selene's Mystical World, a lovely site, and especially notable for the following excellent pages: In The Arms Of Madness (Manic-Depression and Depression)--which deals with bipolar disorder--and For Ladies Only--which covers health and spirituality for women. Her page concerning What Not to Say should be required reading for anyone in human form. As if that were not enough, Selene has organized a WebRing called "Beyond Madness" for pages devoted to mental health issues. Selene, you and your site inspire the rest of us! Thank you so much!

Week of August 25, 1997:

Homosexuality: Common Questions & Statements Addressed, for a wonderful resource that addresses the major issues around homosexuality in a scholarly and reasonable way. Research is cited and the stands of various religious groups are described fairly and without bitterness. An excellent place to send students and anyone with questions. Thanks for the great source!

Week of August 18, 1997:

Jausten, for a very personal, humane, and useful site that covers a range of community-oriented topics, such as 12-step programs and hospice work. Among a host of excellent pages, her work on fibromyalgia stands out as particularly well-done and helpful. Thanks for the fine work!

Week of August 11, 1997:

Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, a group of four volunteers who have created an amazing site where they have compiled and presented information about various spiritual beliefs in a reasonable and unbiased manner. Go here to learn about various religious paths, but be prepared to have your mind opened.

Week of August 4, 1997:

Youth Online for a fantastic site dedicated to educating, entertaining, and generally caring for our young people. If your kids have not yet seen this site, they have a real treat coming!

Week of July 28, 1997:

Parents and Loved Ones of Sexual Abuse and Rape Victims for a site that recognizes the pain of the secondary victims of sexual assault--the friends and families. This site is loaded with useful information, including suicide prevention and ways to get help. Thanks for all your hard work!

Week of July 21, 1997:

Mary of Many Colors for her fine site, especially the humane and fact-loaded pages on Borderline Personality Disorder. Thanks, Mary!

This counter was started on March 9, 1998, just out of curiosity.

The Fine Print


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