In 2001, on September 11, Nobel Peace Prize winner José Ramos-Horta and web developer Mary Wald were exchanging phone calls when the second plane hit the World Trade Center in New York. She was at home in Napa, Ca.; he was in Jakarta in and out of meetings with then President of Indonesia Megawati Sukarnoputri.
Those conversations turned into a section on Mary’s web site, TheCommunity.com, featuring statements of 17 Nobel Peace Prize winners in response to 9/11. Michael Collopy illustrated the section with stunning photography of the laureates. Mary and Bonnie Abaunza coordinated communications and media. The site went around the world, on CNN, in the Washington Post, the LA Times, in more than 4000 articles on AP, all major online news pages, and much more. It was selected as the number two site of the year in USA Today’s Top Ten websites for 2011. Today the site is part of the record of 9/11 in the Library of Congress.
The action opened conversations with, and between, the Nobel laureates and the media that would continue for years to come. In the years since, this team has repeatedly demonstrated their common passion for peace building, human rights and democracy, and their ability to support the Nobel laureates and other critical human rights causes in powerful ways online. The group helped to launch the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Summit in Rome by providing public relations services and networking for the Summit for five years, and has provided editorial and strategic internet services, networking and media, video production, social media campaigns and more for individual laureates and for critical causes.
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