TheCommunity.com was born of a unique synergy between a Nobel Peace Prize winner, José Ramos-Horta, and a California web developer, Mary Wald.
Mary brought 14 years of PR and Internet strategies to the partnership. Ramos-Horta, an internationally renowned diplomat and peace builder, brought an uncanny intelligence and wisdom, born of 24 years working to save the people of Timor-Leste (formerly East Timor) from annihilation at the hands of occupiers, and later leading the country as the millennium’s newest democracy.
They were joined by Bonnie Abaunza, Michael Collopy and Jesse Kornbluth and the original team was formed.
Mary first met anti-Apartheid hero and Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu in 2001 a the centennial celebration of the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo. In the years since the Archbishop became a close “friend of the family”; he served as the site’s invaluable Human Rights Advisor until his recent retirement from public life.
The small but high-powered team around became known in human rights and peace building circles for the ability to launch effective online actions, and rally the international media on critical issues.
Some of the world’s most recognizable artists including Paul McCartney, Robert De Niro, Harrison Ford, Gwyneth Paltrow, Christie Turlington, Ron Howard and others have aligned themselves to the causes on TheCommunity.com. Bono, Michael Douglas and Paul Simon each shot episodes for a web series, the What’s so hard about Peace? series.
Notables including Kathy Calvin, President of the UN Foundation, and Martha Nelson, former Editor of People Magazine and Editor in Chief of Time, Inc. have supported and served on the advisory board of the site. The site’s content has been covered by the Associated Press, the New York Times, LA Times, People.com, CNN, Washington Post, USA Today, Malaysia New Straits Times, Hong Kong Morning Post, ABC Evening News, Entertainment Tonight, and other media around the world. Its content is regularly featured on the front page of the Huffington Post.