A news and content site helmed by a man who has dedicated his life to peace and democracy, brought two countries out of conflict, saved a people from annihilation, and won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work.
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 editorial experience to the partnership, and more than 10 years in web development and social media. Ramos-Horta brought an uncanny intelligence and wisdom, born of 24 years as a human rights leader and highly skilled diplomat, working to save the people of Timor-Leste (formerly East Timor) from annihilation at the hands of occupiers.
His work had culminated in winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996. This was followed by Timor-Leste throwing off the occupation and achieving independence, and the birth of Timor-Leste as the millennium’s newest democracy.
Ramos-Horta’s service to Timor-Leste took him on a path from freedom fighter to diplomat and human rights activist to Foreign Minister then Prime Minister, and finally President and “founding father” of the fledging democracy. From there he would be asked to be a Special Representative of the UN Secretary General to Guinea Bissau, a small unstable democracy in Africa that had suffered under a military coup.
In April 2014 José Ramos-Horta took Guinea Bissau through peaceful elections, putting the country back on the democratic track and peacefully transferring power back into the hands of the citizenry.
In the course of his work, Ramos-Horta has established a growing network of world leaders, fellow Nobel laureates, and leaders in thought that became a foundation for TheCommunity.com in its early days, and today becomes the base for the site’s next phase as an international news and content site .
Simultaneously, Mary and a small team have utilized this network and worked with Ramos-Horta to launch actions on key human rights and peace building issues, and bring the stories of those who have changed the world for the better to light. The impassioned team of five have repeatedly brought the artist community and other creative leaders to the table in support of the messages of the Nobel Peace Prize laureates.
Today this “passion project”of a small inspired handful of people, underfunded and squeezed in between other “real” jobs, has had the participation of 27 Nobel Peace Prize winners, and some of the world’s most recognizable artists , including Paul McCartney, Robert De Niro, Harrison Ford, Gwyneth Paltrow, Christie Turlington, Ron Howard and others. Bono, Michael Douglas and Paul Simon each shot episodes for a web series, the What’s so hard about Peace? series, to be released in 2014. 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 been friends and advisors to 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.
In a world where the news is quickly being reduced to celebrity gossip and grisly and bizarre stories with “click through potential”, we believe that voices of peacemakers, activists, Nobel Peace Prize laureates and other leaders who are effectively making our world a better place to live are sorely needed. TheCommunity.com is in a prime position to deliver these voices to the world.
We strongly believe that TheCommunity.com will be a significant new force for news and content on the web, going beyond the US-centric view of world news and speaking to the vast audience of people who want to hear the voices of sanity amid the chaos.