“Here is the story: I was born, I learned to walk , talk, read. I learned the world is a messed up place and even though people made it that way, they are also beautiful in their courage, creativity, and ability to love. While my New York upbringing made me forever sarcastic and cynical, I have hope. Maybe it is from my Irish heritage that teaches me that you just have to keep fighting, even when victories are few, or my Italian side, which taught me there is always something good on the stove no matter how crappy your day was. It could be the poet in me that keeps the hope alive, for as much has been written we keep writing, searching for something. With all of the maybes there is at least one certainty, justice will prevail.”
Joseph Thomas Phelan is a communications strategist with more than 13 years of experience in communications and strategy development for racial and economic justice organizations and campaigns
Most recently, Joseph founded and is a principle at WeAreNotTrayvonMartin.com, a website and meme that encouraged honest and raw conversations about race and pushed for commitments by participants to take action to end racism in the wake of the acquittal of George Zimmerman. The website went viral earning appearances in JET, TIME, and Chicago Public Radio.
Prior to consulting, Joseph was the Communications Director with Caring Across Generations (CAG), a campaign of Jobs with Justice and the National Domestic Workers Alliance.
Joseph also worked with the Miami Workers Center (MWC), a regional racial and economic justice grassroots organization. For five years he served as the MWC communications associate and then communications coordinator where he developed a model of integrated communications. During this time he was on the board of the Center for Story Based Strategy and was a fellow at the Center for Community Change. His last two years in Miami Joseph was as a founding staff member and communication coordinator for Florida New Majority, a state-wide voter organization, where he led a communications shop of four people, and eventually managed all program staff for the organizations first legislative campaign.
Originally from Long Island, New York, Joseph cut his teeth organizing in Burlington, Vermont where he did peer outreach work with homeless youth and on-the-street safe sex education with teen sex workers. His youth-centered activism doesn’t sto there. He’s also led high school workshops on harm reduction.