Toward Freedom is a news and analysis publication offering a progressive perspective on world events. We cover global politics, protest movements, government and corporate abuses of power, human rights, and other pressing topics. With writers and readers based around the globe, TF has worked for social justice through investigative and progressive journalism since 1952.


Photo by Murray Bush, Flux Photo.

Dawn Marie Paley is a journalist and researcher from Vancouver, unceded Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) territory. Her 2014 book Drug War Capitalism looks at the intersections between capitalism, militarization and US foreign policy in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Colombia.

Dawn studied Women’s Studies and First Nations Studies at Simon Fraser University before completing a Masters in Journalism at UBC. She helped organize the Vancouver Media Co-op in the run up to the anti-Olympics convergence in Vancouver in 2010. The following year she moved to Mexico to write, eventually completing her PhD in sociology at the Autonomous University of Puebla. In addition to her work at Toward Freedom, Dawn is reviews editor at Interface Journal, a columnist with Mexico’s La Jornada, and a member of NACLA’s editorial committee. Contact Dawn at editor AT towardfreedom DOT org.


Sam Mayfield, President

Sam Mayfield is a video journalist and documentary filmmaker. Her work has taken her to India, West Africa, Palestine, Mexico and all over the United States. Mayfield has documented stories that remain largely untold in the commercial media landscape since 2005. Her second documentary Wisconsin Rising, is an award-winning film that explores the 2011 popular uprising against legislation gutting basic worker’s rights in Wisconsin. In 2018 she finished Blessings of Liberty, created with and for the disability community in Idaho. It explores the need for investing in home and community based services for people in the disability community. Mayfield currently lives in the pacific northwest. Follow her on Twitter: @samayfield

Nat Winthrop, Vice President

Nat Winthrop is an independent film producer living in Montpelier. He is former publisher of the Vanguard Press and Vermont Time sin Chittenden County, and he has had feature articles published in the Rutland Herald/Times Argus Sunday Magazine, Seven Days, Boston Phoenix, Boston Globe, and Vermont Magazine. He studied documentary filmmaking at MIT and Goddard College in the 1970s. He was executive producer of the collaborative six-part Freedom & Unity: The Vermont Movie (2013) and he co-produced two documentaries – Rookies at The Road (about Thunder Road in Barre) and Act of Faith, The Making of Disappearances– that aired on Vermont Public Television.

Robin Lloyd, Secretary

Robin Lloyd is a filmmaker, director of the video production company Green Valley Media, and active in the peace and justice movement in Burlington, VT. Her grandmother, Lola Maverick Lloyd was one of the many founders of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom whose centennial is being celebrated this year. Robin has been touring with a ‘performance piece’ featuring Lola: Talking with Our Grandmothers:

Rebecca Kemble

Rebecca Kemble is the past President of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives and the President of CICOPA North America, the sub-regional body of the worker cooperative sector of the International Cooperative Alliance. She is also the Vice President of CICOPA Americas and serves on the Executive Board of CICOPA worldwide.  Rebecca is a worker-owner at Union Cab Cooperative where she has served as chairperson of the Education and Strategic Planning Committees.  She helped develop and implement innovative peer support systems including the Steward and Mediation Councils that have become integral parts of Union Cab’s democratic governance and management structures.  In 2015 she was elected to the Madison City Council and was reelected in 2017. Rebecca is also a writer for The Progressive magazine, and founding member and editor at the Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative. Rebecca earned a PhD (a.b.d.) in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and lives in Madison, WI.

Dorie Wilsnack

Dorie Wilsnack has worked with international and US peace and human rights organizations as an organizer, nonviolence trainer and fundraiser. Her work has included Balkan Peace Team, International Fellowship of Reconciliation, War Resisters League, American Friends Service Committee, and ACLU of Vermont. Her newest endeavor is Radical Roots Genealogy, a project that helps people research and learn about their ancestors though a social change and social justice lens. She serves on the Advisory Committee for the International Nonviolence Training Fund. She’s appreciates Toward Freedom for the wide variety of international stories that it shares, and for the links it builds between people in Vermont and supporters of social justice around the world.

Gerard Colby is the former President of the National Writers Union/UAW Local 1981. His work has been published by national news outlets such as The Los Angeles Times, the North American News Agency/United Features, The Nation, In These Times, The American Writer, and Toward Freedom. He is the author of Du Pont Dynasty: Behind the Nylon Curtain (Prentice Hall, 1974, Lyle Stuart Inc, 1984) and an updated 2016 e-book edition at Open Road Publisher’s Forbidden Bookshelf. A recently updated e-book edition of Colby’s and Charlotte Dennett’s Thy Will Be Done, The Conquest of the Amazon: Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil is also scheduled to be released soon by Open Road. He currently serves on the editorial committee of Toward Freedom’s board and on the board of the Henry Demarest Lloyd Fund for Investigative Journalism.

Jim Mendell edited a community newspaper in Brooklyn for seven years before moving to Vermont where he taught journalism and photography at Burlington College. He then co-founded Common Ground Center, a year-round retreat and family center now in its 26th year. Jim is a board member of Toward Freedom, and often takes photographs for 350VT and Extinction Rebellion.

Peter Backman, Treasurer. Protesting against nuclear weapons and the Vietnam War, Peter Backman’s progressive views were influenced early on by joining in these demonstrations with his parents. As an adult, he formed a successful natural foods company with his wife, Annie Christopher, to encourage people to eat healthier foods and to provide natural and organic alternatives. The company, Annie’s Naturals, grew to become the best-selling salad dressing company in the natural foods market. Peter is now the owner of Foster Farm Botanicals, growing certified organic medicinal herbs to encourage the historic use of herbs for medicinal purposes rather than relying on pharmaceuticals.  Peter’s new company is at the forefront of regenerative and economically sustainable agriculture. In his local community, he is involved in saving historic buildings and providing support to a number of nonprofit organizations that positively impact the lives of those living in his home state of Vermont.

Dave Dellinger – Emeritus Chair (1915-2004)