Josephine Winslow ’21 joined Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Youth Council in high school because of her ambitions to help craft policy to mitigate homelessness in Los Angeles. The experience led her to City Hall, where she wrote reports and briefings for State Senator Bob Blumenfield, then to writing grants and communications material for Claremont Heritage and City Hall, and finally to drafting in-depth reports for the Organization for World Peace (OWP). From local governments to international organizations, Winslow has been working for peace and human rights, and she’s done it all with a pen in hand.
“I started out wanting to do writing and policy work for local governments, but after taking a course on international diplomacy at Scripps, I decided I wanted to broaden my scope,” Winslow says.
The OWP is an international nonprofit that does charity and advocacy work aimed at educating the public about non-militaristic solutions to conflict. The organization also publishes an online journal that covers a range of topics, from the access to women’s hygiene in Scotland to Myanmar’s persecution of Rohingya Muslims to elephant poaching in Botswana, and relies on an international network of correspondents who volunteer their time and talents to produce factual reports that espouse diplomatic and non-combative solutions to complex issues.
Since spring 2017, Winslow has produced seven reports for the OWP on topics such as the Ethiopia-Eritrea Peace Declaration and the arson of ballot boxes in Iraq, among other international developments. Most recently, she covered the Mexican elections, which involved gathering news from well-regarded international sources and scouring academic articles to learn about the history and context of the elections.
“Generally, I write about the diplomatic approaches that have been not tried/stifled by opposing forces,” she describes. “Often there are people working within these nations on peaceful resolutions, but they do not receive the proper attention, supports, or funding. On occasion, I will propose solutions, but these solutions are usually based on work that has already been done by people fighting against oppressions and violence in their country.” As a result of her reporting, Winslow was recently promoted to senior correspondent, a position that will garner her greater editorial authority and more complex reporting assignments.
Winslow is double majoring in English and politics with an international relations concentration. She sees writing and rhetoric as indispensable elements of policy or report writing—elements that are often sidelined in pursuit of cold data and facts. “You can give accounts of events that are well-informed and factual but that also offer a compelling narrative that helps readers connect with the information,” says Winslow. “Writing is the intermediary between people and the world—it involves people in the world,” she explains.
Her work with the OWP aims to do just that. By collating perspectives from diplomats around the world on a given issue, she hopes her reports will highlight the stories and solutions of peacemakers in a way that challenges the more dominant narrative of militarism
“I think most people, regardless of which side of the political spectrum they’re on, ultimately want peace,” says Winslow. “My writing relies on facts, but I tell a story that I hope shows how peace can be achieved through collaboration.”