This weekend (24-25 Sept): Tucson, Orange County & Atlanta

The weekend starts with a bang in Tucson, AZ and and Orange County, CA on Saturday 24 September. And on Sunday 25 September, join Browncoats in Atlanta, GA for a great event.

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Application deadline for Global Roles extended to 25 September

Have you considered volunteering at the global level of Can't Stop the Serenity? If so, check out this post for info on what positions are available, and how to apply. Are you our Mal, the brave captain of our ship? Then you'd make a great Global Events Coordinator. Is Zoe more your style, keeping us out of trouble and getting us organised? Then the Events Registrar or Merchandise Coordinator role is for you! Or are you a Kaylee who helps keep our ship afloat? That'd be our Operations Director. Wash keeps us connected on the Cortex and flying true, so if you're that way inclined how about the role of Communications Director? What about being our Simon, who's got a head for figures and lots of smarts, because our Donations Administrator needs those skills. We need a Shepherd to guide organisers along as they plan local events. And a River, who's good at all things high-tech and can be our Webmaster or Systems Administrator. We're even looking for a Jayne, for... public relations? Whatever your skills, we can use them. So join our merry band of fandom activists! You'll not regret it. We've decided to extend the application period for Global Team roles by one week, and we need anyone who's interested in helping out for next year's Global Team (including Global Event Coordinator) to send us an email! Write to us at gsc@cantstoptheserenity.com. The new deadline for applying will be 25 September 2011. Global Steering Committee roles will close in October. Thank you very much! We appreciate your willingness to undertake this adventure!

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Enter our “Words have the Power to bring about Equality” Writing Contest and Win!

Can't Stop the Serenity has joined up with Kids Need to Read to give you the chance to win some fabulous prizes in our first ever "Words have the Power to bring about Equality" Writing Contest! Recently, we sent out some questions over the Cortex and received some fantastic interview responses (we'll be posting these soon!). Our very first response was from Heather in Maryland, who wrote "It was part of learning about CSTS that led me to learn about Equality Now. Some of the articles they've linked to show that women the world over still suffer terrible injustices for no other reason than their sex. Nobody should be put in a position where they're treated as inferior by anybody - no matter their sex, their race, their religion, or their sexual preferences. By fundraising for Equality Now, CSTS does its part to bring us to a future that's fairer for everybody." It's responses like this that keep us motivated, and inspired this contest. So, what do you need to do to enter the "Words have the Power to bring about Equality" Writing Contest? We're asking you, our fantastic CSTS supporters, to write a short piece (500-1000 words) on why you support Can't Stop the Serenity and Equality Now. And what are the prizes? Well, you're in for a treat! We have a major prize plus three runners up prizes up for grabs. The major prize winner will receive a hard cover set of The Softwire series (4 books) signed by author PJ Haarsma, a $75 Amazon giftcard, a CSTS 2011 shirt and patch, plus a copy of Architects of Peace: Visions of Hope in Words and Images by Michael Collopy and Paths to Peace: People Who Changed the World by Jane Bresken Zalben. Runners up will also receive a CSTS 2011 shirt and patch, plus a collection of fantastic books. Entries should be sent to info@cantstoptheserenity.com, and must be received no later than 11.59PM PST on 30 September 2011 to be included for consideration. The global CSTS team and Kids Need to Read folks will compile a shortlist of submissions, which will be presented to you all to vote on between 7-14 October, with the winning entries announced on 16 October 2011. We look forward to reading your entries! Now... pick up that pen, and start writing. Because words truely do have the power to bring about equality.

There are two ways to fight a battle like ours. One is to whisper in the ear of the masses, try subtlely and gradually to change the gender expectations and mythic structures of our culture. That’s me. The other is to step up and confront the thousands of atrocities that are taking place around the world on an immediate, one-by-one basis. That’s a great deal harder, and that’s Equality Now. It’s not about politics; it’s about basic human decency. - Joss Whedon

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Calling all artists for the 2012 Official Art Contest!

The Can't Stop The Serenity promotional art contest is back for 2012! In its six-year history, Can't Stop The Serenity has raised more than half a million dollars for Equality Now. We can do even more good works this year, but only if people show up! That's where you come in. Since we've been doing this for more than half a decade now, the novelty factor has worn off, which means it's more important than ever before to build excitement for CSTS. The logo, poster and t-shirts are critical tools for raising awareness about the event, building excitement, and getting people into theaters around the world. Think you've got what it takes to design this year's official artwork? Then read on to learn the rules for this year's contest: THE SHINY STUFF: The winner’s artwork will be used as the basis for the T-shirt, poster and promos for the 2012 CSTS season. Additionally, the winner’s artwork will be featured prominently throughout our website and social media outlets. THE (ABBREVIATED) RULES:

  • All artwork you submit must be your own. If you plan to incorporate any stock imagery in your entry, you must have documentation showing that you have permission to use and reproduce it.
  • It should go without saying, but we'll say it anyway. Don't use copyrighted artwork in your submission.
  • Because this is about Equality Now and Peace in the ‘Verse, there should be no overt violence portrayed within the art.
  • The winner’s artwork will be used by CSTS for the purposes of the 2012 CSTS Screenings and events, and for additional promotional purposes until the 2013 artwork has been chosen. No other compensation will be given to the winner.
  • There is a limit of 3 submissions per artist.
ARTWORK GUIDELINES
  • Each entry should include the following:
    • An isolated version of the logo (no background images)
    • A black and white version of the logo
    • A mockup of the logo as a poster (may contain additional text and artwork)
    • A mockup of the logo as a T-shirt (may contain additional text and artwork)
    • A mockup of the logo as an embroidered patch (may contain additional text and artwork)
  • You must use the CSTS logo and have it displayed predominantly within the piece you are submitting. You can download various versions of the logo here. These are provided as outlined files, and the official color values are provided.
  • The logo may be used in many different ways, including, but not limited to stationery, patches, stickers, web banners, icons, etc. The more flexible your design, the better.
  • For acceptable file types, printing requirements, etc., please see the full contest rules.
SUBMITTING YOUR ENTRY
  • Submissions will be accepted beginning 1 October 2011, and must be received no later than 14 October 2011 by 11:59 P.M. PST in order to be considered for this contest.
  • You may submit up to three pieces for consideration.
  • All entries and questions should be submitted to artdirector@cantstoptheserenity.com. If you need to mail your submission, email artdirector@cantstoptheserenity.com for instructions and a mailing address.
  • All entries which meet the guidelines will be posted on the official CSTS website on 17 October 2011, to be voted on by the general public. The voting period ends 23 October 2011 at 11:59 PM PST. In the event of a tie, the Global Steering Committee and Global Team will choose the winning piece.
For all the rules, regulations and other red tape-type things, please see the full contest rules. Good luck! We can’t wait to see your submissions!

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This weekend (10-11 Sept): Austin, Texas!

This weekend will be as big as Texas as the Austin Browncoats present a whole weekend of Serenity fun! CSTS Austin kicks off on Saturday with events at 12PM, 5PM and 10PM, and wraps up on Sunday at 12PM.

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Some Joss-y pearls of wisdom on surviving and being strong

Life can get pretty crazy these days, and it can be hard to find your place, let alone find the strength to take a stand in the world and create change. With that in mind, Joss has shared his advice for surviving high school at RookieMag.com and (not surprisingly) it's both insightful and witty. But it's not just good advice for high schoolers. These pearls of Joss-y wisdom can be applied to anyone, anywhere. So if you or someone you know are starting out in a new school, new place, are worried about fitting in or just need some inspiration, here are Joss's four rules for survival...

I went to the same school, with the same people, for 10 years. I knew everyone—including the teachers, as my mother taught history there. In the middle of tenth grade my mother took a sabbatical abroad and I found myself going from Riverdale Country School, in the Bronx, to Winchester College, a 600-year-old all-male boarding school in southern England. I had never traveled alone. I had barely left the house. Also, I was quite small. Winchester is timelessly beautiful, famously academic and a bastion of blithe cruelty. Everyone else was used to this; I was the only new kid. Older boys relentlessly bullied younger, and teachers (called “dons”) bullied everyone, often physically. All the students, even boys younger than I, knew each other and came from the same social strata. The school had its own language—literally; there was book of “notions” to be memorized and tested. And on top of it all, I was of course that most dread creation, an American. It was clear to me from the start that I must take an active role in my survival. Rule One: DON’T BE LIKE THEM. I knew I was going to be mocked as an outsider and a weirdo, so I established my weird cred before anyone had time to get their mock on. Our study area was a great room ringed by tiny wooden cubicles (called “toys,” in both the plural and the singular—Know Your Notions!), about 50 to a room. On the first day of term I posted a notice outside my toys that was pure nonsense, a portentous abstraction that conveyed the simple message that ridiculing me would not only be weak and redundant, but might actually please me in some unseemly way. As boy after boy read the notice and either laughed or puzzled, I could feel a small patch of safe turf firm up under my feet. Rule Two: BE LIKE THEM. My next defensive aid appeared quite unexpectedly, as we were all bunking down (12 to an ice-cold room) for the night. All the boys started doing a bit from an episode of Monty Python (which was a cool thing to do back then—no, you’re mistaken; it was). When there was a lull, I unthinkingly chimed in with the next line. I was answered with unfiltered silence, and then one of the older boys called out from the corner, “OK. He’s in.” He literally said that. Like a cheesy movie: “He’s in.” And I, in whatever limited capacity I have to be, was. Speaking their language startled them as much as making up my own had. Rule the Most: F@#K ’EM. We all want to be accepted. If possible, liked. Loved. But nobody ever got to be popular by desperately wanting to be. (Well, maybe Madonna.) Whether you crave attention or anonymity, you’ll be thwarted if you focus on those goals. I was actually gunning for a bit of both, but I only succeeded, in the end, because I knew I had the right to be myself. The judgments of others, however painful, would always be external. I was fiercely calculated about establishing myself as someone not to be trodden on (I’d had plenty of that from my brothers, thank you), but it really only worked because I knew, as much as a tiny-15-year old can, who I was. I was a short, annoying, existential, girl-repelling mess—but I KNEW that. I honored that. I defended that. And as intimidated as I super-incredibly was in that alien environ, I never lost that. Rule Where You Realize I’m Super-Old and Skip to the Next Article: LEARN. High school is, among other things, school. If you have teachers worth a damn, stop worrying about where you fit in and work for them. Knowledge will serve you long after you’ve forgotten the names of everyone you feared or admired. And will prove subtly invaluable the next time you find yourself in a new situation, trying to fit in. You know the old saying: Knowledge is power. And it’s always, always about power. (Should this have been a Rule?) Everyone has it. Not everyone knows how to express it. And high school is, institutionally and hormonally, an easy place to forget you have it, particularly since so many people are focused on establishing or abusing it. But the power people take from others is nothing next to the power that comes with simple self-acceptance, with being comfortable in your (changing) skin. It’s not just Survival of the Fit-ins. There’s room for something new. ~ Joss Whedon

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