Pax Fauna Fellowship Application - Written Tasks

Instructions

Submit your responses to the form below by the date/time you were given. Word counts are upper limits; if you can convey your response in fewer words, do so.

Don’t worry if the content of these research tasks doesn’t line up with your strengths. These are meant to assess your ability to encounter a new idea or challenge, digest information quickly, and devise a plan for further investigation.

Read the instructions carefully and work in a separate document until you're ready to submit; this page will not save your work.

If any of the instructions are not clear, don’t hesitate to email us and we will clarify.

Task #1 - Learn, Report, Implement (90-120 minutes)

For this task, you are asked to learn about a new conceptual framework relevant to advocacy, communicate a summary of the ideas, and implement them. Your answers will be assessed for your ability to quickly digest, convey, and apply new ideas.

Learn - watch the first 10 videos (the remaining 5 are optional) in this playlist showing a training by structure-based organizing legend Marshall Ganz on his messaging framework Public Narrative.

Task 1A: Report - explain Public Narrative as if you were speaking to a grassroots community organizer. Explain what it is, how it works, the key ideas, and why it is relevant to their work, in 250 words or less.

Task 1B: Implement - Imagine you were submitting a letter to the editor in the Denver Post, modeled on Public Narrative, in support of a local animal rights campaign to ban slaughterhouses in the city. What personal anecdotes, supporting facts, and other components might you choose to include? Sketch out 1-2 examples each of how you'd convey your stories of self, us, and now. 250 words or less.

Task #2 - Policy Research (60-90 minutes)

For this task, you will conduct some initial research on a problem, identify questions for further research, and lay out a basic plan for how you would find answers to those questions.

Resourcefulness is encouraged. Your research can take any form, including asking for guidance from experts or friends. It’s OK if you’ve never researched a question like this before; this task assesses your ability to find and interpret new information and create a research plan.

Initial research question: Advocates in Colorado are designing a citizen-initiated ballot measure to phase out slaughterhouses. Organizers have agreed on a few specific policies to include in their draft of the measure. First, the draft measure bans slaughterhouses from operating in the state starting in 2030. It also ends the “common animal husbandry practices” exemption from animal cruelty laws, and establishes a program to help farmers transition away from raising animals, paid for by a 1% tax on meat sales. They have come to you asking for legal and strategic advice.

Task 2A - Address what you were able to find in a short time (or what you already know) about each of the following questions, as well as how you would conduct further research to more fully answer them. Briefly explain how and where you found information, and justify your interpretation. 400 words maximum.

  • What potential legal issues (state and federal) as well as practical issues might these advocates run into?

  • What legal bodies would make decisions about the measure if it was challenged?

  • Most important: How would you conduct further research to identify other issues and find out the likelihood that any of these issues would result in the measure being overturned or otherwise failing (besides failing to collect enough votes or signatures)? Be as specific as time and word count allows.

Task 2B - Based on your initial research as well as your pre-existing knowledge and personal opinions, what would you advise the advocates to include (and not include) in their measure, and why? What, in your view, would be both legal and effective? You can suggest something completely different than what they’ve already come up with as long as it is focused on helping animals used for food, however indirectly. 150 words maximum.

Task #3 - Press Strategy (60-90 minutes)

For this task, you’ll conduct an open-ended piece of research, identify and weigh strategic considerations, and prepare to execute based on your decision.

Resourcefulness is encouraged. Your research can take any form, including asking for guidance from experts or friends. It’s OK if you’ve never researched a question like this before; this task assesses your ability to find and interpret new information and create a research plan.

Prompt: Activists in Denver are running a ballot measure to ban slaughterhouses citywide. Their hope is that the measure can start a national dialogue about whether slaughterhouses should exist at all. Your role is to get a story about the campaign in a prominent national news outlet. This story should present the narrative advocates want to tell about the campaign to a large audience. Some outlets/journalists might cover the story, but not in the way activists want, so you have to balance the outlet's reach with the chance of getting a good story. 

About the campaign: The law would directly effect one mid-sized slaughterhouse located in Denver city limits, but the symbolic effects could ripple out further. Advocates specifically hope the public will see the campaign as one step towards completely ending the use of animals for food.

Task 3A: Research non-local press outlets and choose one specific outlet, and a specific journalist at that outlet, to pitch the story to. Consider both top-tier outlets like the New York Times as well as mid-sized outlets. Develop a plan for how you would pitch that journalist: what angle would appeal to them? Show your work. Explain the different outlets you looked at, what you found, and why you chose the one you did. Explain why you would use a particular angle. Include the journalist’s contact information if you were able to find it. Max 250 words.

Task 3B: Draft an email to the journalist pitching the story. Journalists are notoriously busy– you have one chance to pique their interest. 250 words or fewer.

Name(Required)
Explain Public Narrative as if you were speaking to a grassroots campaign organizer. Explain what it is, how it works, they key ideas, and why it is relevant to their work, in 250 words or less.
Imagine you were submitting a letter to the editor in the Denver Post, modeled on Public Narrative, in support of a local animal rights campaign to ban slaughterhouses in the city. What personal anecdotes, supporting facts, and other components might you choose to include? Sketch out 1-2 examples each of how you'd convey your stories of self, us, and now. 250 words or less.
Address what you were able to find in a short time (or what you already know) about each of the questions above, as well as how you would conduct further research to more fully answer them. 400 words maximum.
Based on your initial research as well as your pre-existing knowledge and personal opinions, what would you advise the advocates to include (and not include) in their measure, and why? 150 words maximum.
Research non-local press outlets and choose one specific outlet, and a specific journalist at that outlet, to pitch the story to. Consider both top-tier outlets like the New York Times as well as mid-sized outlets. Develop a plan for how you would pitch that journalist: what angle would appeal to them? Show your work. Explain the different outlets you looked at, what you found, and why you chose the one you did. Explain why you would use a particular angle. Include the journalist’s contact information if you were able to find it. Max 250 words
Draft an email to the journalist pitching the story. Journalists are notoriously busy– you have one chance to pique their interest. 250 words or fewer.

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