April M. Short

From Observatory

April Short.png
April M. Short
Editor. Journalist

April M. Short is a co-founder of the Observatory, where she is the Local Peace Economy editor. She is also a writing fellow at the Independent Media Institute.

Latest by this author

April M. Short is a co-founder of the Observatory, where she is the Local Peace Economy editor and a contributor to Human Bridges. She is also a writing fellow at the Independent Media Institute. Previously, she was a managing editor at AlterNet as well as an award-winning senior staff writer for Good Times, a weekly newspaper in Santa Cruz, California.

April’s work in journalism examines sustainable new (and ancient) ways of thinking about society, culture and value, and being in the world. Her current focus is on the Local Peace Economy (LPE) project—a project conceived by CODEPINK and produced in partnership with the Independent Media Institute. LPE explores local solutions to global issues that are replicable and/or model healing ways forward. It focuses on cultural, social, and economic approaches that are community-based and uplift all people from the dominant global models built on war, oppression, and extraction.

Her writing has appeared in many national and international publications, including the San Francisco Chronicle, SF Gate, the Conversation, Salon, San Jose Mercury News, East Bay Times, Independent Australia, In These Times, Bitch Magazine, Ravishly Magazine, Jezebel, Raw Story, CounterPunch, National Memo, LA Progressive, Hollywood Progressive, Inequality.org, Truthout, Truthdig, and many others. Her work is sometimes syndicated in newspapers worldwide through the Big News Network and other news services.

She also works as a documentary assistant editor, story continuity consultant, and line producer. Her documentary work is primarily focused on environmental justice and climate-related projects in the Pacific Northwest. Additionally, she is on the steering committee for the grassroots nonprofit North Coast Communities for Watershed Protection—a volunteer, citizen-led effort to protect forested drinking watersheds in Oregon.

As former managing editor at AlterNet, she produced the Drugs, Health, and Books sections, as well as front page content and newsletters. She has extensive experience reporting on drug policy, cannabis, and plant medicines, and is a founding editor and contributing consultant for the psychedelics-focused news outlet Lucid News. She was also founding editor-in-chief of the consciousness/wellness-focused media outlet Reset.me. She is part of the Cosmic Sister “psychedelic feminism” network and received a Cosmic Sisters of Cannabis grant in 2016 to write “Why Women Are Leading the Charge to (Re)unite Cannabis and Yoga”—the first article about cannabis and yoga ever published in LA Yoga.

She is also a yoga teacher and meditation guide, and facilitates workshops, retreats, and feminine rites of passage experiences throughout California and the Pacific Northwest.

San Francisco Chronicle | March 2017

This 2017 article for the San Francisco Chronicle explores the 50th anniversary of the Human Be-In, the historic drug policy protest that attracted tens of thousands of people to San Francisco in 1967 and served as the catalyst for the Summer of Love and burgeoning changes to U.S. drug policy and psychedelic science.

San Francisco Chronicle | April 2017

Music plays a significant and fascinating role during psychedelic-assisted therapy sessions. This 2017 San Francisco Chronicle article details the processes and thought behind creating music playlists for psychedelic-assisted therapy purposes. It includes an interview with musician Brian Eno, who is known for his historic role in the development and popularization of ambient music. Many of his songs are featured on psychedelic-assisted therapy playlists.

Salon | September 2013

This 2013 article published in Salon details the report that first revealed the fact that private prison companies strike deals with states that contain clauses guaranteeing high prison occupancy rates. At the time this article was published the report was newly-released by In the Public Interest, and this was one of the first pieces of coverage on the groundbreaking report.

Salon | March 2014

In 2014, as the first state-wide recreational cannabis legalization laws went into effect in Colorado and Washington, Professor Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness was released. This interview with Professor Alexander, published in Salon, details the racial inequities present in the rollout of cannabis legalization.

In These Times | May 2013

This article about the March Against Monsanto movement was published in In These Times, as well as a series of additional outlets. It was among the first media coverage of the movement, which took place in countries around the world and aimed to bring awareness of the impacts of chemical companies like Monsanto on health.

LA Yoga | April 2017

This is the first article about cannabis and yoga ever published in LA Yoga. April received a “Cosmic Sisters of Cannabis” grant in 2016 from Cosmic Sister to write this piece. It details the historical—even ancient—relationship between cannabis, yoga and the feminine.

Alternet | April 2013

This AlterNet article was published before the concepts of psychedelic-assisted therapy and the benefits of psychedelics for mental health were mainstream knowledge. It is an overview of the 2013 Psychedelic Science Conference and the breakthrough scientific research into psychedelics that was just beginning to be released after decades of federal red tape.

Publications by this author
Co-author: Sarah Durham Wilson | Sounds True | June 2022

Becoming the Mother is every woman’s birthright―regardless of whether or not she raises children. The Mother is who we needed as a child, who we were meant to be in this life, and who the world needs us to be now.

Wilson teaches that while pre-patriarchal cultures honored women’s natural cycles, today’s society infantilizes women, idolizing youthful traits such as “pretty, pleasing, and polite” in order to keep us distracted and dependent. While a healthy version of the Maiden will always remain part of us, there comes a time when we must no longer let her wounds and immaturity guide our lives. We must step into our mature, feminine fullness.

Co-authors: Elizabeth Limbach (author) and April M. Short (editor) | Whitman Publishing | May 2016

From military veterans and young mothers to a Christian minister and a former probation officer, the 100 Americans profiled in Cannabis Saved My Life have starkly different backgrounds. They span all ages and political persuasions and hail from every corner of the country, some from states where marijuana prohibition is alive and well, and some from greener safer pastures like Oregon and California.

What they have in common are powerful and moving stories of unbelievable suffering and courageous resilience. They turned to a controversial but age-old plant. The ways in which this medicine helped them vary as much as their make-ups, but they share the experience of having had their lives become livable once again. For some, this means living life as a criminal or fleeing their home states for one where they can medicate with peace of mind. Your heart will break for them, your eyes will open because of them, and, ultimately, you will be uplifted and inspired by their stories.

Interview | October 2020

At the height of the 2020 uprising against systemic racism and police brutality, April Spoke with Len Beyea of KSQD Community Radio in Santa Cruz, along with activist Esabella Bonner, about “Alternatives to Policing—What Would Safety Look Like Without Police?” She was invited on the show following the publication of her Independent Media Institute article outlining existing alternatives to policing.

Feature | January 2020

This feature-length documentary follows communities along Washington’s Chehalis River who are faced with worsening floods and a prized salmon population on the brink of extinction, as they grapple with how to prepare for climate impacts—and whether a new dam is the answer. April worked as a continuity consultant and assistant story editor on this film by Jesse Andrew Clark and Shane Anderson.

Feature | September 2013

April was the producer, continuity consultant and lead interviewer for this mini-documentary produced by and for MAPS (the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies).


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