The Contributor

Nashville, TN, United States
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Tales from quarantine from Nashville street paper vendors

In this article, The Contributor catches up with several of its street paper vendors to find out how their lives and sales have been affected since COVID-19 hit. Although The Contributor has been able to continue printing physical copies of the paper during the pandemic, its vendors have had to adapt in order to maintain both their sales and their relationships with customers in a way that is safe for everyone.

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Black lives matter: Protest movement against racism, oppression and police brutality sweeps across America

Since the death of George Floyd, a young black man killed by a white police officer as his colleagues stood idly by, protests have sprung up across the US and other parts of the world calling for an end to systemic racial injustices and police brutality. American street papers were present at many of those protests.

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US street paper vendors on being denied voting rights as former felons when the democratic process is more important than ever

Coronavirus has even upended democracy. In a recent Wisconsin Democratic Primary vote, very little accommodation was made to ensure people could get out to vote, and do so safely. It’s a worry ahead of an important Presidential election set for later this year. If the current circumstances continue, the situation may end up actively stopping people from voting. But the US already has all sorts of different restrictions hampering the ability of its citizens to vote. Two Contributor vendors explain how their past felony charges bar them from exercising the franchise.

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There are literally thousands of people dying homeless on the streets of America

Days before Christmas, communities across the US joined together to memorialise those who had died while homeless that year. INSP North America director Israel Bayer summed up the tragedies that have beset countless homeless Americans, while a group of the country’s street papers collaborated on making sure these remembrances, and the people they were about, were noticed.

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Our vendors: Julie B. (The Contributor, Nashville, USA)

Julie B. has made a name for herself in the Contributor office for being determined and resilient. Here, she reflects on her Native American heritage, talks about the hard work being done by street paper vendors and discusses what life is like with a brain cancer diagnosis.

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US street papers collaborate with non-profit Law@theMargins on series centring voices from the homeless community

Four US street papers have collaborated on ‘The Right to a Home’ series with non-profit media organisation Law@theMargins and its Community Based News Room project. The stories produced amplify voices from within the homeless community, exploring how homelessness is being addressed at a local level across the country.

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INSP Awards: Presenting the 2019 Nominees for Best Vendor Contribution

We’re continuing to announce the nominees for the Editorial categories of the 2019 INSP Awards, and next up is the Top 10 for Best Vendor Contribution.

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INSP Awards: The 2019 Best Cultural Feature Nominees Revealed

We’re continuing with our 2019 INSP Awards announcements, and today it’s the Top 10 Entries for Best Cultural Feature.

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Hello 2019! A round-up of January’s street paper covers from around the world

2019 is well and truly underway, and the new year has brought with it an impressive array of street paper covers to cast the winter blues away!

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“Hairdressing is a social service”

Recently, two street papers in different parts of the world published similar stories celebrating organisations that give free haircuts to homeless people. Dortmund-based magazine bodo told the story of the Barber’s Angels, a group of professional hairdressers from all over the North Rhine-Westphalia region who had come to Bochum to dish out complimentary styling. Across the Atlantic, Nashville’s The Contributor described a day of business for the Nashville Street Barbers.

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Our vendors: Randolph (The Contributor, Nashville, USA)

Randolph B. has found security through his work selling The Contributor. He knows that he will always be able to sell the magazine, regardless of his work situation, and that he has the support of customers with whom he was forged lasting friendships. Despite having recently taken on paid work with Rock City Mechanical, Randolph still sells The Contributor in the evenings and at the weekend. Here, he speaks of his love for his customers and for his adopted hometown, Nashville.

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INSP Talks: How street papers are revolutionising social enterprise

This year’s INSP Talks – a regular feature of the Global Street Paper Summit – was focused on social enterprise around the world, including what street papers are doing to branch out into other social businesses, how they are adapting their publication to come more into line with the modern social enterprise landscape, and a look at why Scotland is leading the way in the industry.

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INSP Awards: The 2018 Best Campaign Finalists are here

We’re spoiling you today – with two sets of Finalists for the 2018 INSP Awards being announced!

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Mayday! Mayday! INSP’s latest monthly covers round-up is here

No need to put out a distress call, our round-up of street paper front pages from the last month has landed.

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A Shower of April Covers: INSP’s latest front page round-up

April has showered us with a flow of fantastic front pages, and we’ve splattered the very best onto this month’s covers round-up!

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Nashville street paper The Contributor reinvents itself with the launch of new magazine format

American street paper The Contributor has been going for over ten years as a traditional news print publication. But, last week, the Nashville, Tennessee publication reinvented itself with a sleek new magazine format and updated design.

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February Feels: A round-up of street paper covers this month

With entries for the 2018 INSP Awards opening very soon, has February delivered us any potential winners in the Best Cover category?

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Vendor moments 2017: “I’m totally in awe of being a vendor nowadays”

In his look back on 2017, The Contributor vendor Maurice talks about what he has learned in the past year that has made him the best vendor he can be.

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Awesome August Artwork: A month of impressive street paper covers

The 2017 Global Street Paper Summit allowed us to get up close and personal with August’s covers – take a look at our highlights from the network.

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INSP Awards: Announcing our 2017 Best Online Presence Finalists

Wonderful websites, impressive Instagrams, terrific Twitters and fantastic Facebooks – it can only be the Best Online Presence finalists!

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INSP Awards: Best Campaign Finalists for 2017

Six impressive campaigns from our street papers have made it as finalists – time to find out all about them.

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INSP Awards: Finalists for Best Vendor Contribution 2017 Award

The 2017 ceremony countdown is well and truly on – and here’s our fab five finalists in the Best Vendor Contribution category.

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INSP Awards: Here’s our Best Cover 2017 Finalists

We are delighted to bring you the finalists for the 2017 INSP Awards, starting today with the visual feast that is the Best Cover category.

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Summer cover-lovin’: our round-up of July’s covers

We’ve been having a blast looking at the highlights from July of what our network has been producing.

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Our round-up of June’s street paper covers

June has been and gone in a flash – but we’ve taken time to stop and look back on a superb month of street paper covers.

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INSP Awards: Best Vendor Contribution 2017 Nominees

The final set of nominees are here – have a look to see who’s made the top ten in the Best Vendor Contribution category.

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INSP Awards: Discover our Best News Feature Nominees for 2017

This year’s nominees for Best News Feature are in – take a look at the stories that have captured our imagination and made the longlist.

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INSP Awards: Best Street Paper Design 2017 Nominees

All this week, we’re announcing the nominees for the 2017 INSP Awards – and today it’s the top ten in the Best Design category.

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INSP Awards: Best Cover 2017 Nominees Revealed

It’s been another brilliant year for street paper covers, and we’re delighted to announce the first set of nominees for this year’s INSP Awards – kicking off with the hotly-contested Best Cover category.

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After 27 years of homelessness, Nashville street paper vendor gets his own apartment

Army veteran Anthony hasn’t had a home to call his own for 27 years. But after seven years’ hard work selling The Contributor, he finally has his own place.

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Formerly homeless woman leads street backpack programme in Nashville

After Hurricane Ivan, Jessica Thurmond lost her home and was forced to live in her car. Jessica found help through the kindness of strangers – and now she wants to pay that compassion forward.

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Our vendors: Vickie (The Contributor, East Nashville, Tennessee, USA)

Vickie is currently homeless and battling cancer for the second time. She sells The Contributor to provide for her family.

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Homeless activist launches world’s newest street paper in Colorado Springs

“The idea came from being hungry – the desire came from wanting to fight.” Currently homeless in Colorado Springs, Raven Canon is a campaigner and the founder of the world’s newest street paper. We caught up with her just after she published the first edition of The Springs Echo.

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Contributor vendor donates paper profits to East Tennessee wildfire victims

Formerly homeless vendor Mario spread some kindness with a donation to the victims of the devastating East Tennessee fires. Mario saved three days of street paper sales to give to the official victim fund.

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Vendor wishes: “I want to be a law-changer, a difference-maker”

Today, as part of our vendor wishes series, we visit Vicky who sells The Contributor in Tennessee. She has big plans for the new year…

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Six million sales and counting for Nashville street paper The Contributor

Nashville weekly paper The Contributor launched in 2007 and has since trained more than 2,800 people to be vendors. They’ve just hit six million sales.

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Homelessness and affordable housing missing from the US presidential campaign trail

With under a week to go until American voters cast their vote for a new president, neither candidates have touched on the growing poverty and homelessness issues facing more than 500,000 U.S. citizens.

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Vendors’ pitches turned into offices for viral #BossNotBum campaign

This fantastic awareness-raising campaign from The Contributor in Nashville highlights a very important point about street paper vendors.

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Hard-hitting, striking… phizz-whizzing: it’s June’s street paper covers

A gloriumptious look at the world of Roald Dahl, a red-haired mischief-maker, a mafia flower plot and Yanis Varoufakis at the INSP Summit… explore June’s street paper covers.