Talking, believing, and working for peace

The challenge of our time

Eleanor Roosevelt - peace

Photo: Wikimedia Commons / public domain
Eleanor Roosevelt holding poster of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (in English), Lake Success, New York. November 1949.

Editor’s Notes from  Lori Ann Reinhall

Dear readers and friends,

As I sit down to write to you today, I just got off the phone with a graduate student at Northwestern University who is researching the current news climate in the United States. He was interested in getting the perspective of a small ethnic-oriented publication like ours, and it led to an interesting conversation.

I was asked why I am doing what I am doing in such a challenging business climate—all papers, big and small, struggle to survive these days, and the answer was very simple: I love what I am doing. 

I then realized that there was much more to my answer: what are doing here at The Norwegian American is important. We have a vehicle to promote knowledge and cross-cultural understanding that is unique as the last Norwegian newspaper in North America. And we do not take this responsibility lightly.

With turmoil around us in the world today, this issue focuses around the apropos theme of diplomacy. Diplomacy is about conversations between nations, conversations that are needed at all times but particularly now when there seems to be more unrest around the globe than ever. In our own way, we are proud to participate in this conversation and proud that Norway has taken the forefront as peace broker around the world.

As usual, I was amazed at the support we received in putting together the issue. The Norwegian Ambassador to the United States, Anniken R. Krutnes, took the time to talk to me—what an honor—and I am so pleased to introduce her to you. We have also collaborated with  the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, the Norway-America Association, and many others, in addition to our regular contributors. All of this makes for a quality reading experience for our readers, a reading experience that is both educational and enjoyable.

With this issue, we are also bringing you a special section with a focus on film, with two Norwegian productions that are serious contenders for Oscars this year, Hope and The Kicksled Choir. Many of us on staff are film buffs, including the multi-talented Michael Kleiner, who again has gone far beyond the call of duty. He can now add the title “film critic” to his regular role as business and sports editor. I know you will enjoy his reviews and urge you to see the outstanding Norwegian films he has featured. I also encourage you to explore the offerings at Look forward to hearing more about this partnership in the future.

As usual, there is a lot going on behind the scenes here at the newspaper. One of them has been our efforts to improve the subscriber experience to make things easier for you and to increase our revenue. In the next few weeks, we will be rolling out a new online portal that will offer you another option to subscribe online in addition to PayPal. You will also be able to manage your account through the portal, saving both you and us valuable time.

Many of you have asked me what you can do to help. Keeping your subscription up to date is, of course, key to our ongoing financial stability. You can then help us by spreading the news about our publication to your friends and colleagues, and we also rely on your generous donations. We have many plans for improving our publication in 2021 and are extremely grateful for you support.

For our quote this issue, we chose the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, an American woman who devoted her life to the betterment of others. She understood that peace is intricately linked to social equity, that when all people everywhere are treated as equals, we will see a world of peace. 

During the time of the pandemic, I often think back on the lives of my own parents, who endured the Great Depression and World War II. Our sacrifices today seem to pale in comparison. The Great Generation fought for a better, more peaceful world for us, and it is now our duty to do the same for future generations. 

Eleanor Roosevelt’s words still ring true  for us today: we have to stick to our convictions and take action to enact change. We will keep on working.

Wishing health, happiness, and peace,

Lori Ann Reinhall
The Norwegian American

This article originally appeared in the Feb. 26, 2021, issue of The Norwegian American.

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Lori Ann Reinhall

Lori Ann Reinhall, editor-in-chief of The Norwegian American, is a multilingual journalist and cultural ambassador based in Seattle. She is the president of the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association, and she serves on the boards of several Nordic organizations.