News Release 

Contacts: David Schimke, editor in chief: 612-338-5040 ext. 325,
Rachel Smith, public relations specialist: 785-274-4441,

Utne Reader Names Brattleboro Native Noah Baker Merrill a “Visionary”National Magazine Selects the Humanitarian Activist Among 50 People who are Changing the World


BRATTLEBORO, Vt. (Oct. 14, 2009) — Utne Reader, the best of the alternative press, names Noah Baker Merrill as a visionary who is making a difference in the world. He is among the 50 visionaries the magazine is featuring in its November-December issue, on newsstands Oct. 20. 

Noah Baker Merrill co-founded Direct Aid Iraq, with the principle that Americans have a responsibility to support a peaceful future for Iraqis, and building relationships is part of that restitution process. The global network connects Iraqis with urgent medical care on a case-by-case basis, advocates for resettlement and facilitates other organizations. 

“Each of the inventors, environmentalists, media activists and community organizers we chose to celebrate this year are fueled by an inexhaustible desire to serve the greater good. Labors of peace, love and justice are rarely celebrated these days, and given the many challenges facing our world, it was exciting to give readers 50 reasons to believe in a brighter future,” says David Schimke, Utne Reader’s editor in chief.

Baker Merrill hopes that this exposure will encourage people to be more understanding of the Iraqi culture and its people. 

“Wars, sanctions and occupation have ensured that we have a relationship with the people of Iraq. The essential question now is what kind of relationship it will be — a continuation of the present occupation, devastation and forgetting; or a renewed commitment based on remembering, dignity and reparations,” Baker Merrill says. 

WEB EXCLUSIVE: For interviews and other features about this year’s honorees, visit

NOTE: For the complete article, cover image or photos of the visionaries, please contact Rachel Smith at 785-274-4441 or

About Utne Reader
Since 1984, Utne Reader ( has been the vanguard of the alternative press, celebrating independent news and views from across the political spectrum. With ideas, trends and solutions you won’t see in the mainstream media for months or even years, those who want to know what’s happening next, read Utne Reader first.

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