In 1965, Fred and Anne Alexander, retired Baptist church workers in Cleveland, Ohio, began Freedom Now! in an effort to speak out against racism. Printing on a second-hand press in their basement and mailed from their kitchen table the Alexanders sought to challenge white fundamentalists, hoping to help undermine the vigorous racism of white churches. With the tumultuous events of 1968 the magazine began to address other issues such as violence, poverty and economic justice, the presidential elections, Scripture and militarism. The following year the name was changed to The Other Side to reflect its broad commitment to justice for all who are shut out, excluded, or banished to life on "the other side" of the world's affluence or privilege.
In the mid-1970s the organization and magazine moved from Ohio to Philadelphia and ventured out into other areas of work by creating the Jubilee Fund and Jubilee Crafts. It was during this time that Jubilee, Inc. was founded (1976). The Jubilee Fund raised resources for groups that were committed to "following Jesus in a radical way," particularly those "working for justice, social change, self-help and community development -- not relief or charity." Jubilee Crafts marketed third-world crafts at fair prices and channeled almost one million dollars to grass-roots efforts worldwide.
As the expansion of editorial perspective and other efforts grew the magazine's appeal reached beyond evangelical circles to mainstream Protestant readers, as well as a significant number of Catholic readers. In the June 1978 after extensive editorial discussion The Other Side shocked its readers with an issue on homosexuality called "The Gay Person's Lonely Search for Answers," suggesting that biblical teaching on homosexuality is ambiguous. Founder Fred Alexander severed all ties with the magazine at that point. Similarly, in 1980, The Other Side published a controversial issue on abortion that argued that biblical and scientific evidence on the issue was ambiguous and could not be honestly used to support either extreme. The magazine utilized special single-topic issues to delve into other contemporary issues like the 1980 presidential election from "a faith perspective." The Other Side also sponsored an alternative seminary which sought to look at Scripture and faith in the context of contemporary social and historical challenges.
The Other Side earned more than fifty awards from the Associated Church Press and the Evangelical Press Association for their editorial content, design, and special issues. The magazine ceased publication in October 2004. Due to financial problems the organization's primary asset, its building, was sold to cover its debts. By the end of 2004 there were no longer any paid staff.
[adapted from "Our History" section of theotherside.org]
Other Note: The Other Side was the bi-monthly magazine of Jubilee, Inc. It sought to present "a healing Christian vision that is biblical and compassionate, appreciative of the creative arts, and committed to the intimate intertwining of personal spirituality and social transformation."