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VOF Week 4: (I Speak Human)

I am moving through life as a self-appointed Ambassador of Love, Compassion and Equality. I speak Human as my first language. Admittedly lofty, this “higher” vision holds me in steady connection to others and provides perspective when I’d otherwise fold into despair. Here’s the cyclical, intertwined, ying-yang dichotomy that makes me me: I believe in healing the world (vision), but work everyday in the thick of reality that usually points in the opposite direction (see vision).

Galvanized by the glaring need for social change and justice, I am profoundly committed to Gandhi’s declaration to “…be the change [I] want to see in the world.” Particularly when I was younger, I felt I was “different” for caring so much about people and the planet. Frequently peers would shake their heads at me and with hints of condescension, slap on such identifiers as “idealist,” “hopeless optimist,” and the ultimately disdainful, “do-gooder.” Yet this innate caring about the world never waned. Over the years, I have decided to shape this sensitivity into a beacon of power and use it for Purpose. This purpose has led me down a path in which women’s rights around the world have become the banner under which I proudly walk, my chant being one of equality. With strength of purpose comes the desire to reach out to more people and infect them with the passion to care. I want my passion to be contagious.

Enthusiasm is like a communicable disease. As someone who has led a nomadic life, I have come to discover this. My community is wherever I find myself, and being this self-appointed ambassador easily suits my nature and is an identity I gladly claim. Wherever I’ve been, there are social change and justice issues begging for attention. Currently, I work for a domestic violence organization in the USA. Simultaneously, I engage regularly with online communities focused internationally on Women’s Rights, Human Rights and the Global Women’s Empowerment Movement. Always, I am contemplating the issues and listening for the stories that should be getting more media attention, such as DV. They are not. Always, I am walking the line between my vision and the challenging (read: often discouraging) reality where such qualities don’t exist or hardly work.

Becoming a Correspondent is an opportunity to connect with a larger audience about the burning issues of social justice and work on forging solutions together. As a lover of words and a believer in everyone’s story, I am also drawn to the challenge of becoming better at composing them. And writing them out loud so that the world might hear. Therefore, it also fulfills a personal dream: writing for a larger purpose. This prospect feels like a divine offering.

It would be my privilege and responsibility to be a Correspondent for World Pulse. Such an endeavor aligns with my personal value system and the causes I believe in, resonating and amplifying them. Unquestionably, it feels like the natural next step along my feminist path – to join this growing forum for women’s voices with the numerous issues constituting the global women’s empowerment movement. As a Correspondent, I would welcome the twin opportunities to speak as a woman for women. From my perspective, as well as for the women I work with, letting their stories – so essential to be heard and so needed to be told – move through me as a Medium, or literary midwife is anther facet of my vision. The DV survivors I work with, for example, frequently ragged from crisis and the effects of abuse, would be glad to know that I, their advocate, could impart their experience and break the silence until they themselves regain strength and their voice. For they, as well as for each one of us involved with World Pulse, know the following statement to be true: “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you” (Maya Angelou). I would be honored to become a Correspondent and work toward the collective good by finding, and writing, stories that we know need to be heard.

Comments

ntoweett's picture

Your work with DV survivors

I am a performing artist in Kenya and I have an interest in using the arts in Women Sexual, Reproductive and Human rights advocacy and also just telling of women experiences, challenges, trials and tribulations. I have a personal interestin the use of creative writing as a form of therapy, would you be interested in sharing your experiences of how talking about and writing about their expereinces helps DV survivors, if it does?
Thank you.

Naijeria Toweett

Danielle Prince's picture

types of advocacy

Hi Naijeria,

Thank you for your comments. I am happy to share. I respect the work that you're doing very much and think that using the arts as a way to advocate for women's sexual, reproductive and human rights is a wonderful thing to do.

So far in my work, I have found that talking can be therapeutic for women who have experienced trauma. I facilitate 2 women's groups during the week. There, the women know they are safe to share their stories and know that they will be believed and validated for their experiences. They really appreciate having this "safe space" to speak freely in, as they are often not believed, or not welcome to share their experiences with others. There is still a huge lack of information around domestic violence in the general population, despite it being a large, international city.

I have not yet started the creative writing group. I hope to do this in the next few months. I believe that writing can also be therapeutic in the process of healing. I hope to have some good things to say soon!

I'm interested in what you do. What projects are you working on right now? How are the issues you're working on accepted by society in general? I would love to know.

Hope to hear from you soon.
Dan

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Maya Angelou

Therese kasindi's picture

Reply

So interesting, your post. We have to work hand in hand in order to change the world.
Thank you for your experience!

THERESE( Maman Shujaa, Drc)

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