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Posts tagged ‘activism’

Be a writer activist by penning a love letter to a stranger

Hannah Brencher believes the world could use a little more love. And she believes in the power of the written word to spread it.

Brencher grew up receiving handwritten letters from her mother. When she became depressed in college, she found recovery in writing love letters for strangers to find. Her campaign has become a global initiative, The World Needs More Love Letters, which sends handwritten letters to those in need of a boost.

If you believe in the power of the pen and paper, watch the 5-minute video, then visit MoreLoveLetters to learn more about how you can spread love in your community and the world.

For another way to spread global understanding with your pen, read my post, Write a postcard to spread global understanding.

Write a postcard to spread global understanding

The written word is a powerful way to increase empathy and understanding on a global scale. Writers can be activists in many ways. One of those opportunities is through a program started by Peace Corps volunteer and teacher Matthew Borden.

Borden started a project called Postcards to Java as a way to help his students practice their language skills and learn more about people in other countries. The project is designed to address Peace Corps’ three goals. The Peace Corps focus on Java is English education and the program provides students with the opportunity to practice their language skills.

The students hope to receive postcards from all 50 states and from all over the globe. Participants are asked to write students a postcard in English. The students read the postcards and then write back. One international stamp in the United States only costs $1.10.Postcards to Java_children Read more

Art as activism: Project Unbreakable

Note: The links to Project Unbreakable contain emotionally disturbing material. Please consider this before clicking on those links.

Yesterday, Carly wrote a post about artists as activists—those of us, like poet Martin Espada, who feel called to make the invisible visible.

Another artist doing this same thing is photographer Grace Brown, founder of Project Unbreakable. Two years ago, Grace began photographing survivors of sexual assault holding up posters on which they quoted the words of their attackers. Since it began, the project has highlighted more than 2,000 survivors’ stories. Brown uses her art to give survivors the opportunity to heal and increase awareness of sexual assault.

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Artists as activists: How will you wield your power?

Writers often write to shed light on a difficult subject, find justice, and make a difference. Some writers say it’s our duty to seek truth, speak out, and stand up for those who can’t. It’s the reason why writers are among the first to be persecuted during times of political unrest.

Poet Martin Espada, who worked as a tenant lawyer and is now a professor at Amherst College, in Amherst, Mass., says he feels it’s his duty as a poet to make the invisible visible. He calls himself a poet spy, taking notes on what will later become poems.

Espada writes about controversial issues and fights for human rights through his poetry. He writes about immigration reform, dictators, prisoners on Death Row, poverty, and 9/11 victims.

In an interview with Bill Moyers, Espada said, “There’s something about poetry that saves me. There’s something about poetry that energizes me, that brings me to another plane. That fires all the hormones, I don’t know what. Something intangible, and yet tangible at the same time. There is something to poetry and activism which has the same energizing effect.”

What will you do to wield your talent as an artist, a citizen of the world, and as a communicator, whether you’re a writer, painter, photographer, or someone who has a vision for something better?

Espada has won numerous awards, including the American Book Award, the PEN/Revson Fellowship, and the Paterson Poetry Prize. His most recent book is The Trouble Ball. For more information about Espada and his writing, visit his website.