Writing for Social Justice
**Please note all times are listed in EST**
In this two-part workshop, we will look at writing in social justice as a process of working through concentric circles, moving from identifying the personal importance of social justice through journal writing, to community issues, through letter and petition-writing, to national issues, focusing on op-ed essays, and finally to global issues, identifying organizations with which to work. Through this process, we will look at the use of the Greek principles of rhetoric, ethos, logos, and pathos, and how to use these principles ethically to support the goals of writing persuasively. We will also talk about the power of individual word choices, or diction, and how to use words as instruments and tools rather than as weapons. There will be digital handouts, and all participants will get a free PDF copy of the Writing for Social Justice workbook.
Maggie Sokolik, Ph.D., is Director of College Writing Programs at the University of California, Berkeley, where she has taught and served as an administrator for 30 years. She has served as a Specialist for the US Department of State since 1995, traveling globally to consult on English language and writing education in developing nations, including Nepal, India, Chile, Lithuania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and others. Her edX.org course, Writing for Social Justice, has enrolled thousands of writers and activists. She is currently serving as a mentor to the Director of the Nottingham Children, Young People, and Families Project (https://nottscyf.co.uk), helping them to strengthen their outreach through written and visual media. Additionally, motivated students from her edX.org course often volunteer to write for The NO Project (https://www.thenoproject.org), working to combat human trafficking. Her companion workbook and journal, Writing for Social Justice (Wayzgoose Press, Eugene, OR, http://wayzgoosepress.com) mirrors the approach to social justice writing, which starts with the individual discovering through writing what social justice means to them.
Suggested readings, listenings, and viewings
We won’t discuss these directly, but some may interest you. They may be referred to during the workshop.
Letter from Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King, Jr. https://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html
Letter to My Son, Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Personal is Political, Carol Hanisch
Men Explain Things to Me, Rebecca Solnit
How to Tame a Wild Tongue, Gloria Anzaldúa
Op-Comic: Cassandra of California, Kevin C. Pyle
Peruse http://change.org for a sampling of petitions
How I’m Fighting Bias in Algorithms, Joy Buolamwini