Writing for Change: Say Hello And Find Your Crew

This is very interesting topic to dig into. Good one Jose!

1 Like

Hey there, I’m Tyler and I just moved to Providence, RI, to work as an AmeriCorps VISTA member at College Unbound. I’m stoked about transforming public education from an outdated, stagnant institution that prepares certain groups for success into one that prepares all people for our new world of collaboration, application, and intimacy. Some writers I’m into include Mary Oliver, Elizabeth Bishop, Charles Bukowski, Herman Hesse, Daniel Quinn, Paolo Coelho, Tom Robbins, and Parker Palmer, Just to name a few…

Looking forward to spending time writing and thinking throughout this course!

1 Like

Hi my name is Pamela and I am a part of the College Unbound program. I am looking to study the effect of higher education on minorities. I,m looking to gain as much knowledge on this subject and have engaging conversation with others

Will you be my buddy please -Lisa

1 Like

Hi Vanessa and everyone in the group!

If you weren’t able to tell from my greeting, this is my introduction to the group.

Priority #1 - convert un(der)employed college graduates into founders/CEOs of social enterprises.

Priority #2 - utilize the new founders from #1 as mentors to current undergraduate students. Undergraduate students begin developing their own social enterprise idea as they matriculate.

Priority #3 - approx one year later I want to close the loop - bring together the undergraduates from #2 and the graduates from #1 and ask them to build a mentorship program for all high school students beginning at age 16. If there is mentorship program already in place then they will use their time to reinforce existing infrastructure, or perhaps supplement existing programs, or if they come up with another idea it may very well be just as acceptable.

In a nutshell, the issues I am most passionate about are social problems. I want to teach people how to solve social problems by carving out a place for themselves in the economy as the founder of a social enterprise.

We can either build a homeless shelter, or we can build a startup with homeless people as our co-founders. I’m willing to bet a homeless person knows more about what it’s like to be homeless than anyone else with means. Startups solve problems. It’s important to me that we start solving really big problems.

It may sound optimistic. Romantic, even.

However, if we’re able to successfully guide a student to rediscover her humanity then half the battle is over. Not really sure if it’s “half” the battle, but some portion of the battle is over!

Where am I? I live in Princeton, NJ. I was born in Morristown, NJ. Grew up in Chester, NJ.

Who do I admire? A person who is born into poverty only to break through the glass ceiling because there’s nobody in this world who’s going to get in her way. Once she gets to where she is going she does not rest on her laurels. Rather, she reaches back to the same community that tried to breed her into a gap of no achievement.

Whoever she is, I definitely admire her.

Thanks for listening :smile:

1 Like

Hello. I’m Farshad. I live in Shiraz, Iran. I’m a medical student here struggling with my life!
Things that matter to me are medicine, neuroscience, AI, programming, data science, questions about natural phenomena, and transformation in medical education (and education in whole). While I’m studying medicine right now, I consider myself a student of life and the open world. I admire free education and revolutionary methods in teaching and learning.

Hi Guys
This is arvind from india, most of the time i have been a JAVA Programmer and I am looking to learn from p2pu a lot and would like to actively involve in it. I would like to create Java 8 and play framework course. But the main reason i am exited about p2pu is that i will be able to improve my personality and community way of thinking. I think it’s very important in current time. Would like l learn about new technologies also. I am very enthusiastic about open education and think it can change the way education delivered in India which is crumbling…

Hello Everyone,

I am currently an educator with over 18 years of experience. The majority of my experience has been in Urban schools, with a couple years in a private school in Beverly Hills (I know this was surreal for a guy from the inner city in Denver, CO) but my son received free daycare in pre-school. I am a holistic educator and currently at a crossroads in my life. I no longer wish to deal with all of the standardized testing taking place in schools. These corporations in the classroom are taking the fun and awe out of learning. I have been a Principal, Dean, Counselor, and Teacher. I now would like to open my own school, which puts children and families at the forefront of our mission. I would like to create a learning environment where teachers/guides, learn from students and vice-versa. I would like a school where time is not of the essence. I would like to create a place where learning happens in every way and shape imaginable, where individuals within the building bring only positive, thoughtful vibes alive everyday. Where teenagers can be free to be teenagers and question everything you.


@rlucero Sounds like @asbush may have a few thoughts to share with you

Hi @rlucero great to here about you and your work. Lots of connections-- I was born and raised in LA, Ive worked to establish schools in Providence and New Orleans that push against standardized tests, and care deeply about the pedagogy imbued within relationships and mentorships. Lets think together about what kind of pieces we can write collaboratively through this P2P course!

Hello @asbush,

It’s a true pleasure to meet you. I am at a crossroads in my career and very frustrated. I want to open my own school without state or governmental interference or pushing of standardized testing but don’t know how to make the first step. My expertise has always been in building culture in schools, through the halls, and in the classroom. By building quality and close familial culture you can curtail many behavioral problems. Educators forget children are people too and have basic human rights which are violated everyday in schools around the U.S. I have lay witness to teachers yelling, demanding, belittling, and demeaning students.

It would be a pleasure to work with you.

Hello, My name is Michele and I live in the suburban area of Chicago. I started a charity called Charitable Eyes a few years ago but have not been able to acquire funds to keep the organization functional. I was diagnose with diabetes in 1996. Over the years I have witnessed a dramatic change in my eyesight. I was able to control my diabetes but the changes in my eyesight I could not. I started Charitable Eyes with the hope of giving no to low income families whose children are school age, free eye exams, glasses and accessories. So many of our children start off failing in school due to their eyesight. A vast amount of our children have trouble reading and comprehending due to their eyesight. I want to help those in need in my community who I know will benefit from this.

Hello Riucero,
Pleasure meeting you as well. I look forward to this journey as well as the experience!

Hi @dirk, @asbush and @vanessa,

Is this the start of a new ‘Writing for Change’ course or what? I enrolled
for the course that started on 14 August last year, but could not do it. If
this is a new course, I’m might have the time to do it this time around…

Please let me know ASAP.

Best regards, Jakes

Hey @Jakes - this course isn’t planned to run again this year (or at least not yet). You are welcome to go through the course materials, they’re all available on http://writing4change.p2pu.org/ and you can post here on the forum.

We are working on a project with the Chicago Public Library ( http://chicago.p2pu.org ) and writing will be one of the topics that we’ll probably cover in the second batch of courses kicking off later this year.

@asbush may also have some suggestions for you.

I am a psychotherapist and a group facilitator using play, movement and expressive arts. I work for an association : La Croisée des Chemins which proposes activities of experiential learning, creativity and cooperation through a democratic school for people aged 4 to 19 and a cultural center and trainings for adults.

I live and work in Dijon, France.

I have the project to write something about the way our school works.

People I feel inspired by : Alice Miller / Françoise Dolto / Michel Odent / Clarissa Pinkola Estès / Vandana Shiva / Starhawk / Daniel Odier / Hanna Halprin / Arnaud Desjardins / Castaneda / John Holt / Jodorowsky / Carl Rogers / Thich Nhat Hanh / Margaret Mead / E. T. Hall / Christiane Singer.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes : Women who run with the wolves.
Alice Miller : For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence
Marshall Rosenberg : Nonviolent communication.
Mickael Brown : The presence process.
Joanna Macy : Coming back to life - Practices to reconnect Our Lives, Our World.
Yvonne Verdier : Façons de dire, façons de faire
Peter Gray : Free to learn.
The creative connection de Natalie Rogers.
Malidoma Somé : The Healing Wisdom of Africa
Charles & Perrine Hervé-Gruyer : Permaculture.
Alexander S. Neill : Summerhill - A radical approach to child rearing.
Virginia Axline : Dibs + Playtherapy / Monica Companys &
Arne Naess : Vers l’écologie profonde.
Henri Laborit : Éloge de la fuite.
Ina May Gaskin : Spiritual midwifery.
Rob Hopkins : The transition handbook.
Monique Pinçon-Charlot et Michel Pinçon : La violence des riches.
Majid Rahnema : La puissance des pauvres.
Gitta Mallasz : Dialogues avec l’ange.

Hello, My name is Lee Dawson. I live in a tiny village in a beautiful rural community in the Mary Valley. It is situated approximately 30 k’s west of Gympie, Queensland, Australia. I am very interested in deepening the connections existing within my village and town in order to reintroduce the philosophy and practice of self sufficient communities. The instability of Government funding has seen many community organisations and charities fold prematurely and with devastating consequence.

As the population increases In our area our community becomes more fragmented and therefor so do the communication channels. We are experiencing increasing gaps within our social matrix; one such gap can be demonstrated by our independent elderly reporting distress due to isolation. Lack of transport and appropriate social activities decrease their capacity to stay connected to others and maintain a sense of belonging. The disconnect extends to the youth, unemployed and disabled but even more concerning is the inclusion of the general community in this group. Local Event organisers report poor attendance numbers and difficulty with advertising and promotions reaching their intended audiences.

To my mind I see a multifaceted approach whereby we use our unique community assets which incorporates the infrastructure, cultures and skilled or talented people to identify common areas of interest and work more cohesively together to innovatively address the pertinent gaps within our locality,

An example would be; using the existing problems or issues to solve other problems or issues. A list of issues we would like to see addressed are a lack in the number and diversity of our artistic and cultural events, next we have issues with homelessness, the aged and unemployed, then we have 'work for the dole strategies that are poorly managed, unfulfilling and at times, demeaning to participants.
I envisage and am investigating ways in which social enterprise/s can directly contributes to the execution of community projects, to the economic and social stability of the community and to provide employment or other opportunities for the people that are identified as being marginalised. . Creating an artistic or cultural event/project or series of events/projects to fundraise for the local needs. Utilising work for the dole participants and members of the ‘target group’ to provide the man power to achieve the result.

Anyway it is early stages yet and my ideas are still nebulous so if anyone has any links that demonstrate excellent ideas and a high levels of community engagement to develop social enterprises I would love to see them. Thank you for your time…

One of my fave organisations is the INSTITUTE OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS. . Social innovation through programs for developing sustainable communities. The ICA Australia is committed to developing and facilitating participatory processes to enable change at the individual, organisational and community levels within corporate, government and community enterprises .

The institute of Cultural Affairs Australia is concerned with the human factor in social change. Central to the work of the ICA is the belief that sustainable development occurs when people are meaningfully engaged in the change processes impacting their lives and the organizations and communities they are a part of. It is also our belief that cultures based on inclusive participation and profound respect help people work creatively, minimize conflict and accomplish more together.

1 Like

Hello, I’m Craig

I’m an intern living in Cape Town, developing my writing skills to speak to diverse groups about common issues we face and find ways of collaborating to solve the issues. Race, inequality, gender, climate change and other topics. I just want the human race to work together, I know that’s vague. I’m working on being more expressive and articulate.

I admire Nietzche, I think.

Hello, I’m Abi and I work for a small homelessness support service in Melbourne. It’s a happy accident that I stumbled upon this platform but my hope has always been to agitate through writing for social change by questioning the structures upholding inequity, division, status, wealth distribution and marginalisation. Although I take a reflective a stance, I’m an (armchair) activist; I propose without shame and offer as a disclaimer in all job applications, at all network meetings and to funding bodies my belief that inequity, poverty and homelessness will not be alleviated until the laws governing residential tenancies and home ownership are completely overhauled. Until the mythology upholding conservative or right wing thinking is debunked, change is only possible on an individual level where persons supported by government funded agencies learn to conform.
Although it may seem otherwise from the above, I will refrain from my thesis which includes a dissemination of education delivery, money being god, and the idea that most of us are captive in one way or another to a collective ideology so firmly entrenched we lose ourselves in it, because this is what I hope to dissect in writing for social change.
Who am I really? A nobody with a reasonable vocabulary, some room for punctuation improvemt and a passion for the human state.
P.S no cats or pugs I’m on a train and ‘mobile’ and probably wouldn’t know how to make such an addition anyway.