“I’m trying to speak — to write — the truth. I’m trying to be clear. I’m not interested in being fancy, or even original. Clarity and truth will be plenty,if I can only achieve them.” —Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower
Welcome to the second issue of Giving Voice.
I think it goes without saying that even in the best of times, launching a new publication is a challenge. Our student writers are learning to work on a deadline, our Giving Voice team is working to expand our reach, and our talented designer must come up with new and engaging ways to illustrate content. And yet the team has managed to do just this—and more—during one of the most contentious periods in our country’s history.
When I opened up the folder of unedited student articles this month, I was genuinely curious to find out what was on their minds. As it turns out, quite a lot… from difficult higher education choices and volunteerism, to Esports and dance. One of the articles, “The Lack of Uniformity Unites” by Adeline Ferolo, has a title that could just as easily be the theme of this issue. Though the students are writing on a wide variety of topics, they are united in their desire to enact positive change in their community.
I encourage you to listen to the many calls to action you will find in these pages. They come from not just future leaders, but those who are already fully engaged in social justice efforts, community organizing, the arts, and sports.
Recently, I began reading the science fiction masterpiece Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler. I admit with some embarrassment that while I had been inspired by quotes from the book for years, I had not read it. But somehow, lately, it seemed fitting—a story set in the mid-2020s and told from the perspective of a teenage woman. American society has collapsed due to wealth inequality, climate change, greed, and a host of other calamities. And while it might sound like a depressing plot, it is far from it—the main character, Lauren, must make her voice heard in order to protect those she loves.
Communication is a radical act that has the power to transform. As you scroll through these pages, I hope you are impacted by the true potential of these ideas.