My second day at The OpEd Project differed greatly from my first. Yesterday, 22 participants and I gathered at the New York office to exercise our minds with the incredible leadership of Katie Orenstein, Martha Southgate, and E.J. Graff. The seminar leaders alternated speaking, each bringing her unique background and insights to the OEP exercises. One of the first activities entailed declaring oneself an expert, and explaining one’s credibility. As a recent high school graduate, I don’t often think of myself as an “expert,” but felt comfortable announcing an area of expertise to a supportive room of fellow experts- people involved in volunteering, politics, academia, teaching, researching, writing, journalism, activism, technology, and entrepreneurship.
The room had a palpable energy that radiated from the diverse array of voices present. As each participant announced an idea for an opinions piece, I grew increasingly excited to read their work. Throughout the day, however, we discussed far more than the op-eds that we outlined. The seminar covered topics that ranged from thought leadership to creatively framing and expanding one’s area of expertise to the social change we envision. Shortly after 5 PM, the seminar ended and the newly minted alums headed out for drinks and discussion, knowing that sharing their knowledge with others is a socially responsible, vital action.
Katie Orenstein, encouraging participants to expand their perceived fields of expertise.