Empowering. That’s the one word that was on my mind when I completed the OpEd Project’s seminar “Write to Change the World” in Los Angeles this past weekend. Not only do I feel empowered to contribute to the dialogue of the ideas, but I also feel empowered to encourage others to do the same.
To begin, one of the things that I loved about the seminar was the focus on developing a sound argument. Chloe Angyal, an editor at Feministing and the leader for the seminar, discussed core elements of influence and persuasion that help bolster an Op-Ed. Through various exercises, I was able to brainstorm my topic of expertise, ways in which I can address counter-arguments in a piece, and methods in making an issue timely. I have never written an Op-Ed before but, having completed the course with Chloe Angyal, I feel like I have more confidence and knowledge to pursue the task.
Apart from learning how to structure an Op-Ed, the other thing I enjoyed about the seminar was the opportunity to meet so many amazing individuals who are experts in their field. It was invigorating to discuss politics, culture, race, class, gender, among other topics. These individuals allowed me to open my mind to other perspectives in the world, and how to go about expressing these ideas in written form.
With such a positive experience, I highly encourage other people to get involved in The OpEd Project. I especially feel that it’s important to get minority voices involved in the organization. Sadly, the current media landscape is very one-sided, mostly white, privileged, and male. In particular, commentary in new and legacy media, such as Op-Eds and visits to Sunday morning TV political talk shows, is dominated by this demographic.
To learn more about my experience at the “Write to Change the World” seminar in Los Angeles, visit Facebook to view images or check out The OpEd Project to learn more about the L.A. seminar happening Sunday, May 5.
Connie K. Ho is the Los Angeles Regional Management Intern of The OpEd Project as well as a Freelance Contributor for online publications such as Mochi Magazine and Red Orbit.