Katy Rubin was one of the experts who joined us last week at the ‘Write to Change the World’ seminar in New York City. Here are her thoughts on the day:
“Hello, my name is Katy Rubin, and I’m an expert in fear. Wait, no, that’s not right – I’m actually an expert in engaging radically diverse communities in concrete social action through theatre. And I have a lot to say about how the innovative “Legislative Theatre” process can generate creative policy change around homelessness and the criminal justice system, and truly democratize the democratic process. If you catch up with me after a performance by Theatre of the Oppressed NYC, the organization I founded in 2011, I will be happy to tell you all about it.
But I’ve been mostly afraid to write about it – intimidated by the permanence of putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, and unsure that my ideas are worthy enough to share so publicly.
This past Saturday I participated in The Op-Ed Project’s Write to Change the World Seminar, and I learned a few things. One: I have a responsibility to share my ideas, both as an engaged citizen working for social change and as a woman, whose perspective is underrepresented in the “world’s conversation.” Two: I am already an expert in something, and I better not wait to write until I’m 100% certain, because that day will never come. I knew already that there are many brilliant thinkers whose voices are underrepresented in media, and on Saturday I met 15 of them. Therefore, Three: I want to read the op-ed of every participant in the workshop, from school principals to Quaker environmental activists, and maybe they want to read mine too.
I also took home a notebook full of practical tools for constructing an argument and communicating effectively with an audience of both supporters and skeptics. The Op-Ed Project pushed us out the door with a gentle threat: they’ll support our writing with a mentor-editor within the next three months, but if we don’t write our first op-ed by then, we lose the opportunity. They know how to confront my fear head-on, and I intend to meet the challenge: to fulfill my responsibility to join the conversation.”
The OpEd Project will be back in NYC on March 7. Registration information for Write to Change the World can be found here.