If your life depended on it, would you fully stand in your power? If the life of someone you love depended on it, would you make the time to become a master at the art of voice? These are questions we grappled with in the first session of The OpEd Project’s Write to Change the World at the Ms. Foundation Public Voices Fellowship.
I have been afraid of using my voice, my power because of my fear of failure. To be clear, I have let others use my voice, presence and power to further their goals and vision. In fact, I am embarrassed to say that others have strategically used my voice better than I have at times. The Public Voices Fellowship is helping me and others battle this very problem. The fellowship challenges the many excuses we give for why we don’t lead with full-fron
tal power. Humility, lack of time, few or no degrees, are all real barriers but all barriers we can overcome if we are willing to call forth our courage, commitment and self- worth!
Skills, encouragement, practice and community create the treasure map offered by the fellowship. I do have fears, and I know there will be barriers along the way but I am committed to fully and independently owning and wielding my voice — a treasure more valuable than gold!
-Kierra Johnson – Executive Director, URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity