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Why I Write For Social Change

by Petiri Ira 3 months ago in activism

Writing for social change allows me to fulfil my purpose

Why I Write For Social Change
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

A young Petiri wonders why people judge her because her skin is brown. A young Petiri ponders on the reason why people alienate her for her tress. A young Petiri thinks about why she started to hate her Blackness as a result of a eurocentric world. She realises that these stereotypes and stigmas have been constructed from the construct of race. She uses this to fuel her ambition to strive for societal change and writing is a medium through which she can achieve this.

I write for social change. I am impassioned by writing opinion pieces and personal essays on the realities of marginalised groups in society. On topics that include racism,texturism, colourism, sexism and an abundance of other societal topics. I aim to identify the issues and injustices we have to face. I am in pursuit of educating society on these complexities through my articles. I add my own experiences to my pieces to add a first-person perspective to the story and provide actionable steps for the reader to take away. I truly believe that this will help society move towards progression and bring about much-needed change.

I do this because it fulfils my need to vocalise my experiences with racism that I have had from a young age. I hope to see the day where we are all truly treated equally on an interpersonal, internalised, structural and systemic level. I am optimistic that people in our society will push themselves to decolonise their minds and see people for who they are.

Social change; the way human interactions and relationships transform cultural and social institutions over time, having a profound impact on society. Having said that, I am most passionate about contributing to a movement that strives to recognise one another for who we are. Not evaluate and judge each other on race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, stereotypes and a plethora of other labels.

I write for social change because I feel that I am adding to the greater good. When I write about Race, Society and Culture it allows me to dish out all my thoughts and opinions on the injustices, we, marginalised groups endure each day. Writing gives me the ability to speak out on social issues that intersect with my own experiences. This is greatly fulfilling, it pushes me to confront all the racism that I endured and continue to endure as a Black woman.

Speaking out truly makes a difference. That is why writing is close to my heart. It enables me to contribute to the political climate by saying something meaningful and influencing public opinion. That is what ignites my passion for it; adding to the push to see real change in our world.

When people tell me why they read my articles, they often say it's because they resonate with them. Which makes me feel ecstatic and accomplished. This is because I realise that my articles are amplifying silenced voices.

An insight into the opinions of my work, from my readers:

'Thank you so much for verbalizing what most of us feel daily in such a compelling and powerful way. I sincerely appreciate it.'

''I’ve been called Oreo growing up but the one that really stuck to me and frustrated me was when people said I “talk white.” It’s honestly the most ignorant thing a person can say.Why is the way I talk associated with race? You explained it well — people center whiteness all the time and don’t even realize it.''

'' Such a well written article and I like how you added on what to do about it. So many times when you read articles about pressing issues, there isn't really a solution which can make for a depressing read. I'm learning to change that with my own writing.''

This gives a glimpse of what my comment sections look like; expressions of resonation and helpfulness.

This is why I write for social change.

Whenever my readers leave me comments, they are comments of glee and relation. Expressing how glad they are that their shared experiences are being documented through my articles, whilst reaching a wider stage in print. Which is here to stay forever. They thank me for highlighting existing issues that are overlooked in our communities.

Secondly, my readers feel that they are reading educational, eye-opening and honest content. Which is beneficial to them because it teaches them to be better allies and contributors to this world. Something that we need everyone to be a part of.

I feel that I have a strong and unique voice as a Black woman. The perspective I have on our society is clear and open-minded which is a great reason why people enjoy hearing what I have to say. It is my goal to tell stories through an intersectional lens; a viewpoint my readers particularly enjoy.

I feel that my readers return to my stories because they're sure that I will publish stories that amplify voices and stories that are often under the wraps and silenced. Bringing awareness to what truly matters.

Or that after they've read my works, they feel educated on a topic that pertains to current societal issues that they did not about, before reading the article.

My articles bring informative insights into the lives of BIPOC because I assess and reflect on the roots of racism within the given topic, the impact and significance as well as how we as a society can do better. At the end of my stories I always leave an actionable takeaway, they can go ahead and implement with immediate effect.

Writing allows me to fulfil my purpose by educating and empowering others about issues that are important to me. It's a tool that gives me the chance to process the traumatising experiences with racism that I have had to endure. Traumatic experiences that I don't want future generations to have to endure, that I hope my writing can contribute to ending.

If I were to monetise this passion, I would create a podcast. I have wanted to start a podcast for quite some time now because, besides writing, I love sharing stories through an audiovisual format. A paid podcast would enable me to start another way of communicating with my readers and engage with them more directly. A medium where I can speak on current issues and my personal experiences also whilst telling other people's stories in an audio format. I love communicating with my readers through my writing, however, a podcast would greatly solidify the relationship I have with my readers.

Memberful offers a noteworthy paid podcast service that would enable me to execute this. For example, their feature of adding your own custom branding. This would allow me to fully customise my podcast and align it with a design that complements my writing style. Also, their free trials feature is greatly beneficial for my audience to test out my podcast before fully committing.

I feel that people should support my passion since I offer so significant and informative insight on racism and a plethora of other societal issues. And as a Black woman, that shouldn't have to be my duty, given the history of racism. However, I choose to do it given my battles and struggles with racism and my will to contribute to ending it.

Furthermore, by supporting my work, it will allow me to, continue to write and move forward with my anti-racism work on a larger scale, that being scaled up by the podcast. This would help me reach a wider audience and have a greater influence on public opinion as it relates to social change. Therefore, making a greater impact for our society.

activism

Petiri Ira

I am a Race, Society and Culture writer. I write opinion pieces and personal essays on the Black experience in our society. My articles provide readers with actionable takeaways they can take to aim for change and progression.

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