I am here because…

I am here because… social injustice gets under my skin.

It makes my skin crawl with the fear of what the future could be if justice is not found.

It makes my skin flame with rage because of the heartbreak injustice has been causing.

It makes my skin feel dirty because of the disgust that I find in the workings of our society.

It makes my skin itch to make a difference.

It makes my skin ache with the want to be the change.

I am here because….. social injustice gets under my skin and I cannot stand back and watch as society continues to rip lives, identities, children, and the feeling of safety away from innocent human beings. Innocent human beings who are being stripped of the ability to use their voice. I am here because I have the ability to use my voice and I want my voice to be the voice of change. I want to stand up for those who cannot. I want to protest for those who can’t. I want to initiate the change that this world needs. Being apart of What’s The Story? is the beginning of my participation in the revolt against society.

I am here because….. I want to stand with all of those who are fighting the patriarchy. I am here because I know that my stance on stomping out hate is for the betterment of everyone around me. I am here because of the passion inside me. The fire inside my heart burns brighter every day and WTS is giving me an outlet for my rage in a way that can begin the movement toward the rights that everyone deserves. I have an outlet for my voice and my voice is what keeps me going every day.

I am here because….. the world needs change. Justice needs to be served and I am willing to fight for what is right. I want to be the change that the world needs. I want my voice to influence the change that will help those in need. I have been looking for an outlet for my voice for years and I have found the opportunity of a lifetime through WTS. I am more than excited to finally have the chance to change someone/many people’s lives. What’s The Story? is my opportunity to express the voice that I have been holding within me for so long.

Katelyn Brown

8 Responses to “I am here because…

  • Katelyn,

    This line says it all: “I want to stand with all of those who are fighting the patriarchy. I am here because I know that my stance on stomping out hate is for the betterment of everyone around me. ”

    It was such a pleasure to meet you and to hear you talk, in detail, about this issue and how passionate you feel about it. It is an important issue and one that I’m sure you can develop ideas for storytelling, for action. And I imagine that there would be others who’d want to join you in this area. Keep going with the idea. Explore it. What can you do with it?

    Thanks so much for sharing. I look forward to working with you during the year.

    geoff

  • Katelyn,
    I am so honored to be helping you with this project, and to have the opportunity to see you make a difference in the world. Already, your club is generating genuine interest, and your passion is evident in how your peers respond to you.
    I can’t wait to see how much you will do!
    Have a wonderful weekend!
    -Abigail

  • Katelyn,
    Your blog post spoke to me on many levels. It’s really powerful and meaningful, I hope you pursue a topic around injustice in our society because just from this blog post I can see you have a lot of passion and are ready to fight for what you believe in. I also really liked the way you started your blog post, its a unique way of getting across your point and gave a glimpse of what your future project may look like.
    -Grace

    • Thank you so much Grace! I am so ecstatic to be apart of WTS and I cannot wait to see where my project journey takes me. It makes me so happy to know that other people share the passion that I do! <3

  • Hi Katelyn,

    I am excited to be following your blog as part of WTS. I am a long-time educator (over 25 years), based in Olympia, WA. I really appreciate this post and the way it helps me know you, your intentions, and your hopes for what this blog and the WTS process might help you achieve. I am really interested to see how your thinking continues to evolve and how you use the blog to inform your own actions, while also enlisting others to join you to push for the changes you desire. Thanks so much for writing – I think it’s going to be a great experience and I am looking forward to following your work.

    • Thank you! I am so excited about this experience and the support system that WTS provides is such a blessing. Thank you again! It’s so nice to know people are interested in my writing and ideas! 🙂

  • Rebecca Holcombe
    3 years ago

    Dear Katelyn,

    I am grateful for the privilege of reading your work this year. You have so many rich possibilities ahead. You have deep passion and a very strong voice already; I imagine you inspire people around you.

    Below, I will share some “I was struck by…”s and “I wonder…”s in the hope that they may be helpful as you develop your thoughts and direction for your work.

    This section of your blog really struck me: “I am here because I have the ability to use my voice and I want my voice to be the voice of change. I want to stand up for those who cannot. I want to protest for those who can’t.”

    I was struck by:
    • your recognition of your own power, as well as your sensitivity to the reality that there are some who would have more voice if they could, but for a variety of reasons may not be able to in their present circumstances.
    • your knowledge that words have power and can be used to challenge, persuade, support and advocate.
    • your comfort with using words—a real strength!

    This made me wonder:
    • What opened your eyes to injustice, and where do you see it in your own context?
    • Why is it that you were able to develop/are able to have a powerful voice? Is there a story here?
    • Who are the people who can’t stand up for themselves or protest?
    • Why is it that you are driven to stand up/protest? Why do some others not make this choice?

    (And my personal plug: What about voting? Voting is also voice. Low proportions of young people vote. Why?)

    One challenge I have struggled with in my own career is how, as a person with relatively greater power, I can exercise power on behalf of people with less power, without unconsciously reinforcing power dynamics that need rebalancing.

    I noticed you have a strong interest in feminism. Speaking without overspeaking others has been a challenge for some powerful voices of white feminists, when their priorities or framing were not the same as priorities/framing of, for example, some black feminists, who felt their own concerns were being overshadowed. I’ve also noticed that some advocacy by members of your generation explicitly strives to be inclusive, and your blog and comments on the blogs of others suggest you are aware of this. This made me wonder: what advice would you give on using voice in ways that find common ground or strengthen others to create that more just society you desire?

    This line: “Being a part of What’s The Story? is the beginning of my participation in the revolt against society” made me think this article (see link) might be of interest to you:
    https://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Publication%20Files/cuddy%20et%20al%202015_0d8f88fa-e2ce-4e79-93de-abab85d9a2da.pdf

    That was a lot of response. I am sorry! ☺ You made me think.

    I look forward to learning about your work!

    Rebecca Holcombe

    • Hi!

      I’m sorry that I did not respond in a more timely manner… senior year has been crazy already! I am so grateful that you put in the time to examine my writing and give me so many ideas to think about, so thank you for that!

      I would like to respond to your questions because they really made me think about myself and my purpose as a member of WTS as well as an activist.

      1. My eyes were open to injustice originally in a 9th grade history class that looked at current events every day before getting into the textbook. It really opened my eyes to what was going on around me and how little I was experiencing in my tiny town. I really opened my eyes to injustice when I was introduced to my current best friend. We have discussions about feminism, racism, politics, corruption in our school, etc. on a daily basis. She is really who I have to give credit to for making me realize that there is a bigger fight to be fought. Her passion has turned into our shared passion and she is my daily outlet for opinions, ideas, and questions about the world that we live in. Because of her I see myself as someone who has the opportunity to stand up for what I believe in and the potential to influence change.

      2. My discovery of my voice began my 9th grade year, my first year in high school- A year early. In one of my first English classes in high school I realized how much power my voice had when I was picked on for being a “Brown-noser”. I knew that from that day on my opinion mattered whether others agreed or not because my voice was the only way that I would be able to express myself and find who I really am. Ever since that day I have been practicing using my voice through writing and implementing my ideas in my school’s student council.

      3. I believe that those who cannot stand up for themselves or protest for their rights are those who’s rights are being threatened. Yes, I may be a female, but I am a white female who is willing to stand up for all races, identities, abilities, and sexualities. It disgusts me to think “I am of the majority, my voice is more likely to be heard”, but if that’s what it is going to take for someone to listen I want to be the voice that is heard.

      4. I want to protest because there are so many wrongs in our world that need to be made right. There needs to be change, revolution, initiation, and I want to be apart of a movement to better the world that we live in. I cannot speak for others, but I am not afraid to learn and expand my knowledge of problems in out society. Some may not take the time or put in the energy to learn, but I am willing to if it means change may come of it.

      5. I believe the perspective on voting is all wrong. Some may believe that their vote won’t mean anything because there is such a large number of people who vote, but in all reality every vote counts for something. Making the decision to vote is a choice that can make big change. I also believe that not everyone chooses to have their own opinion and therefore are not sure of which choice is the best choice. Voting can be a scary process if you think about how much your vote counts for and what the possibilities are that come from voting. It’s a big choice to make and some may be scared to make the choice to input their opinions.
      – Side Note: Putting your opinion out to the world makes you vulnerable therefore, voting makes you vulnerable. Another scary thought.

      Thank you again for your thoughts, I am really glad that you are so intrigued by my writing! 🙂

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