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Speak Up!

We recently stumbled upon the Op Ed Project, a social venture whose mission is to increase the range of voices and quality of ideas we hear in the world: http://theopedproject.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=frontpage&Itemid=1

The project is working to expand the number of women who are sharing their opinions in the media. We think that this message is very appropriate for us in the literacy world. Not only do we have a preponderance of women working in the field—we work with a critical social issue that is largely ignored and desperately underfunded.

Therefore, it is up to US to change the dialogue.

The Problem

The voices we hear from in the world come from a tiny fraction of society—mostly western, white, privileged, and overwhelmingly male. Men are:

• 80-90% of contributors to key opinion forums

• 84% of T.V. pundits on Sunday morning talk shows

• 87% of Wikipedia contributors

• 85% of Hollywood producers

• 83% of Congress 

In short, public debate all but excludes half the population.

WE have the power to change this, the Op Ed project proclaims.

In this vein, Literacy New York is embarking on a new mission to share our voice with the larger public. Stay tuned for more details. In the meantime—write! As Isaac Asimov said, "If my Doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster."


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