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Writing for Social Change: With Dr. Allyson Wattley Gee

Visual: Video opens to the opening title with the video series title, Faculty Voices: Walden Talks Writing, then the title, “How have you experienced the connection between writing and social change? with Dr. Allyson Wattley Gee.”

 

 

 

Visual: The screen changes to show each speaker talking to the camera in their home offices. Each person’s name and college is listed as they speak.

Audio:

Dr. Allyson Wattley Gee, College of Management and Technology: Oh, definitely. Social change is about recognizing, in many ways, the community. The community, whoever your community is that you're trying to help, is multifaceted and they're diverse and they have multiple different educational levels and interest levels and so on. And as a writer, you must be able to write for the audience, but the audience is not monolithic. I mean, it's not just a, one group of people and you just, you know, you just write for them. They have so much variety, and you have to be able to write in such a way that it, it's clear for everyone reading it. So I think it's so important in social change, when we’re trying to advocate for a certain position, that in that advocacy you don't ignore certain groups of people who may also care about this issue and want to be part of that change. So change requires a lot of work, a lot of structure, and you almost have to really think it through.

You must be able to craft your words. In our discipline, we're really big on language. Words have power. The meaning that the receiver gets from not what you've said but also what you haven't said. You know, the meaning between the words and the sentences, all of that matters and you've got to be intentional about how you craft your message in any social change campaign or else you may end up doing the reverse and it doesn't end up changing anything but it ends up actually making something worse.

 

Visual: The video ends with the closing title with the video series title, Faculty Voices: Walden Talks Writing and the Writing Center’s e-mail address: writingsupport@waldenu.edu.