"I raise my voice, not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard."
I think it is very important that, if possible, we all find our voice for change. Each and every one of us is passionate about something and if we can speak up about it, we should. For me, it is environmental awareness and the great “wicked” problem of global sustainability. That’s why I’m in grad school studying these issues and it is through this program that I have learned the importance of finding my voice through communication. Without communication we wouldn’t be able to be a voice for change. But communication can happen in so many different ways (images, words, music, videos, reports, graphs and charts) and we all respond to different things.
I’m mostly a visual person; images can move me to tears and they can move me to action. I’m always finding images that motivate me to continue pursuing environmental awareness and global sustainability. I find that images can present thoughts I cannot put into words. It is through this that I have found my voice. Sharing impactful and insightful images (and trying to create my own) is a way for me to communicate with others to promote change.
We are all so different, yet the need to promote environmental awareness, global sustainability, equity, equality, poverty, education, social justice (the list could go on and on) will never cease. Communication in a variety of methods (words, images, videos) is a good way to ensure we reach the most people to make the most impact. I may be moved to action by an image but you may not feel the same response. You may be moved to action by someone’s words whereas I am not.
Earlier, I listened to Esther Duflo’s TED talk on the causes of poverty and the means to eradicate it. This less-than-17-minute talk has stayed with me all day. My mind has been reeling from the information she provided and the images she included in her talk. Her voice resonated deeply within me and has prompted some deep thought about the possibility of eradicating extreme poverty.
These images by Turjoy Chowdhury made a profound impact on my life when I first saw them in National Geographic (August 2019). As a mother of three, they haunt me with the truth of their bleak situation and as a student of global sustainability they are visual proof of issues I am learning about but can not see with my own eyes. His images are powerful reminders that we are all human, therefore deserving of basic rights (such as food, shelter, education, and equality). Read the full article here.
These are just two examples of people using their voice for change that have made a big impact in my life lately. How do you find yourself promoting change? What are your talents? Do you have a way with words? Can you put together a video montage highlighting an issue you are passionate about? How do you best communicate with others? Whatever your passion - be it nature, global hunger and poverty, social justice, quality education - there are others out there who need to hear your voice and need you to be a voice for them. Consider what you would like to say and how you would like to say it. Then let your voice be heard.