Who We Are & Why We Care: WFP Member Profile: Courtney Rose

Hi! My name is Courtney Rose and I am an aspiring wedding planner and flash writer from Richmond, as well as a member of the Central Virginia Chapter of Writing for Peace.

As an only child growing up in a single-parent household, I have always been curious about the concept of family—what it means for me, as well as for others, and for humanity in general (For example: For me, the idea of family is inherently female.). This led me to pursue a career in marriage where I have the opportunity to start two people off on the right foot through their wedding, most people’s idea of the traditional start of a “family.”

Family dynamics tend to be prominent in my writing. I have always been a very observant person, and, as a child, I noticed how different my friends’ home lives were from mine—sometimes better, sometimes much, much worse. I became hyper aware of divorce, abuse, hunger, and homelessness. My writing is an extension of that hyper-awareness: how family is defined, and how the idea of family survives (or doesn’t) in suffering.

I am involved in Writing for Peace because words have the power to open eyes and hearts. Too often we use words to divide us, but I believe that a far better purpose for our words is to connect us. Peaceful activism is so important in our society, perhaps now more than ever. Not everyone has money or time to donate to a cause, but everyone has a voice.

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Start a Writing for Peace Chapter Where You Are!

How to Start a Writing For Peace Chapter

We are so excited and honored to have communities across the country who are committed to promoting empathy and peace through creative writing. Peace takes on many different meanings, be it food and water access, affordable housing, gender equality, anti-racism, and much more. Peace should be global, but it does not have to take on a singular definition to be attainable. In order to show how varied these meanings of peace can be, we are introducing regional Writing For Peace chapters to showcase how different communities from all over the country dedicate themselves to peace, and how creative writing and education serve as tools for peace and activism at large.

Regional Writing For Peace Chapters will allow for community members to determine the most pressing issues at hand within those regions, to have access to the creative outlet that communicates those issues, and then via multiple forms of communication, drawing on the skills of writer-members, to share those regional issues with a larger community that fosters and speaks on solidarity. We want to provide awareness, foster education, and commit ourselves to peaceful action...."

More Details at Writing For Peace National

 

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Oxford Dictionaries #WordOfTheYear: YOUTHQUAKE: Recognizing the Power of Young Voters

YOUTHQUAKE is the Oxford Dictionaries #WordOfTheYear 2017.

"As 2017 draws to a close, we turn to language to help us mark where we have been, how far we have come, and where we are heading.

One word has been judged as not only reflective of the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of this past year, but as having lasting potential as a word of cultural significance.

The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2017 is… youthquake.

The noun, youthquake, is defined as ‘a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people’."

Read the Whole Story and Watch the Video HERE:

 

Remembering Sandy Hook Five Years Later

All of us with the Central Virginia Chapter of Writing For Peace honor the lives that were lost on this day five years ago at Sandy Hook Elementary. We honor, too, those who survive, their families, the community left behind, all who have been victims of the rising tragedy of gun violence in the United States. 

Today, we will be contacting our elected representatives and demand that they take action to make sure that this kind of heartbreak never happens again. What are your reps doing to stop gun violence? Call and demand that they keep our children safe. 

Use This Quick Script for Calling: Today, on the anniversary of the deaths of so many at Sandy Hook, I'm calling to ask what you plan to do to address the growth of gun violence in our country. What will you do to protect our children? What will you do to honor those, the children, who needlessly died at Sandy Hook? 

Read them this list of names.

- Charlotte Bacon, 2/22/06, female

- Daniel Barden, 9/25/05, male

- Rachel Davino, 7/17/83, female.

- Olivia Engel, 7/18/06, female

- Josephine Gay, 12/11/05, female

- Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 04/04/06, female

- Dylan Hockley, 3/8/06, male

- Dawn Hochsprung, 06/28/65, female

- Madeleine F. Hsu, 7/10/06, female

- Catherine V. Hubbard, 6/08/06, female

- Chase Kowalski, 10/31/05, male

- Jesse Lewis, 6/30/06, male

- James Mattioli , 3/22/06, male

- Grace McDonnell, 12/04/05, female

- Anne Marie Murphy, 07/25/60, female

- Emilie Parker, 5/12/06, female

- Jack Pinto, 5/06/06, male

- Noah Pozner, 11/20/06, male

- Caroline Previdi, 9/07/06, female

- Jessica Rekos, 5/10/06, female

- Avielle Richman, 10/17/06, female

- Lauren Rousseau, 6/1982, female (full date of birth not specified)

- Mary Sherlach, 2/11/56, female

- Victoria Soto, 11/04/85, female

- Benjamin Wheeler, 9/12/06, male

- Allison N. Wyatt, 7/03/06, female

We will not forget. We will never stop fighting. 

 

 

 

Welcome to the Central Virginia Chapter of Writing for Peace! How We Got Here....

So happy you're here with us at the start of this new venture.

I've had the privilege of working with the national organization Writing for Peace for the last four years, an organization dedicated to employing the skills, talents, and energy of writers toward the goals of promoting empathy and peaceful activism. The dream of one woman, the amazing Carmel Mawle, Writing for Peace was founded in Colorado, with its initial goal of particularly reaching out to young writers, through an annual Young Writers' Contest. This dedication to both writing, my own field, and to young people, impressed me so much, and so I was thrilled when asked by Carmel to join the team of advisers associated with Writing for Peace. Writing for Peace continues to grow, under the direction of our new President, Andrea Slack Doray, and with an excellent board, committed to the mission Carmel first set out years ago.

I introduced the organization to my own students, young poets, essayists, and fiction writers, in the classes I teach at Longwood University, and they loved it, loved how the goals aligned with their own desire and passion for activism and social justice, loved that it embodied what they saw as the vital role of artists in creating real change in the world.

But Colorado's a long way from the rolling rural farmland of central Virginia, so one day I sent a message, a question, in a thread online, to a list of my most civically active current students and alums, asking, “How do we bring Writing for Peace here to Virginia? What would a regional chapter of WFP look like to you?”

The thread exploded, with the energy and enthusiasm and wisdom young people can bring, and the idea of WFP Regional Chapters began grow, including community activists in our area, as we developed the proposal, sought board approval, and began the steps to making this chapter of Writing for Peace a reality here in Central Virginia.

This past Sunday, using the magic of online video conferencing, we gathered, a small group of like-minded collaborators, for the first meeting of the Central Virginia Chapter of Writing for Peace.

Writers of all backgrounds and ages, supporters of the arts, community activists, anyone who wants to join us, we, as a chapter, want to do what we can, use the skills we have, to make our own communities and region better, stronger, more peaceful places for all who live here, through projects we develop as a chapter, and through the support we can as a group extend to other activists and organizations already doing good work on the ground where we are.

Beyond our desire to better our own communities, we hope that this inaugural chapter will inspire others to do the same, to come together to create Writing for Peace chapters in communities across the country, even across our beautiful planet.

We'll be posting here regularly, writing, projects, events, articles of interest, all with the hope of promoting discussions and activism toward peace. We hope you'll join us, as we work together toward a more peaceful, empathetic, loving, and just world--for everyone.

 

Mary Carroll-Hackett

Member, Central Virginia Chapter

MidAtlantic Regional Liaison

Writing for Peace

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