Reclaiming Our Voices & Crafting Impact
Hello, readers of Our Wave,
Thanks for reading an important edition of The Curve in the Wave for the month of September. In a previous blog this month, we wrote about “The Red Zone,” the most dangerous time of year for college campus sexual violence. In the months between August and November, around 50% of sexual violence incidents occur during this time frame. On a personal note, I was part of that statistic while I was a student at Xavier University. But in the light of that trauma, I started writing about my experience. Storytelling was my way of processing what was happening to me. It was how I found advocacy work as a way to help others. My voice was integral in my healing process — it always will be, and in a way, I think it always has been.
Our Wave is built on the foundation of storytelling. More importantly, it is built on utilizing storytelling for impact. Everyone’s process for healing is different, and it should be. But writing and storytelling are universal ways that awareness is raised. No matter the language, people’s narratives are essential to change.
Each month, Our Wave presents The Curve in the Wave, a series that will curate a collection of essays, books, podcasts, or media to empower our audience in crafting their own wave their own narratives. In addition, we will share a writing prompt for readers to utilize and reclaim their voices. The purpose of this series is to create an impact that is distinctive for each individual. Your story holds immeasurable power, and it is entirely within your control to unleash it.
Our September book pick is Sexual Citizens by Jennifer S. Hirsch and Shamus Khan. This book addresses sex, power, and assault on campus. 13% of all students experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation (among all graduate and undergraduate students). The insights of this book examine debates about consent, the dangers of the “hunting ground,” and hookup culture, revealing the ecosystem and nuances in understanding young people’s relationships in the setting of a campus.
This research-based and informative conversation about campus culture is a must-read when we discuss the nature of Red Zones. Knowledge can inform our healing. It can inform our conversations and ultimately inspire us to act to change an entire culture.
“Healing” by Fletcher is described as “purposeful pop” by Variance Magazine. This song is about reclaiming inner strength. Music, at its core, tells stories. Sometimes, the lack of conclusion in its poetic narrative causes listeners to relate, feel seen, and ultimately be embraced by the musician. Music helps us be less lonely. Fletcher says, “I’ve spent my whole life looking for answers on how to be better — emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually, intellectually.” She continues by describing how “All my value was placed externally. And though those things have guided me on my journey and led me to where I am now, the thing I was missing was right in front of me. My own strength and love, and soul have always been there, but I couldn’t see that. This song is the foundation of what’s to come…an era of healing…and feeling myself for the first time ever.”
Pick a playlist. Press shuffle. Use the first line of the lyrics to be your first sentence. If you don’t like it as your first sentence, use it within your writing response.