Literary Citizenship: Our Obligation to Share Stories

The other day, author and super kind Kelsey Timmerman came to my class to speak about stories that need to be told. Kelsey is the author of Where Am I Eating? and Where Am I Wearing? and he is also the co-founder of the Facing Project. Where Am I Eating? and Where Am I Wearing? are both journeys across the world to meet people face-to-face and to tell the stories of people who make our clothes, our underwear, people who harvest our chocolate, and our vegetables. Interestingly, these books don’t come with a moral indictment for the reader about conscious consumerism. These books are about stories, they are about using the voice and power of an author to give words to those who do not have them.

The Facing Project does precisely this as well, in a particular community writers are paired with someone who is facing a specific topic, then the writers compose a profile. Some of the Facing Projects include Facing Sex Trafficking, Facing Homelessness, and Facing Poverty.

What I learned from Kelsey is that as citizens of literature, we have an ethical duty to tell stories. They can be stories that expose injustice, stories that are uplifting, even stories that seem mundane. Everyone has a story to tell and we have an obligation to listen to those stories.
Here are some stories that I think need to be shared.

ThePainterOfSigns.jpgdon fuertes

What are some stories you think need to be shared?

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