Early this year, Oprah Winfrey became the first black woman to receive the Golden Globes’ annual Cecil B. DeMille award for lifetime achievement. In a rousing speech accepting the honor, the celebrated star said, “What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.”
That is the work that the Center for Community Change and its political arm, the Center for Community Change Action, do every day. We train, mentor and help everyday people raise their voices, marching in the streets, in front of a microphone, in opinion pieces and the ballot box, so they can tell their truths to make the change they want to see in the world.
That’s why we are launching Change Wire today.
The real stories of everyday Americans struggling to get by rarely receive traction in today’s media world. Traditional journalism and traditional content distribution platforms (network television, cable television, print magazines etc.) are in decline, struggling to compete with masses of free, often more authentic and entertaining, content. When our stories do receive media attention, they are invariably shaped into narratives defined by others with little experience or knowledge about our lives.
Yet, these stories matter.
We see Change Wire as the place to read, learn and share the experiences of Americans working hard to find opportunities to thrive for themselves, their families and their communities. Change Wire will be the home for authentic voices of people with lived experiences in social, racial, gender and economic issues. The stories you will read and see on our site come from single moms struggling to make ends meet, undocumented and formerly undocumented immigrants, grass roots organizers, families touched by the criminal justice system and advocacy journalists. They are writers, videographers, photographers, graphic designers and social media storytellers. They are the voices of low-income communities, particularly those of color. They live in cities and small towns across the country and are committed to advancing a progressive vision for the country.
Oprah is right: There is no doubt that the most powerful tool we have to achieve a kinder, fairer and just world is storytelling. We have power when we tell our stories and we have power when we hear the story of others whose experiences we share. That is how we move people to act. That is how we move people to change. That is Change Wire.