Houston Teens Promote Awareness through Writing
As protests and cries for justice fill the streets and a global pandemic snatches lives, it is easy to react. However, it is important to act and not react during these unprecedented times; one of the best ways is to raise your voice, tell meaningful stories, and spread a positive message by writing.
This is what spurred a group of 15 teen writers from schools across Houston including Kinkaid, St. John’s, Duchesne, Kinder High School for the Performing Arts, and Emery-Weiner, into action. I'm one of those teen writers, and I serve as the chief editor of the iWRITER Magazine. Yes, that’s right. Backed by iWRITE, a literacy nonprofit committed to spreading the love of reading and writing throughout the Houston area, these teen writers launched a quarterly magazine this summer, called the iWRITER.
“The iWRITER team is made up of passionate young adults/teenagers who are here to make their voices heard - and in this issue, we take upon the subject of embracing and accepting what goes around the world. To have an edition of this magazine explore what our generation has to say is a thrilling and exciting venture. It truly has amazed me to see what power and inspiration our words hold,” said Kate-Yeonjae Jeong, HSPVA '24 and co-editor-in-chief of the iWRITER.
The 18-page magazine by kids and for kids features op-eds, informational articles, poems, student illustrations, and more! The iWRITER aims to promote an environment of creative liberty, create an elevated sense of camaraderie between young writers, and provide children with an avenue to publish their work and network with like-minded peers all over. As of now, we have columnists and editors from the Greater Houston area, Flint, Michigan, and Dayton, Ohio.
As teen writers, we can lift each other up, amplify each other’s voices, and promote a message of equality, just by setting our pens to paper. That’s what the iWRITER team hopes to do in the magazine’s September issue - inspire, uplift, and accept. And I’m extremely proud of what my fellow editors and columnists have put together.
"This was truly a 'by kids, for kids' effort, where our work seeks to inform curious minds, and every element of the magazine, whether the visuals, writings, or the design, aims to inspire others in our generation from around the country. I'm so fortunate that even through these unprecedented and fluctuating times, the youth club produced yet another successful edition through the power of acceptance. This amazing experience has inspired me to continue writing for iWrite, collaborating with my peers, and seeing what unfolds!" Sanjna Pandit, Kinkaid ‘24 and photography editor of the magazine, said.
This edition was especially poignant, as several staff writers shared their stories and experiences with racism and exclusion. There are also several pieces in this magazine highlighting the incredible contributions of the BIPOC community, including an interview with two BIPOC psychiatrists about the nature of racism. The second edition of the iWRITER aims to raise awareness about racism, how we can actively campaign against cultural misappropriation, and foster an environment of acceptance for all.
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