Running a business – especially if you are the founder, president and chief bottle washer – can consume every minute of your day. Yet the need to give back, to create positive change and share what you’ve learned with another generation also pulls at many entrepreneurs.
That is where Lynne Golodner found herself recently, looking for a way to build new understanding among cultures, ethnicities and other diverse groups. She also wanted to help teens and tweens makes sense of the world, especially because of the many challenges they face that may be new or confusing.
The result of her desire to build bonds and collaboration is One Earth Writing, a new nonprofit focused on teens and tweens. The goal, Golodner said, is to help this generation develop creative, thoughtful writing that unites rather than divides them.
“I have always written about, and been fascinated by, the ways in which we share common ground,” says Golodner, the mother of four tweens/teens, owner of Your People LLC public relations firm, author and blogger. “I’ve been wanting to do something that expands that notion beyond just writing compelling stories. Through One Earth Writing, I hope to transform the generation coming up with ideas of similarity and collaboration and stamp out bigotry one person at a time.”
One Earth Writing is accepting applications for its first class of ambassadors. Golodner said One Earth Writing Ambassadors are teenagers interested in exploring their writing talent through what she describes as “a lens of identity.”
Teens and tweens selected should have a desire to lead, time to explore their thoughts in writing and dedication to monthly writing workshops throughout the school year. The commitment is November-May.
Interested teens must write a one-page letter explaining why they are interested in participating and submit a sample of their best writing here: http://oneearthwriting.org/apply/. Submissions are accepted between Aug. 15 and Oct. 10, 2016.
“I am grateful to be able to start something that could potentially change our communities for the better,” says Golodner. “I have always believed in the power of words to build us up or break us down. I am honored to have the support of an amazing board who believe in this concept and want to see it change our world.”
Golodner plans for One Earth Writing to grow in an organic, grassroots fashion. She hopes to host four workshops before the end of 2016 and eventually grow to monthly programs. In time, One Earth Writing will publish a book of writing created in its workshops and curricula that other communities can use to achieve the same goal of harmony and connection.
Other workshops in the works include potential collaborations with the Interfaith Leadership Council and Walled Lake Consolidated Schools social justice curriculum as well as some seminars abroad that bring together youth in Israel and Palestine, among other burgeoning relationships.
One Earth Writing is supported by a board of directors with stellar and far-reaching connections and perspectives on how to heal the world. The board includes Detroit poet laureate and global writing instructor and performer M.L. Liebler, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Detroit Today radio host Stephen Henderson, writer and writing instructor Maureen Dunphy, writer and editor Lisa Brody, attorney, legal blogger and entrepreneur Alisa Peskin-Shepherd and American Federation of Teachers archivist and oral historian Dan Golodner.
(Disclosure: Lynne Golodner writes for Corp! Magazine as a freelancer; her work with One Earth Writing is separate and unique.)