The mission of Writing Wrongs is to illuminate societal issues through immersion journalism, to give a voice to marginalized groups, and to expose stereotypes. Writing Wrongs not only provokes a paradigm shift in collective thinking about how certain people are falsely perceived but also raises consciousness and offers solutions to preexisting problems.
Making it Happen
Writing Wrongs illuminates the ills in our society through the power of the pen and the lens. By telling the stories of those directly involved, Writing Wrongs offers a different and often-ignored perspective.
College journalists spend Labor Day weekend at a location chosen to highlight a specific societal issue. There, using their skills in the field, they interview residents and staff and hear prominent community members speak on the topic.
Last year, seven college students from six different colleges explored the issue of addiction at Easy Does It, Inc. drug/alcohol residential treatment facility in Leesport, PA. Their work can be viewed here: seekreporttruth.com.
The students receive the obvious benefits of actively participating in journalism outside of the classroom and producing clips and other material for their professional portfolios. But the ultimate benefit is not so simple to define. Writing Wrongs has the potential to create a paradigm shift in the way our society, through both the students and the readers of the publication, perceives marginalized people groups.
Additionally, the people who are interviewed can be profoundly affected. Someone taking the time to hear their stories is something that many have never experienced. Having someone care enough to listen sincerely can be life-changing.
This Labor Day weekend, fourteen students who have applied and been selected for this project will immerse themselves in the community and confront the issue of immigration in Reading, PA. Read the student bios here. They will spend the weekend interviewing, photographing, recording, and writing. The stories of first and second generation immigrants will be collected in a print book and website.
Would you like to help Writing Wrongs achieve their goals this year? Help us tell the stories of our community members who have come to the United States in search of a better life. Support Writing Wrongs 2017. Your tax-deductible donation will help pay for lodging and meals for the students, printing of the final product, and website domain. Donations of any amount are accepted and welcomed. Your tax-deductible, secure online donation or your sponsorship payment can be made right here!
Friend Sponsor: $1 – $99
Bronze Sponsor: $100 – $299
Silver Sponsor: $300-$499
Gold Sponsor: $500+
I was inspired to start this project after attending a program called Will Write For Food in 2013. Select college students spend Labor Day weekend at the COSAC Homeless Shelter, then located in south Florida, and share the residents’ stories as well as their own experiences. I was struck by the intensity of the weekend and the ability to create, in just one weekend, a publication that sheds light on the issue. On the flight home, I began thinking about how Reading, PA could benefit from such a program. A year later, I began the legwork for a service journalism program in a Technical Writing class at Reading Area Community College. After further work including an independent study course at Kutztown University, Writing Wrongs held its first event in September 2015.
A Word to Our Supporters
There are many ways to make our lives meaningful. One of the easiest is to do something for others without expecting anything in return. It is with that sentiment that I founded Writing Wrongs. The program — the student journalists, the advisors, and those who share their stories— are giving of themselves in an effort to expand our thinking, our perceptions, and our treatment of others. Because only by confronting that which we don’t want to see and things we don’t understand, can we learn to open our minds and hearts to the possibility that we are all part of humanity.
Humanitarian Social Innovations & Writing Wrongs
Social entrepreneur Dawn Heinbach applied for and received fiscal sponsorship in HSI’s Acceleration: Do Something! program in May of 2016.
Humanitarian Social Innovations treats funds received for the purpose of this project as restricted under the charitable trust doctrine. All funds, minus administrative fees, are dedicated to the purpose of this project and will not be used to pay the expenses of another.
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