In writing, the more specific you get, the more readers can relate to what you’ve written. That’s called universal truth, and it requires details and specific description to reach a wide swath of readers.

Today, One Earth Writing completed the final session of a 3-part series in collaboration with ninth graders at Hamtramck High School. In a workshop intended to galvanize students into exploring an increasingly diverse world by providing a sanctuary that encourages youth to share their experiences, hopes and dream through creative writing. Everyone has a different style of learning that allows them to learn best and our program reaches each type in order to have young people identify where they are themselves. Each of our sessions with the students at Hamtramck High School focused on different creative writing genres, presented in a fun and interactive way, in order to connect with different styles of learning.

During our last session, students were asked to encounter items, realizing why such items are special, and how oftentimes one item can symbolize everything that matters to a person. Despite religious, cultural and geographical differences, there are many commonalities that we can all embrace. By opening a platform for students to share a piece of themselves allows us to feel more connected, less alone, and seem familiarity rather than difference.

The next assignment was to describe where home is. The home in poetry can be a mythic, imagined place, the locations of childhood memories, or the brick-and-mortar remainder of a broken relationship. It can represent the proverbial “room of one’s own,” the simple pleasures of eating and gardening, or hold the drudgery of chores.

When we dare to put voice to feelings, experiences and dreams, and share that with others in a variety of venues, we build meaningful connections that transform the world.