One Earth Writing’s Fall 2017 Class of Ambassadors convened for the first time to write together, learn about different races, religions, and socioeconomic origins, and build leadership skills to heal our communities. Thank you to Sister Nancy Jamroz for giving us space at Madonna University for our eight sessions!
Our new class of Ambassadors, led by OEW Founder and CEO Lynne Golodner and OEW Instructor and EMU professor Christina Weaver, includes the following wonderful youth:
Brynna Connolly, 10th grader, Mercy High School
Ishika Gupta, 8th grader, East Middle School in Grand Blanc
Sabriya Imami, 11th grader at Detroit Country Day School
Madison Leake, 12th grader at Mercy High School
Azjana McClendon, 11th grader at Cass Technical High School
Janey Salenbein, 9th grader at Dundee High School
Madelynn Webb, 10th grader at Howell High School
Alex Young, 12th grader at Detroit Catholic Central
Fatimah Zeni, 11th grader at Detroit Country Day School

Photo courtesy of Shikha Lakhani, One Earth Writing Senior Ambassador

For the first session, Lynne and Christina kicked it off by asking the Ambassadors – Who are you? Why are you here? We may know details or descriptions, but often we don’t fully know ourselves until we are in midlife, or later.Today, the Ambassadors wrote their own stories as the first step toward sharing our stories with other people.
The Ambassadors were then grouped into pairs to exchange notes about their origin stories and to ask one another questions that pull out more details. The goal was to draw out more information about the other person’s origins by letting them know what they found interesting or intriguing about the information shared.
Using the full pages of notes they had created, the Ambassadors wrote a poem or short paragraphs about where they came from, what home means to them, and how that affects who they are today.

Instructor, Lynne Golodner listening to Fatimah share her story.

Ambassador Alex Young

Home should be warm.
I can’t tell, however
if it is.
Home should offer light and safety.
I don’t think it harbors those.
What would happen if every home
could guarantee
being warm,
having light,
and remaining safe?
If all homes had these,
would we be the same?
Would there be conflict?
I don’t know.
I can’t tell.
I do feel, however,
there might arise,
Is the fear of monotony a reason,
be it good or be it bad,
a reason for conflict
and unsettlement?
Could it be a true and reluctant conclusion?

By Madelynn Webb