College students from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland have accepted the challenge to raise awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault by writing an entire book on the subject this Labor Day weekend, September 1 and 2, in an intensive writing, visual, and digital arts workshop. Convening in Berks County, the collegians will work under the tutelage of Writing Wrongs, a local literary journalism project illuminating the inequity in our society through the power of the pen and the lens.
Students will spend the weekend interviewing survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, hearing presentations from lawyers who work with the Berks County DA’s office, and visiting Turning Point of the Lehigh Valley before penning articles based on their two days of face-to-face research. The twelve accepted students represent ten colleges.
In explaining his reasons for wanting to participate in this year’s Writing Wrongs workshop, Tyler McMaster, a Kutztown University student, sees his participation as a way “to stop talking about taking action and actually take it.” In participating in this year’s workshop, McMaster believes that the students are “not only giving voice to those who feel voiceless but are also starting a healthy dialogue that encourages change in our society.”
Founded by Dawn Heinbach, a RACC and Kutztown University graduate, the program, now in its fourth year, engages the collegiate staff in an intensive workshop intended to share the stories of local people impacted by societal issues. After a rigorous application process, students are selected to work as writers/ editors, print designers, photographers, videographers, and social media managers to publish a book available to the public on the year’s topic. Previous years’ topics included immigration, addiction, and homelessness.
Writing Wrongs has 501(c)(3) nonprofit status through its fiscal sponsor, Humanitarian Social Innovations.
This program is supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; The Wyomissing Foundation, a private, Berks County charitable foundation; and by local businesses and individuals.
You can learn more about Writing Wrongs at www.seekreporttruth.com.