In collaboration with ADVANCE and College of LSA Dean’s Office, the Institute for the Humanities offered an OpEd Workshop in January 2017 and January 2018, including the 2018 interactive keynote lecure on "Owning Expertise: A Live Experiment in How Credibility Works and How Ideas Rise." Publications by participants in the Write to Change the World Seminar include:
- Derrick Darby, Professor, Philosophy, "Confederate Monuments are Visible, but Racial Injustice is Embedded in American History," Detroit Free Press, and "When Black Children are Targeted for Punishment," The New York Times.
- Christiane Gruber, Associate Professor, History of Art, “Trump is Wrong. ISIS Can’t be Beaten by Torture,” Newsweek and "What Would a Muslim Want with a Portrait of Christ?" Newsweek.
- Martha Jones, Professor, History and Law, “The 14thAmendment Solved One Citizenship Crisis, but it Created a New One,” The Washington Post.
- Tiya Miles, Professor, American Culture, History, Afroamerican & African Studies, Women's Studies, and Native American Studies, “The South Doesn’t Own Slavery,” The New York Times.
- Meghan Duffy, Associate Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, "This Polluted Lake Shows Why We Are All Stakeholders When It Comes to Clean Water."
What is The OpEd Project?
The OpEd Project is a think tank and leadership organization founded to ensure the full range of human voices is included in history. OpEd accelerates the ideas and public impact of underrepresented voices, including women. One near term goal is to increase the volume of women thought leaders in key commentary forums—which are a key source of history—to a tipping point. Partnering with universities, think tanks, non-profits, and corporations, OpEd targets and trains underrepresented experts (including women) to take thought leadership positions in their fields connecting them with a network of high-level journalist mentors; and channeling the best new experts and ideas to media across all platforms. Op-ed is used (which is defined broadly, to mean an idea of public value in any media platform) as a strategic metric of concrete results.
Program: Write To Change The World
The OpEd Project’s highly dynamic curriculum is built on time-tested models of transformational learning, thinking with purpose, and changing minds. Games, high-stakes scenarios and live “thought experiments” will challenge participants to think in new and bigger ways about what they know, why it matters, and how to use it. Participants explore the source of credibility and how to establish it (quickly); the patterns and elements of persuasion; the difference between being “right” and being effective; how to preach beyond the choir; how to escape a pigeonhole; how to address opposition and build consensus; and how to think bigger.
In multi-day programs, participants also have a chance to debrief on what kept us up overnight, explore our underlying framework for thinking with purpose (“Mattering”), and workshop the ideas and drafts that participants created on the previous day and fleshed out overnight—dramatically increasing the ability to exchange ideas with each other, and also the odds of success in publication. Time permitting, strategies for pitching are discussed, and may also guide participants in triangulation exercises to think more expansively about their expertise.
Each participant will learn to make a bold case for their ideas, whether in an op-ed in print or online, on TV, at a PTA meeting, before a board of directors, to potential funders, or on the steps of Congress. Participants in full-day or longer programs have ongoing access to The OpEd Project national network of journalist mentors, for individual feedback on their op-ed drafts.
Why This Matters
The voices and ideas we hear most in the world come from only a small fraction of society. What could we accomplish if together we invested in all our brain-power?