I have two objectives for this blog post. First, I invite you read my first published Op-Ed, Drought solutions are porous pavement, fewer pesticides and herbicides. Please visit the San Jose Mercury News site and leave a comment.
My second objective is to get you thinking about writing and submitting your own Op-Ed. In the Spring of 2014, I attended a day-long workshop hosted by The Op-Ed Project. The mission of the organization is “to increase the range of voices and quality of ideas we hear in the world,” specifically the voices of women. Women authored Op-Ed’s in the top media markets lag behind men. For example, the split is (22 women/78 men) for Op-Ed published in the New York Times, (24/76) LA Times and (36/64) Huffington Post.
The percentages across the board of bylines written by people of color (men and women combined) are much lower. For example, the number of Op-Ed’s published in the top media markets written by Latinos, the fastest growing demographic in the United States, is so few that the statistic registers at 0%.
The only way to increase the range and diversity of voices of “thought leaders,” is to increase the number of submissions landing in the inbox of opinion editors around the nation.
You are an expert. We are all experts. Think about what you are an expert in and write your article. The Op-Ed Project website has some simple writing tips. Or sign up for one of their upcoming workshops in a major city near you.
WE can write to change the world.
Eat less water at the kitchen table.
There is power in the collective.