Undoing the Silence
Six Tools for Social Change Writing
Undoing the Silence offers guidance to help both citizens and professionals influence democratic process through letters, articles, reports and public testimony. Louise Dunlap, PhD, began her career as an activist writing instructor during the Free Speech Movement of the 1960s. She learned that listening and gaining a feel for audience are just as important to social transformation as the outspoken words of student leaders atop police cars. "Free speech is a first step, but real communication matches speech with listening and understanding. That is when thinking shifts and change happens." Dunlap felt compelled to go where the silences were deepest because her work aimed not just at teaching but also at healing both individual voices and an ailing collective voice. Her tales of those adventures and what she knows about the culture of silence -- how gender, race, education, class, and family work to quiet dissent -- are interwoven with practical methods for people to put their most challenging ideas into words. Louise Dunlap gives writing workshops around the country for universities and social justice, environmental, and peace organizations that help reluctant writers get past their internal censors to find their powerful voice. Her insight strengthens strategic thinking and her "You can do it!" approach makes social-action writing achievable for everyone.
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