As a 19-year-old white female and a rising Junior at Fordham University, I have realized that now more than ever it is necessary for Gen Z as a collective whole to use our voices to make a change. Over the past few weeks and months, I have witnessed friends, followers, classmates, and Gen Zers across the world use different outlets to speak up and use their voices in hopes of amplifying change. Hearing and reading the words that my peers have written about Black Lives Matter, the systemic issues at the core of our society, and COVID-19 has truly opened my eyes and helped me recognize the volumes our Gen Z voices can reach.
Inspired by these change-makers, I want to share with you a project that I have been working on since the beginning of quarantine called, “Operation See A Letter, Send A Letter.” It began simply as writing letters to family and friends and soon turned into an initiative I wake up every day eager to do. On top of writing letters to people I know, the initial goal of my project was to actually write a letter of gratitude to at least one hospital in every state impacted by COVID-19. Having completed that phase of my mission, writing to as many hospitals as I could from coast to coast, I have now decided to shift my initiative towards change. I have begun writing to government officials, Black Lives Matter affiliated organizations, and other voices of change. So far, over 100 letters have been sent.
The power of a pen or pencil and a piece of paper is unlike any other. Throughout day to day life, it is evident that technology has taken over our society. While it has made communicating easier, I believe that taking time to write your thoughts down is so important. Whether you are journaling or writing to someone, there is no better feeling then seeing your ideas written on a piece of paper. Therefore, during quarantine, I made it my mission to work on writing letters every single day. My hope was that they would put a little pep in each person that read them’s step. I didn’t leave any return address as I just wanted to spread joy without recognition. I believe the See A Letter Send A Letter project aligns with the mission of the Born This Way Foundation and together could spread the power of a piece of paper and writing utensil.
Though social media is in the palm of our hands, I encourage all of you to write a handwritten letter to someone you know, someone you don’t know, or a place where you want your voice to be heard. Take what you have learned from 2020 so far, write your thoughts down, and use your voice.
Together we can be the change. Our work has just begun.