Being talked over, spoken for, dismissed and ignored is all too commonly experienced by women and as an Arab Latina, it just comes with the territory.

One of the main reasons I got into journalism was because I wanted to be a voice and vessel for those in my community who feel silenced. Succeeding in journalism is important to me because the industry is a tough place for minority women who are constantly vilified and when women are discouraged from continuing, the communities who need them most suffer. Having women participate in media and be a voice for those who are voiceless becomes even more dire as this happens and is one of the reasons I was drawn to Active Voice.

For my project I wanted to find a solution to the problem I see at so many media outlets: not enough women. But how can you inspire a generation of young girls who are constantly being silenced? My answer is to show them how to use their voice–literally.

My goal for the Active Voice project is to work with young high school women in Austin in their yearbook or journalism programs to create a podcast. Creative journalism and yearbook programs in high schools teach young people how to captivate audiences through storytelling and capturing the world around them. Podcasts can do the same. Not only do I hope to teach them valuable technical skills like producing and editing but I also hope to teach them the value their own voices can have.

In a time when radio seems to be a thing of the past, telling a story through podcasts is definitely the way to the future. Podcasts have the power to channel the imagination reading can only coax and give the attention back to the listener that video requires too much of.

I hope to empower a future generation of young girls who are inspired to change the world, whether through journalism or otherwise, and I hope they captivate the world with their own stories.

Posted by Nashwa Bawab

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