We all have viewpoints worth sharing. And given all that’s happening in our nation, state and city, the need to see the world through the eyes of others has rarely been more important.
With that as our premise, QCity Metro will launch a new initiative we’re calling “Hear Me Out.”
The goal is to recruit 20 Charlotte residents to write opinion pieces about issues that matter to them and their communities. Those selected will be paid for the pieces we publish, and priority will be given to residents of Historic West End.
As publisher of QCity Metro, I have long wanted to see more thought-provoking commentary from the people we serve, and now seems the perfect time to launch this initiative.
Writing effective opinion pieces can be challenging, so we will provide some training. Using funds we received from a Knight Foundation grant, QCity Metro has partnered with the national Op-Ed Project to work with those we select. The stated mission of the Op-Ed Project is “to change who writes history.”
“The best ideas, regardless of where they come from, should have a chance to be heard and to change the world,” the organization says on its website.
Those who successfully complete that training will have still another resource. Your coach will be Rick Thames, who has taught journalism at Queens University of Charlotte and is a former executive editor of the Charlotte Observer.
So, what are we looking for?
We’re recruiting people excited to share their perspectives with Charlotte’s Black community through thoughtful and well-reported essays, columns and editorials. It helps if you possess some basic writing skills.
Passion is equally important. We want people who feel strongly about certain topics – education, economic mobility, faith, the arts, reproductive rights, politics, whatever – the choice is yours.
If your application is accepted, you will be expected to participate virtually in two days of training (four hours each day). You can choose from a schedule of sessions, selecting those that best match your needs.
Again, priority will be given to West End residents. We also are especially interested in residents who live in other parts of Charlotte designated by the city as “corridors of opportunity.”
But if seats remain, applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
To apply, go to this link. Here, you will be asked to provide some brief biographical information and invited to write a very short essay (300 words or less). The topic: “I’m passionate about (you choose the topic), and here is why I think you should be, too.
We can’t wait to hear your voice.