Get past squash, to meat of the matter

Marianne Schild
Marianne Schild

From Marianne D. Schild, director of donor relations for YWCA Central Carolinas:

As millennials, individuals born (roughly) from the early ’80s to the early 2000s, we take to Instagram to post about what we ate for dinner, yet we don’t always take the time to articulate our feelings on issues that matter to us. I feel more passionately for women’s rights than I do the squash I sautéed last night, but I’d sooner post a filtered photo of the squash.

People want to label millennials in a digestible way with common generational characteristics (you have heard them: selfish, more tolerant than our parents, entitled), but we’re multifaceted. We are fans of mashing together contradicting elements of stereotypes to prove we are multidimensional. We are constantly demanding the world recognize the many layers that make up our lives. So why do we boil ourselves down to sound bites, hashtags, memes and graphic tees? (Says the proud owner of a few graphic tees.) How can we take the next step to get beyond the sound bite to make thoughtful contributions on issues we feel passionate about?

Here’s the good news: We do have a wonderful, diverse assortment of forums in which to sound off. Practice making your case in a thoughtful way. Why? Because it’s the only way we can communicate, especially with someone with whom we disagree.

If this concept resonates with you, come to a free event at the YWCA hosted by the 1902 Society, young affiliates of YWCA Central Carolinas, at 5 p.m. Thursday around the Op-Ed Project, which exists “to increase the range of voices and quality of ideas we hear in the world. We envision a world where the best ideas – regardless of where they came from – will have a chance to be heard.”

According to the Op-Ed Project’s website, men, in particular white men, write around 80 percent of opinion pieces nationally. When people who are different from one another communicate about their differing thoughts and feelings around issues, it generates better outcomes. We need diversity of opinion, whether it’s from age, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, race, gender or some other beautiful way we differ from one another.

Register on YWCA’s website. Mary C. Curtis is our speaker, and we’ll have a discussion and a happy hour, too. We have to have happy hour – it’s an event for millennials.