To Power of Words to Empower Women: Five questions to poet Amanda Gorman
Amanda Gorman looks a bit younger than her age of 22 says, and at 22, the Los Angeles born activist has already reached heights that very few people have. A Harvard University student, she made her way as a Youth Delegate to the United Nations in 2013 after listening Pakistani survivor Malala Yousafzai speak. Her own words made her poet. She became the first National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017 and ambitions to run for President in the United States sometimes.
A young poet? Think again. Arthur Rimbaud was a teenager when he composed some of his most famous poems.
Gorman is a poet, an activist and a social entrepreneur. Period. She is a leader whose voice is already vital. She created a youth writing program, read poetry on MTV and at the Library of Congress, and she just authored the foreword of Vital Voices: 100 Women Using Their Power to Empower (Assouline). No wonder her portrait, created by Gayle Kabaker, made the cover of a book that includes Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde, Fashion Designer Diane Von Furstenberg, and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
No surprise either: her foreword is a poem. It is about words after all, and sharing them.
Words are everything and everywhere. They enable us to model the types of leadership and change we hope to see in our communities. For example, in general I tend to notice women leaders more so using a rhetoric of hope, compassion, and fairness. That type of language not only restructures how we think about women leaders, and all the gifts they bring to the table, but also leadership in general, which should be unafraid of empathy and generosity.
Is today’s youth ready to become tomorrow’s change makers?
Part of your work involves visiting schools. What do you tell students? How do they react? What do they ask?
Are the media making enough room so that women’s voices are heard?
One of the point you make is about the power to empower. Is that what feminism should be all about?
Amanda Gorman is the author of The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough.
Vital Voices: 100 Women Using Their Power to Empower published by ASSOULINE: http://www.assouline.com