Issue I: Editors’ Note
Motivators: Making an impact in my career and the world, especially at a young age. Finding solutions to making a better life. Self identity. And being a good friend.
What makes you proud to be yourself?: Walking to work. Having enough time to drink tea in the morning. Being around friends. Knowing that I haven’t reached potential and am still striving for more as a journalist.
Why did you pick Education?: I made the decision junior year of college to be an educator in a different form than a teacher by educating voters.
Motivators: Personal growth, career growth, constant learning, and fitness.
What makes you proud to be yourself: I work really hard in almost every aspect of my life. I really like being a designer and seeing the impact I can make at work and beyond.
Why did you pick Education?: After graduating college, I see gaps in my education, and others, around the country. I see a lack of social, worldly and practical education. I had no idea how to set up a budget, credit card, or 401K. Many people are misinformed about basic civics, or the science of climate change. I strongly feel that if people were more exposed to lifestyles and beliefs outside of their own, it would foster better discussion and provide common ground. Through Issue NC, I am using my design and writing skills to try to start these conversations, and show the human side of these issues. I am also an active member of AIGA, leading our chapter communications and supporting a lot of our educational programs. I think programs and projects like these could provide a piece of education that is missing from traditional schooling.
Why did we start Issue?
Liz: After the election, several friends of ours contacted us and said they were going to donate to an organization or participate in a protest. That was my sign that “Hey people in the community are getting more engaged and how could I, as a journalist, also get involved.”
Chelsea: Yeah, I felt really motivated to use my skills as a designer to make an impact in some way. We have always made a good designer + journalist team, so I think we really saw this as our opportunity. We realized other people probably have had similar experiences and thought it would be interesting to see what motivated them in their daily life or careers, and how that related to the recent election.
And I think exploring motivation was a great way to introduce us and our project at the same time.
Liz: Definitely, as we got started it became apparent that others in the community started to see the value of talking to other people, whether they have the same beliefs or not, which was our main motivator to start this conversation is to talk about the hard topics (i.e. politics) and others to do the same.
Chelsea: Totally. I learned a lot more than I thought I would, just by talking to people about their different viewpoints. A lot of these people probably voted the same way as me, but they still had a different outlook on certain topics that make me think twice about my own views. And now I pay attention to those things, for example economic and foreign policy issues, in the news more than I did before, just because I met someone who really cared about them.
Liz: Yeah, after each interview I questioned which issue mattered to me the most, and I was taking in their viewpoints. I definitely did some google searches after. Christin brought up she has to put on her “teacher hat” when talking about issues that affect rural America. I think having a basic understanding of these issues and the sub-issues can help start to have these conversations.
Chelsea: Yeah that’s a good point. Conversation was probably the most common theme among every interview. Everyone talked about it as the main way they try to impact these issues, or at least the first place they start. And Bethany and Christin talked about being the moderator for friends of different viewpoints. It would be interesting to see what conversations come up if we got all these people in the same room.
Liz: I almost think we should’ve introduced Nicholas and Chris, since they were even in the same room. Chris had an interest in Marxism, and at one point of Nicholas’s interview he said he would love to talk to a Marxist. We had several interviewees say treatment of women was their top issue, and they had different experiences and different responses to our questions.
Chelsea: Especially with our “fun” question: If you could only save that one issue over everything else, would you do it? It was interesting to see how Dianna, Ilina and Matt saw feminism fitting into the world a bit differently. Ilina and Matt would save Treatment of Women without hesitation, but Diana said she would go down fighting. I think that question highlighted the intersectionality of all these issues. Half the world is female, so women can be part of every other social group. But how do people from different backgrounds prioritize those groups in their identity, or even when voting? It really shows that these issues aren’t black & white — they’re all connected in some way.
Liz: For sure, that’s why Nicholas said he didn’t choose an issue that mattered to him most. When we did our research about what issues are important, treatment of women wasn’t a topic, and we decided to add it. I am curious how different our responses would be if we didn’t include it.
Women are a good percentage of the world, and it’s interesting to see how both men and women perceive the way they are treated, even the distinction between treatment of women and abortion, which we saw with Justine’s answers. 53 of the responses said that treatment of women mattered to them, so what do they see as the successes and challenges that face women and their rights?
Chelsea: I still can’t believe we had to add it, because it seems like such a natural one to include. There is so much packed into that issue (Treatment of Women), which is why I’m really excited about diving deeper into for Issue II. Now that we have a baseline for these 13 issues in our community, we want to focus on one at a time, so we can answer those questions. How do men and women define feminism? What does feminism mean to them? It’s also a very relevant topic right now, so I think a lot of people are starting to define it for themselves as well.