Do you want to write stories that inspire change and promote inclusivity? Are you eager to learn how to create engaging content that addresses social justice issues?
Sherry Paris never could have predicted the impact a group of high school students would have on her life. As an educator and author, she collaborated with these young leaders on sensitivity training for middle schoolers, delving into complex issues such as racism and sexism. What she found was a group of passionate, insightful individuals who would inspire her to create books that engage readers of all ages in these crucial conversations. Sherry's unexpected journey taught her the power of young voices in advocating for change and challenging societal norms. But what happens when we empower these young leaders? The answer lies within the pages of her inspiring books.
From the student leaders. Elise says, I think the basis of a lot of social justice is being compassionate towards yourself and others. Love and compassion are a really radical thing that people underestimate all the time. – Sherry Paris
Join Sherry in a quest for inclusivity and social justice as she shares her tips on empowering young people to create a better world through their writing, while navigating the challenges of ageism, marginalization, and polarized times.
About Sherry Paris:
Meet Sherry Paris, an experienced educator and author dedicated to promoting social justice and inclusivity through her work. For the past 20 years, Sherry has successfully collaborated with young individuals as a diversity trainer, helping create a culture of acceptance and allyship in various communities. She is the brains behind the creative workbooks You Can Make a Difference and Being a Super Trans Ally, inspiring a new generation of activists and allies. Sherry Paris' work focuses on uplifting voices from all backgrounds and encouraging positive change through self-expression and understanding.
In this episode, we covered:
- Why Sherry wrote You Can Make a Difference! A Creative Workbook and Journal for Young Activists and included interviews with four student leaders
- Why this book is needed now (all actions by people of all ages are more important than ever!)
- How to empower others through your writing
- How she created and sustains a supportive container for writing (making writing and illustrating a sanctuary space/ritual)
- Tips for authors who want to be more inclusive in their writing
- How to be the beacon of love for marginalized people
Creating a Supportive Container for Writing
Sherry shares her tips for creating and sustaining a supportive container for writing and illustrating, including creating a space and routine, practicing self-care, and collaborating with others. She emphasizes the importance of knowing your why and allowing creativity to flow. By creating a supportive container for writing and illustrating, authors can cultivate an environment that nurtures creativity, sustains motivation, and encourages personal growth. Sherry's tips emphasize the balance between discipline and self-care, collaboration and individuality, and purpose-driven creativity, all of which contribute to a fulfilling and productive creative journey.
- Delve into the power of inclusive writing and its impact on social justice.
- Explore the essence of encouraging ally action and cultivating a welcoming environment.
- Recognize the importance of self-preservation and drive in the realm of activism.
- Acquire knowledge on protecting oneself professionally in the fields of writing and consulting.
- Comprehend the necessity of empowering the youth to acknowledge and appreciate diversity for a better future.
00:01:56 – Why the Book is Needed Now,
Sherry talks about the importance of the book and the need for young people to be affirmed in who they are and empowered to take action towards social justice. She shares quotes from student leaders who were interviewed for the book and highlights the importance of compassion, support systems, and motivation in making a difference.
00:12:33 – Marketing and Business,
Sherry discusses her marketing strategy for You Can Make a Difference, including co-presenting with student leaders at a queer and trans resource center and a book and business launch. She also shares her process for creating an LLC to protect herself as an author and educator in these polarized times.
00:18:05 – Tips for Authors,
Sherry provides tips for authors, emphasizing the need for writers to educate themselves by learning and unlearning about diversity topics, including sensitivity readers for their manuscripts. She also recommends paying marginalized people for their labor and being a beacon of love for marginalized communities.
00:23:11 – Where to Find Sherry's Books,
Sherry invites people to consider buying her books from bookshop.org, which is a public good company that donates or offers proceeds to independent booksellers. She also shares that her books, Being a Super Trans Ally and You Can Make a Difference, are creative workbooks sold anywhere books are sold and include affirming illustrations that she drew. She encourages people to get her books into the hands of schools, guidance counselors, and libraries.