By Thomas Nitti
Who am I, really? Voices is a CSC program dedicated to the issues that surround identity.
Race. Gender. Sexuality. HIV status. Survivor status. Ability. Body Image. The list goes on.
Each day, our thoughts and experiences are impacted by the way we percieve ourselves. Because of this, we should feel good about who we are and the voice we have.
“I’m queer, I came out publicly sophomore year of college to my parents,” said Becca Reynolds, Voices Program Manager. “People who aren’t straight, white, or cisgender often face injustices in their everyday life, whether that be microaggressions, being incarcerated, or even being the subject of violence because of who they are,” she said.
With Voices, Becca hopes to create an equitable space for all.
This year, Voices will address how identities and bodies shape our experiences. How does walking through this world as a black man differ from walking through this world as a white man? What does it means to be a queer trans woman?
“Beginning to understand how people perceive us and how we perceive ourselves changes how we navigate through this world so we can create change,” Becca said.
Voices is looking forward to its new partnership with The Women’s Lunch Place, an organization working to feed, clothe, and shelter women in the Greater Boston Area.
“My favorite part about Voices is how much its changed,” Becca said. Originally, Voices was a middle school mentoring program, but The CSC identified a need to address LGBTQ issues. This year, Voices will extend its reach beyond the LGBTQ community by addressing a variety of identity-based issues.
As Voices unfolds, Becca hopes volunteers will acquire a deeper sense of empathy. Through empathy, Voices will create a space that is understanding and willing to address the identity-based issues that are often difficult to discuss. “Empathy motivates the fight against injustice,” Becca said.
Voices provides opportunities for volunteers to learn, educate, and reflect on how our bodies and identities impact our lives.