I Write Because….

Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian

“Why do you write? Why share your thoughts publicly?”

After reflecting on my five years of sharing at this point, I recognize that my responses to those questions have definitely developed over time, and will always be in development.

“I hold a belief that we are all connected as a part of a larger human family.  However, certain attitudes and systems have been set in place that can cause us to have experiences that make us believe otherwise.

Certain attitudes and systems that are set in place can cause us to have experiences in which we feel devalued, unaccepted, disconnected…as if we are not a part of that family at all.

I want to name those attitudes and systems. I want to deconstruct them, and not only get to the bottom of how they impact my life experiences in terms of what happens or has happened to me, but I want to get a handle on the ones that I buy into, and the impact those belief systems have on the people or groups who I come into contact with in terms of what I think and the choices I make.

I think some of what I’ve learned and accepted is good. However, I also think that some of the other things I’ve learned and accepted are in actuality inaccurate information that needs to be discarded and turned away from.

So through this blog, I sought to, and am still in the process of crafting a space where this kind of personal examination can take place.

Sometimes the catalyst for a note comes from my own personal lived experiences, sometimes it comes from a news story, video, or some other form of media about a particular topic that relates to one of the many attitudes that are out there which can result in actions where we might mistreat one another in some way.

I’ve found that in sharing my honest experiences, or other interesting things that have caused me to stop, think, and want to do things differently, I’ve attracted the attention of others who wish to do the same.”

–From “Who Are You Writing For? Inside N.A.H. Part 4″

I had experiences in college that helped me to further understand not only the parts of my identity that leave me vulnerable to oppression, but parts of myself that are privileged and can be used to be oppressive to others. I came to an understanding that I’ve learned a lot of misinformation about people who aren’t like myself, and decided to commit to an ongoing journey of unlearning the misinformation, and learning new information.

As I’ve explained in another interview, I consider myself to be an Aspiring Humanitarian in the sense that I am continually searching for ways to be more humane to those around me; to unlearn information that is harmful so that I can make room for information that is helpful to, and inclusive of myself and others.

I wanted to document some of my experiences on this journey, and take others along with me. Thus, my very first Blog post, and Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian was created.

(N.A.H.) is also a valuable resource for social workers, helping professionals, community members, or anyone else interested in social justice, as readers are also able to find any tips or resources I have, as well as any lessons I’ve learned that I feel could be helpful to others who wish to take up the task of working with others toward more equitable and inclusive communities.”

—From Social Workers for Social Justice: Interview with Relando Thompkins via Social Work Helper

I’ve been thinking a lot on the words of Audre Lorde lately, specifically related to Audre’s thoughts on The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action, and have found that the message really resonate’s with me.

Audre Lorde Quote on Speaking



I write because I have something to say.

I write because I have something to teach.

I write because I have many things to learn, and unlearn.

I write because I’ve harmed, and have been harmed, but would like to make things right.

I write because I’ve found that great power can be found within sharing our personal experiences, and making those experiences accessible to others. Not just the good stuff; not just the “successes”, but the struggles as well.

For these and many other reasons, I write, and I work.

Do you write? Answer this question for yourself. If you have a blog, or create other forms of media about social justice issues, feel free to post your links, and or the links of some of your favorite blogs on this resource list.

You can find some of my favorites on this ever-growing list.


From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins-Jones, MSW, LLMSW



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Written by

I'm a Social Justice Educator and Aspiring Humanitarian who is interested in conflict resolution, improving intergroup relations, and building more equitable and inclusive communities. "Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian" is my blog, where I write about issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. By exploring social identities through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I hope to continue to expand and enrich conversations about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.

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5 Responses

  1. Thompkins Jones- Reading your words was like reading my own thoughts. Thank you for sharing. You made me reflect on why I write and why I continue to write. I hope you continue to inspire others with words. -Russia

    • Thank you so much for your kind words Russia! My sharing here is a work of love, and while it’s a reflection of my experiences and socialization and their limitations, it’s also a reflection of my attempts at breaking free from information that is harmful to make room for ways to be helpful.

      I am so glad to hear that you thought reading these words were like reading your own thoughts, and that I helped you to reflect on why you write, and why you’ll continue to do so. Your words were a wonderful affirmation and a reminder of how sharing our thoughts with others can have a validating effect on them.

      Thank you Russia, I hope to continue my sharing here, and that by doing so others will be touched in a positive way. I also followed your blog recently and look forward to reading more of your posts as well. :-)

  2. Marquessa says:

    Really enjoyed your post! Since I can’t comment directly on your blog from my cell, I guess that you are on the .org part of WP?

    • Thank you for your comment Marquessa, I really appreciate it! Yes, although I started off using wordpress.com a few years ago, I ended up changing my site to a self-hosted blog using the wordpress.org platform. I’m glad you enjoyed this post, and I hope you come back. I also appreciated reading your post about the reasons why you write.

  1. November 2, 2015

    […] Day 1: I Write Because…. […]

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