QCity Metro seeks to train opinion writers

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We all have points of view to share. And given everything going on in our nation, state and city, the need to see the world through the eyes of others has rarely been more important.

With this as a premise, QCity Metro will launch a new initiative that we will call “Hear Me Out”.

The goal is to recruit 20 Charlotte residents to write opinion pieces on issues that affect them and their communities. Those selected will be paid for the pieces we post, and priority will be given to Historic West End residents.

As the editor of QCity Metro, I’ve long wanted to see more uplifting feedback from the people we serve, and now seems like the perfect time to launch this initiative.

Writing effective opinion pieces can be difficult, so we’ll provide training. With funds we received from a Knight Foundation grant, QCity Metro has partnered with the National Op-Ed Project to work with those we select. The stated mission of Project Op-Ed is to “change who writes history”.

“The best ideas, no matter where they come from, should have a chance to be heard and to change the world,” the organization says on its website.

Those who successfully complete this training will have yet another resource. Your coach will be Rick Thames, who taught journalism at Queens University in Charlotte and is a former editor of the Charlotte Observer.

So what are we looking for?

We recruit people who are excited to share their views with Charlotte’s Black community through thoughtful and well-reported essays, columns, and op-eds. It helps if you have some basic writing skills.

Passion is just as important. We want people who have a strong interest in certain topics – education, economic mobility, faith, the arts, reproductive rights, politics, whatever – the choice is yours.

If your application is accepted, you will be required to participate virtually in two days of training (four hours per day). You can choose from a calendar of sessions, selecting the ones that best suit your needs.

Again, priority will be given to West End residents. We are also particularly interested in residents who live in other parts of Charlotte designated by the city as “Corridors of Opportunity.”

But if there are places left, applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

To apply, go to this link. Here, you will be asked to provide brief biographical information and asked to write a very short essay (300 words or less). The subject: “I’m passionate about (you choose the subject), and here’s why I think you should be too.

We look forward to hearing your voice.

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