Posted by: unhcragd | November 18, 2009

“Giving” Voice vs. Acknowledging Voice

Wow.  You know those moments when you catch yourself acting in that very way that propels you to walk around and point at others and say, “Don’t act that way!”?   Well, I had one of those moments today.

I was talking to my research class about UNHCR and CDGECS and about the values of participatory assessment.  And how our mission is to “give voice” to those who are not being heard.  To “give voice” to the refugees and become partners instead of treating them like passive beneficiaries.  One of the wise students in my class called me on the concept of “giving voice” to someone.  She said “Why do you think someone’s voice is YOURS to GIVE?   Why not say you are acknowledging someone’s voice?”

Whew!  Yep.  That’s exactly right.  And I’ve been saying “give voice” in various forms for years.  Thank you, Linda!!  We are definitely on a journey – and that journey Begins with Me.

Click here for another post on destructive discourse.

Photo: LarimdaME Flickr photostream.

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