Name, pronouns, career/job title?
Mia Warren, she/her/hers, Radio Producer. I produce stories for an organization based in Brooklyn, New York; and travel around the country recording different people’s stories and archiving them in the library of Congress.
How has being a feminist / (if applicable woman) impacted your life and career thus far?
I certainly identify as a feminist and with the feminist movement. I grew up in a household where I was told and taught to advocate for myself.
All in all, my identity as a feminist began with my mother, who encouraged me to embrace the word ‘feminist’ early on as a kid. My Mother is the only girl in a family of seven boys; She grew up in South Korea and immigrated to the United States. She preserved through alienating policies and mindsets and raised me to appreciate the privileges I was given because of feminism.
In terms of my career, I think that I have always advocated for people who do not identify as male in the workplace. For as long as I can remember, journalism has been a male-dominated field, so it’s been exciting to see the field evolving in the last few decades. We still have a ways to go, though.
In your opinion, what are the most prominent challenges facing women today?
I think that reproductive rights are certainly still one of the largest challenges facing women. Men feel the need to control women’s bodies, and it is reflected almost everywhere in our culture – from government regulation of abortion to birth control and reproductive healthcare. I also think that migration and immigration is a prominent women’s issue. Women who emigrate and immigrate to and from the United States are among some of the most vulnerable populations
In your opinion, what are the most prominent challenges facing underrepresented groups as a whole today? (i.e. racial minorities, those with physical and cognitive disabilities, socioeconomically disadvantaged, etc.)
Overall, I don’t want to group people together; as someone who does not identify with every underrepresented group in the United States, I don’t want to speak for all of them. That being said, I think we need to amplify marginalized voices that have historically been excluded from traditional media. Sharing the voices of people who have been underrepresented in traditional power structures is a critical starting point to actually making changes in communities.
I also think that we should start to consider climate change as a human rights issue in addition to an environmental rights issue. From people who are directly impacted by the climate as they do not have homes to go to, to the pollution that infects larger cities and thus the people in them.
How has the political and social climate of social justice changed throughout your lifetime?
Technology and social media has made accessibility to current events, political opinions, and human rights violations much more of a priority. This is in many ways excellent, as individuals are exposed to what is occurring around the globe; but at the same time, news and opinions are filtered – so we are only exposed to opinions we want to hear.
Social media in particular has allowed for so many social justice movements to become mainstream! Labor, intersectional feminism, Black Lives Matter, and #MeToo movements have gone mainstream thanks to social media. The internet has served as an excellent medium for activist spaces.
While a lot more has become accessible with social media, I do fear that people are being tricked into thinking that they can accomplish political and social change without in-person activism. Without the people who march, lobby, and persuade [in person], little change is going to take place.
What is of your utmost priority in terms of social justice and/ or politics currently?
As a storyteller, I want to amplify different and diverse voices. I make it a priority to highlight stories that are not typically on the radio or other forms of traditional media. By breaking out of traditional public radio standards, I hope to put a spotlight on voices that not many expect to hear (i.e. immigrants, young women, people of color, people with disabilities, and so many more.)
With my platform as a storyteller, I seek to encourage and bring awareness for different kinds of stories and experiences.
What do you encourage others to take part in, in order to make their communities more socially and politically inclusive?
I think we need to elect and put people into power who are more diverse and representative of the general population. In other words, give platforms to people who have not traditionally held power. This allows new and positive change to occur.
I also think that journalists and storytellers need to come from a wide range of backgrounds that reflect different kinds of experiences.
Overall, the first step involves creating inclusive and diverse spaces where people of a multitude of backgrounds are heard.
Any final thoughts?
I am incredibly excited about periods and approaching the topic in a less controversial and taboo manner. Menstruation has been a matter that I have been pondering ever since I started mine. I am endlessly fascinated by them and hope that I can have a part in altering the conversation about them.
By Maggie Di Sanza