Gavin Amos-Lopez: My words, perspectives and communities matter

Gavin Amos-Lopez is The Seattle Globalist’s 2018 Youth Journalist of the year.

Gavin is a graduate of The Seattle Globalist’s 2017 Youth Apprenticeship Program. We are recognizing Gavin for his hard work, creativity and commitment during the program.

Gavin’s critical thinking, empathy and understanding for covering diverse communities and telling stories of those who are underrepresented in media, is why The Seattle Globalist chose Gavin as the 2018 Youth Journalist of the year.

Originally from Bakersfield, California, Gavin has been accepted to Seattle University’s liberal arts school and currently works as the Operations Manager at Café Avole in Seattle. He describes himself as having a passion for learning and finding new opportunities.

The Globalist will honor Gavin at our 2018 Globie Awards gala on Friday, October 26, 2018. The Globalist caught up with Gavin to talk about his work and his aspirations as a journalist.

You graduated from the Apprentice program almost a year ago. What do you most appreciate about the program? Can you describe how you’ve been able to apply what you learned?

It empowered me as an individual. It was evidence that my words, perspectives and communities matter. That there are people sacrificing everyday so young people who look like myself can accomplish their goals and dreams. It gave me the confidence to achieve. Before writing for the Globalist, I was unable to finish my personal statement. The experience gave me the confidence and skill to finally tell my story after struggling with college applications for five years.

What do you think is the best way to get young people interested in journalism in terms of going out there and telling stories?

Programs like the [ones offered at the] Seattle Globalist. It’s still hard for me to believe that I’m now a writer, an award-winning writer even. But that means that it’s possible for anybody to become a writer and my experience can be used as testimony for people that are hesitant at the idea.

I also believe that more people of color need to become journalists, so we can tell our own stories and reclaim our narratives. I’m a prideful person. I’m proud of where I come from, who I am, and my community. It’s a personal mission of mine to communicate the dignity that communities of color possess and how we overcome biases, struggles and barriers on a daily basis. Despite centuries of violence, exploitation and repression, we’re still here and those stories need to be told without censorship. History has taught us that others cannot be trusted to tell our stories, as our triumphs and resistance will be reduced, re-phrased or completely omitted altogether. It’s a great gift to have the opportunity to empower ourselves.

How do you feel like you are evolving as a writer and as a journalist?

For personal pleasure I’ve been diving into the etymology of English and how it has impacted my and my community’s understanding of the world around us. I want to understand the vibrational force of our voice and the power that the pen elicits.

I have been writing grants, business plans and proposals and curriculum.

I’m really preparing myself for when I go back to school and my writing needs to become more academic. I’m very excited to test a lot of ideas and theories in academia.

What stories are out there that you feel most need being told? Who’s voices do you think have the most need to be elevated?

The positivity that has been generated by youth of color and local organizing groups in Seattle.

The entrepreneurship of immigrants and people of color. Many of the methods they use should act as models for a sustainable society, both ecologically and economically.

Elders need their stories told as well. They know of a world that is disappearing fast, a world that required craftsmanship and skills. I’ve become aware that the only skills that I actually have are just being able to operate a computer’s operating system. Whereas my grandparents can build a house, knit clothing, make pots, grow food, etc. Elders are a natural resource and their knowledge is becoming increasingly valuable in our post-industrial society.

Gavin Amos-Lopez will be recognized as the Youth Journalist of the Year at the 2018 Globie Awards on Friday, October 26, 2018 at Georgetown Ballroom. For tickets and more information, visit www.seattleglobalist.com/globies.

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