You NEED to Listen
By Ilana Drake
Last spring, the New York Times was flooded with articles about abortion and how some states were trying to undermine Roe v. Wade. After reading these headlines, I became scared for myself, the girls around me, and any person who has a uterus. However, I have learned that if you are scared, you must stand up and fight for change. I am fighting back with my words.
You NEED to listen Your political affiliation Your “moral” arguments Your religion Your job Your understanding of human life Should not affect our choices
You turn one corner But when there's traffic You turn the other way You follow the path But when the going gets tough You throw away the map
You know that you did it The decision that you are so against The one that is at stake right now That people republish pictures of on VSCO The court case from ‘73 Gave us a fundamental right You made the decision for us And you don't even have a uterus
You don’t know the science You don’t care about the people affected You care about your brand Your reputation Your political party You want to control us But we will fight back.
This fall, Girls Write Now mentees and mentors were taught how to use Canva. While I found the process very challenging on my iPhone, it was really cool seeing what the other mentees created. While I would describe myself as creative, this process was definitely frustrating for me, as I did not know about the different tools Canva offered. However, my mentor and I figured out how the website worked and from then on, I was able to make my presentation more authentic and stronger.
Meet the Pair
MENTEE ILANA DRAKE & MENTOR ERICA DRENNAN
Ilana’s Anecdote: I know that I say this over and over, but Erica wins the award for “best mentor in the world.” Throughout the past two years, Erica has helped me to find my footing and my voice, and I can honestly say that she is the best thing that happened to me during high school. Erica’s smile fills up any room, and every time she says the word “interesting,” we both burst into laughter because we use that word way too often! Erica is a “Renaissance Woman,” and I can’t wait for her to finish her novel in progress!
Erica’s Anecdote: Ilana is the most enthusiastic person I have ever met! Her smile and laugh are infectious and our pair sessions are the highlight of my week. She is always excited and ready to write, no matter how busy she is with school. At our first meeting this fall, Ilana started writing about her summer in Germany. I remember getting chills hearing about her experiences confronting anti-Semitism. It’s been an incredible privilege to watch her process that experience and powerfully put it into words. With this piece, Ilana is keeping history alive and taking her place in it.
Ilana Drake is a sophomore at Vanderbilt University. Her work has been published in Ms. Magazine, PBS NewsHour, and The Tennessean. Additionally, her poems have been seen in magazines such as WriteGirl's Lines & Breaks, CHINCHILLA LIT, and Poetry as Promised Literary Magazine. During high school, Ilana served on the NYC Department of Education Chancellor's Student Advisory Council, and she has advocated for inclusion in schools. When Ilana is not busy engaging in student activism and writing, she can be found enjoying the Nashville weather, hanging out with friends, and swimming. Ilana's work can be found here: https://ilanadrake.wixsite.com/mysite/projects.