The Women in Literature Daybreak Press Conference placed a strongly needed emphasis on correlating more diversity and faith in literature. I, as a writer, have always been interested in classic literature, which often depicts the struggles of womanhood. Reading these stories with the linear perspective that it is “extremely difficult to gain a name in this field as a woman” was often disheartening. However, going to this conference gave me a new outlook on the power of Muslim youth, specifically the women in our communities.

Women empowerment is about showcasing the ability in women to excel in all conditions in their life, such as personal, social, economic, or political. Part of this is included in their passions. In a world where the majority of successful artists, and people in general, look a certain way and come from a certain background. With an event like the Daybreak Press Conference, a platform was given to young Muslims, demonstrating representation with success stories of past Muslim authors. These stories are important for youth to hear, as they drive the motivation in the next wave of authors, artists, and creators.

It was very important for girls to be able to listen to the speaker showcase the possibilities that exist within the field of writing. Hearing positivity surrounding topics like self-publishing gave the young listeners hope and inspiration for their own dreams. We also learned about the importance of supporting minority writers. Although we are citizens of such a diverse country, it is evident that we are being taught about the same media every day. In fact, the work we do here at My Voice is to help combat the stereotypes that other people may believe by creating an outlet of our own for Muslim youth.

The Daybreak Press Conference helped provide numerous resources to help writers thrive in their craft, such as peer mentoring, past publishing successes, and tips on writing. It shed an illuminating light on the large presence of Muslim authors in our community, who are not receiving enough recognition. The writing workshops taught me about structure and tone in a piece of work, coupled with the importance behind every element of a piece of literature.

Although it is true that these past years have seen a greater emphasis on intersectionality within fields such as politics and business, I believe that there is still work to be done in the fields of art, such as writing, and as John Keating from the Dead Poets Society famously said, “medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for”. In recent years a greater emphasis on intersectionality has encouraged exploration into the relationship between race, gender, religion, and class to even further prove the importance of the acknowledgment of the place of marginalized groups in literature. With events such as the Daybreak Press Conference, a new wave of creators is being inspired, and guided, to change the art of tomorrow.