- Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: IVP Books (July 31, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0830845402
- ISBN-13: 978-0830845408
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 56 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Raise Your Voice: Why We Stay Silent and How to Speak Up Paperback – July 31, 2018
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"Raise Your Voice is a powerful call to action. The book is full of moving personal stories, excellent writing, and judiciously scattered solid theology. This delightfully written book summoning us to courageous action to promote racial, gender, and economic justice could not come at a better time. Khang calls us to speak out. And she helps us see how to do it." (Ronald J. Sider, distinguished professor of theology, holistic ministry and public policy, Palmer Seminary at Eastern University)
"As a reporter and church leader, Kathy Khang has spent her life lending her voice to other people’s stories. This book is essential reading for those who wonder about the spiritual power of saying hard truths out loud." (Kate Bowler, assistant professor of American Christianity, Duke Divinity School)
"There have been a number of books in the past several years about the need to speak up. What Khang accomplishes in Raise Your Voice is a significant addition. The book explores the motivations behind silence, deconstructs them, and suggests ways to rebuild them into motivations for prophetic speech. Khang is a builder and careful arguer who engages and challenges readers to notice not only their own fears of speaking up, but ways in which they might contribute to silencing others. Raise Your Voice comes at an imperative time and the church would do well to listen." (Preston Yancey, author of Out of the House of Bread)
"We live in a loud, hyperconnected world where finding and using your voice for good can seem like a daunting, if not impossible, charge. And yet all Christians are called to speak the truth in love. So it's more important than ever to find wise and experienced guides for this new terrain. Kathy Khang is one of those guides, and in Raise Your Voice she offers insights that are both philosophical and practical, biblically informed and tested in the lab of real-world experience. By incorporating stories from her own triumphs and failures, as well as the stories of other prophets and practitioners, Khang guides the reader along with the experience of a teacher and the warmth of a dear friend. I gained so much wisdom from spending time in these pages, and I hope everyone who wishes to use their voice with integrity and holy force will do the same." (Rachel Held Evans, author of Searching for Sunday)
"In a time of social division growing wider every day, so many of us struggle with how to engage in all that is happening around us. Often it's easier to retreat and ignore the chaos and confusion rather than to try to wrestle with how God might have us respond. Kathy Khang challenges us to see that our trust in God's sovereignty is not independent of our responsibility to act. She guides us through why it is biblical for us to learn to use our voice for good, and imperative to stand against injustice in order that our silence might not become complicit." (Vickie Reddy, executive producer, The Justice Conference)
"From the first chapter, Khang's book Raise Your Voice brings you in. She masterfully uses her story, biblical passages, and wisdom of the everyday to create an insightful and practical tool. Leaders, artists, writers, and anyone who feels that God has put something in them (everyone!) will be refreshed, challenged, and spurred on. This book is a compass, instead of a map, that helps you navigate terrain that has no roads. Khang's book provides an essential tool for navigating the tricky pathways of following Jesus in real life―evolving social media, racial land mines, and increasingly polarized communities. Raise Your Voice is an honest, funny, and utterly practical book. You will want it on your shelf to refer to over and over again." (Nikki Toyama-Szeto, executive director of Evangelicals for Social Action)
"As I read Raise Your Voice I remembered the times I needed a book like this! I needed its invitation to discover my voice when I felt invisible and voiceless. I needed its mentoring when I started out in leadership, wondering if I could lead in the way I was wired to, rather than fit uncomfortably into a more culturally acceptable mold. I needed its wisdom to help me discern the cost of having a voice and daring to use it, and then its comfort when using my voice ended in hurt. Raise Your Voice is here now, and I still received all the things I'd once longed for and more―challenge and empowerment in equal measure. Kathy Khang has crafted a gift for us―receive every page she offers you!" (Jo Saxton, author of The Dream of You, cohost of the Lead Stories Podcast)
"Khang's Raise Your Voice is a powerful call to use our voices―whether in print, artistic, or social media form―for God's kingdom and glory. As a powerful advocate of justice, her own story is a testament of overcoming one's imposter syndrome, one's cultural inhibitions, and one's gendered expectations. Put together with scriptural insights and Khang's unique dry humor, this book is a great read. It offers practical, loving, and wise lessons on how each of us can speak out and be heard." (Russell Jeung, author of At Home in Exile: Finding Jesus Among My Ancestors and Refugee Neighbors)
"In Raise Your Voice, Kathy takes us on a journey of excavation as she digs deeply into Scripture and into her own story to write about the power of finding and using one's voice. Her words walk alongside us, push us, and put us on notice that using our voices for the sake of justice, holiness, and truth telling is important and necessary work. As Kathy raises her own voice, she inspires me to do the same." (Amena Brown, spoken-word poet, author of How to Fix a Broken Record)
"Our voices are paramount to our faith and witness! If you've ever found yourself questioning, doubting, or squelching your voice, this book will intimately speak to you. Raise Your Voice illuminates the forces―social, cultural, and familial―that seek to silence us and guides us through the wilderness of finding, claiming, and using our voices to seek the kingdom first and live into our created purpose. Kathy uses the story of Esther and her own growing pains as concrete examples of how we learn to raise our voices in the face of the fear, coercion, and the powers that be which all too often cause us to question, soften, and mute our voices. This book is compelling, empowering, and instructive." (Dominique DuBois Gilliard, author of Rethinking Incarceration)
"Kathy has spoken up and spoken out with wisdom at great cost to herself. Learn from her expertise. Since there are lessons we can't learn in theory, I urge you to read this book and learn to use your authentic voice in meaningful, authentic ways." (Sandra Maria Van Opstal, author of The Next Worship)
"True story―I turned in a book proposal called Speak Up the week before I read Kathy's manuscript. I read hers cover to cover and emailed my publisher to say, 'I withdraw my proposal. Kathy already wrote the book and it's a thousand times better than mine would have been.' Every word of Raise Your Voice is profound, courageous, and important. We need this right now, and we need this prophetic teacher to lead us." (Jen Hatmaker, author of For the Love and Of Mess and Moxie)
About the Author
Kathy Khang is a speaker, journalist, and activist. She has worked in campus ministry for more than twenty years, with expertise in issues of gender, ethnicity, justice, and leadership development. She is a columnist for Sojourners magazine, a writer for Faith and Leadership, and a coauthor of More Than Serving Tea: Asian American Women on Expectations, Relationships, Leadership and Faith.
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In part 1 of Raise Your Voice, Khang shares how she learned to 'raise her voice.' She emigrated from South Korea as a child, and navigated American culture as an Asian American, an immigrant and a woman and mother. In lots of ways, she was pressured to be silent and remain silent. However, she found her voice and began speaking about cultural appropriation, faith, violence against the Black community, feminism, and politics. As she shares her own story of speaking up (or sometimes not speaking up) she also reflects on the biblical example of Moses (afraid to speak up when he was called),Esther (who learned to raise her voice to save her people, the Jews, from certain destruction and the Bleeding Woman (Mark 5).
Part 2 offers some practical reflections on how to speak up. This is not a 'how to' book, but Khang shares some insights and practices that have helped her both listen well, and speak up when she needs to (these are related domains). She explores what it means to use our voice in real life and the various spheres we occupy (everything from our 'underwear family' all the way to our job). She also describes her process and gives practical advice on how to engage with people online and on social media and the various ways each of us can use our gifts and talents as we learn to speak in our own voice.Khang conducted interviews with Reesheda M. Graham-Washington, her friend Brenda, and artist, Maggie Hubbard which she includes here to show these women learned to raise their voices.
I read Khang's book eagerly with anticipation. Her voice is one I really respect, and often when issues come up in our culture (e.g. immigration, lies, collusion, white supremacy, violence), I look to see if she's written anything about it. She has a peculiar gift for cutting through the crap with both truth and grace.
I'm a white male, and therefore my voice has been culturally privileged. I've had to learn to stop and really listen before I speak (and as an extrovert this is hard to do). But in other ways, I too can be silent and not speak up in the face of the authorities and in the case of injustice. Sometimes I am too afraid to speak up. Sometimes I don't feel like I understand enough. But to speak up is to name our hope that real change is possible. Kathy's words and her voice give me courage to raise my voice.
I give this book five stars. You should read it. -★★★★★
I received a copy of this book from the Author and IVP in exchange for my honest review. I also purchased a copy to share with someone else.
We need a book to remind us of who we are and why we speak up even when it is hard and when we are afraid.
In the face of an American cultural and church that is dominated by the voices of white male patriarchy, domination, and nationalism, Kathy rises as a Korean American woman and naturalized citizen to tell her story and speak her truth. We all become better for the privilege and opportunity to listen and learn from people like her.
Khang uses the biblical narratives of Esther and Moses for as theological backdrop. She chooses these stories because both Moses and Esther were unlikely leaders, and I have found that people of color just read and glean more from theses stories particularly when they have come from a marginalized people group. Khang writes, “I can’t teach the story of Queen Esther the same way a white man would because our minds and hearts encounter the story from such different starting points.” Kathy is an ethnic minority who is also a woman. That matters to God and it matters for the redemptive story that he is writing so that she and others like her can rise up.
Carefully weaving together biblical narratives of saints who spoke up, Raise Your Voice is a practical tool for any person of who is considering how their Christian faith may call them to public action, or perhaps simply to more intentional private discourse. Kathy's book is timely, needed and a must-read for those trying to find their voice.
And I was also very challenged. I especially liked the reflections on Esther and seeing that story anew challenges me to even more to be alert to ways I can discern and speak up. As one who tends to avoid conflict, I felt challenged to discern and engage well.
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