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Join us: The Rapidian as a platform for new voices- and your voice

During this fund drive, I'm reflecting on my platform, The Rapidian's platform, and how you can get involved.

/Holly Bechiri

Underwriting support from:

Hear from new voices that have learned on The Rapidian

Nick Manes

Laurel Green

Jonathan Stoner


Donate now:

The Rapidian's platform can only provide a place for new voices with your help. Donate now and join the community in supporting The Rapidian during their 2013 fund drive.

I learned a lot from platform shoes.

Long before handheld devices and technology enabled all of us to be mini broadcasters- and probably because I was young- the platform this boy was seeking was shoes with a heel boasting at least 3 inches to my then 5'6" frame.

I learned to change my perspective.

In “Dead Poets Society,” the teacher instructs young pupils to stand on their desktops to change their perspective. Being just three inches higher on my platform shoes was enough to see my world in a new way. 

I learned to give myself time.

Venturing on to new platforms can be dangerous. Any sudden ascension to great heights, even in fashion, takes time to master.

In order to master anything you need the confidence to do it in the first place. You need to begin and then begin again with courage during those critical first steps. It’s easy advice to give and far more complex sometimes- even like my platform shoes- to get right.

I learned to get comfortable.

My own journey in life would really begin to match the mastering of those shoes. I had to learn to become comfortable in my own skin. Without it I would have never become a writer. 

I did not set out to be a lifestyle editor at a local magazine. With time and some amazing editors who have helped shape my voice, I have learned to stand on my own two feet.

Every generation tries to find their footing and every one, for better or worse, finds that platform on which to build.

The Rapidian brings to our community a new platform. It’s not just for my in-between generation, hugging the limits between the Baby Boomers and Generation X, and it’s not just for the next generation that follows mine. The Rapidian platform is for all generations to feel engaged to do something valuable for our time: to report what we see. It's part of what has come to be known as citizen journalism – a brand new platform for journalism from which so many already have lent their voices.

I, for one, am very happy to see these voices light up the screens of our computers, smartphones and tablets. 

The Rapidian provides this platform where we as citizens of Grand Rapids can hang our thoughts, report on where we are as a community and once in a while even share the dreams of this city in a time of incredible transformation. It is truly exciting to see how it has grown so quickly.

Just like my platform shoes, anyone is welcome to try The Rapidian as a platform, to take ownership as they step forward to lend their voice. If you have ever wanted to see what it feels like to be a writer, The Rapidian is one of the very best places in town to take that first step.

Sure, we all feel a bit wobbly at first, but with time and through their incredibly gifted staff, you will be up and running in no time- and maybe even in three inch heels. 

Take that first step and scale the heights through citizen journalism at The Rapidian.


Take a moment now to join me in supporting The Rapidian in their spring fund drive by donating now.


Tommy Allen is the Lifestyle Editor for the economic e-magazine Rapid Growth and author of a weekly editorial on events and trends facing Grand Rapids metropolitan area and our state. While he has organized everything from neighborhood community-based events to serving on city changing projects like Green Grand Rapids to more recent collaborative driven projects between Detroit and Grand Rapids, he is most fond of those moments of discovery that a growing and vibrant city like Grand Rapids can provide.

The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

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