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Raise Your Voice: Why We Stay Silent and How to Speak Up

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  407 ratings  ·  92 reviews
You have a voice. And you have God's permission to use it.

In some communities, certain voices are amplified and elevated while others are erased and suppressed. It can be hard to speak up, especially in the ugliness of social media. Power dynamics keep us silent and marginalized, especially when race, ethnicity, and gender are factors. What can we do about it?

Activist Kath
Paperback, 176 pages
Published July 31st 2018 by IVP Books
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Heather Caliri
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
When I fell in love with writing, one of the very first reactions I got was from a family member--asking me never to write about our family again. Speaking up, telling your story, and owning your voice is a fraught proposition, especially for women, who are often trained to keep quiet and polite and ignore our voices. Kathy Khang's challenging, gracious read helps each reader to notice the forces silencing them, and slowly, gently, and boldly begin speaking up.
I found the second section especia
Mary Jo
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was incredible!! Such a perfect book for the times we’re in. As a white, female Christian who has been struggling with the church and Christians in this political climate, this was like a breath of fresh air. Kathy Khang breaks your heart while giving insight into a world I can’t and won’t ever understand, but then she ends the book with encouragement and loving ways to use our voices for good. I love all the ways she opened my eyes to a new way of seeing Esther, Nathan, Moses, and the ...more
Michele Morin
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Several years ago, with one tentative toe dipping into middle age, I read life-changing words from the pen of Ruth Bell Graham, who confided she was finally learning that she did not need to weight in on every topic OR to speak up at every opportunity. This seemed reasonable to me at the time, a wise grid through which to steward my words, and I have consciously applied the rubric to social situations. (I’m sure the practice has been a blessing to both family and friends.)

However, recently, I’ve
Cara Meredith
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Kathy Khang is gentle and wise, instructive and tangible in her stories. I can’t think of a more appropriate book for today, especially for those who feel stuck about speaking up.
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a useful, practical book in a "say anything" culture. Kathy Khang comes alongside those of us who might be hesitant to speak up or who are new to finding and using our voice in the social arena and shows us how to do both with grace and right motives.

I like how the book is structured to first address the reasons we stay silent and then gives us ways to speak up that are humble and practical. Never did it feel like the author was demanding that we speak up. Hers is a voice of encouragement
Jayne Hunter
Dec 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-it
This book gave me a lot to think about and is one I'll refer back to. ...more
Alicia Vela
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Using both her own personal story and the biblical narrative, Kathy Khang encourages her readers to find their voice and use it. This book is a practical guide to why we have allowed ourselves to stay silent and how we can begin to find our spaces and places to speak up. I appreciated her unique voice as a Woman of Color and how she shares her struggles to encourage others to dig into their roots and share their story. This book is a great read and I would highly recommend it.
Lori Neff
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Encouraging, practical. This is an important book - especially if you feel marginalized in any context. How do we wisely speak up and use our voices? The world needs to hear from you and me.
Quote I love: "There are many ways in which we can use our voice. You can blog, tweet, or preach, but you don't have to blog, tweet, or preach to speak up." There's a place for you and there's a place for me - and it may not look the same! <3
Annie Rim
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Kathy Khang invites her readers into her own story of being silenced and finding her voice. This is a powerful and timely book but what I loved most about it is that Kathy doesn't let us off the hook. We all have spaces in which we can raise our voices - from family discussions to community gatherings and social media to large platforms. How we choose to respond (or don't) speaks volumes. Kathy is gentle and yet sets a high expectation for how we can all choose to respond to the world around us. ...more
Marie Hougton
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is such a relevant read. It walks the reader through the process of discerning the when, where, who, why, and how to raise your voice. Kathy’s writing style is relatable, smart, and funny. I loved the discussion questions at the end. This book would make a great personal study, but I think it would be most powerful discussed in community.
Joel Wentz
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Full disclosure: I am friends with Kathy, and I like her a lot, so I am pre-disposed to like her book, especially one in which she contends for the voices of those who typically remain silent.

That being said, this is a great read. She deftly blends humor with moving personal stories, and somehow manages to stay practical throughout. She also brings a wonderful lens to familiar biblical characters (Moses, David, Esther) and adds refreshing nuances to their stories as ones who struggled, for vario
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I am not sure exactly when I first heard Kathy Khang's voice but I know it was online. In real life (IRF), I am about 1 degree of separation from her, having friends in similar circles (e.g. InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, ministers and activists and the Evangelical Covenant Church). But I know I am grateful for getting to know her voice, and she's challenged me (mediocre white male, that I am) to rethink stuff and be more mindful about systemic racism and appropriation. I vividly remember Ka ...more
April Yamasaki
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Author Kathy Khang shares out of her personal and ministry experience and from her reading of Scripture to offer encouragement and practical guidance on finding your voice and speaking up. Not to be disruptive for its own sake, but to express the hope and fullness of God's good news and advocate for change. This book is a great primer for anyone who feels they're just finding their voice, and for anyone already on that journey, the author encourages them to encourage others at the same time. For ...more
Dorothy Greco
Khang explores our tendency to either keep silent (far too often when we should speak up) or lash out (without thoughtfully, prayerfully understanding what's prompting us to react). She understands first hand why there's much to be outraged about and knows that outrage alone will not result in personal or cultural transformation. We need to understand how external (e.g. societal dynamics like racism, misogyny, etc.) and internal forces silence us and prayerfully risk raising our God-given voices ...more
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Summary: Explores both why we stay silent and how we may learn to speak up about the things we most deeply care about, particularly in seeking a more just society for all.

Kathy Khang grew up as the child of Korean immigrant parents, writing in a journal given her by her father at an early age. She eventually became a journalist who learned to use her voice in interviews, in getting stories, and yet struggled with the tension of breaking with cultural norms that often rewarded one for silence, an
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalleyarc, 2018
Raise Your Voice: Why We Stay Silent and How to Speak Up by Kathy Khang is a thoughtful read perfectly situated to encourage others with practical guidelines for how to step up and speak out.

Khang repeatedly returns to the biblical story of Queen Esther as a lens to guide us in how to speak up when we find ourselves in a place of influence, even if taking a stand may be dangerous.

I love to read nonfiction titles, but I admit I find myself putting some authors on a level above me; the rest of us
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I thought the entire book was good, but for me the real heart of the book is the second half, dealing with the practicalities of raising our voice in real life, whether that is in person or online. Ms. Khang gives us steps to follow when we are considering speaking up about an issue, as well as questions to ask ourselves. As someone who often jumps into conversations or social media interactions based solely on my gut reaction, it was helpful to be reminded to slow down, to pray, to research, et ...more
Erin Oeth
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
In my journey to find my voice, I am always on the lookout for role models, women who have a strong voice and use it for good and for God’s glory. I certainly found one here. Reading the book is like sitting down for coffee with a valued mentor, offering to guide us on the journey and sharing hers with us. Her tone is instructive and helpful. She gives powerful and relatable stories from her own life and from scripture. And she challenges us to engage while answering our objections (i.e. excuses ...more
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Raise Your Voice is powerful and important. It’s so delightfully practical, spiritual, and encouraging. Filled with enough anecdotes that give honest, real-life examples. Weaving in narratives from the Bible from her perspective. I loved the way the author describes Esther's dual identity, having two names, Esther and Hadassah, along with a time to step up and raise her voice – for such a time as this – to hear it told from Kathy’s perspective was vivid and powerful. She emboldens and encourages ...more
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An excellent introduction to using the voice you have been given, whether that is your literal voice or any gift or talent God has given you that "speaks" (e.g. music, art, dance, etc). If you've felt God press on your heart to speak out on something, perhaps a matter of faith or social justice that you notice isn't being addressed well or at all, it can be hard to know how to do that in a helpful/godly way. Khang deals with how and why we silence ourselves to help us overcome those obstacles to ...more
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: newbie advocates, veteran activists
My advance copy of RAISE YOUR VOICE by Kathy Khang is now curled, dog-eared and re-re-re-read. We are in a period when we need to raise our voices at our child's school, on the sidewalk in front of government buildings, in letters and phone calls to those in charge of programs and decision-making, in person and on line. Kathy reminded me, a veteran speaker-upper, of all the reasons why we can't be silenced, need to speak up for the first time or in front of strangers or loved ones, take care of ...more
Tiffany Malloy
Jul 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have been a fan of Kathy's for several years. She's been a voice that I've paid attention because I was certain she was going to call things like she saw them. She seemed unafraid of what her words might cost her in the christian industrial complex. I admired that.

All that being said, this book was exactly what I hoped it would be. The first half of the book is about why we stay silent; the second part about how we speak up. Kathy shares some of her story of how she found her voice-- stories f
Cindy Battles
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Disclosure: I did receive an ARC of this book as part of the book launch team.

"Learning to use your voice is about understanding how we each are created in God's image. It's about the space in which gender, faith, ethnicity, and race converge, adding to the power and beauty of individual voices effectively impacting and shaping the church and the world. It's about knowing deeply how God sees you, grounded in the truth that we are all created in God's image, and using your voice in word, deed, an
Michelle Kidwell
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Raise Your Voice
Why We Stay Silent and How to Speak Up
by Kathy Khang
InterVarsity Press
Christian , Religion & Spirituality
Pub Date 31 Jul 2018
I am reviewing a copy of Raise Your Voice through InterVarsity Press and Netgalley.
We have a voice, and God has given it to us to use. In some places certain voices are amplified while others are either erased or suppressed.

We often find it hard to speak up, especially when we fear what we say being twisted on Social Media. We become silent and mar
Rob Dixon
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Raise Your Voice, by Kathy Khang, is a must read for anyone who is thinking about voice, power, and privilege. For those on the margins, Raise Your Voice will bolster and empower you to push through barriers in order to be heard. And for those with privilege, Raise Your Voice will challenge and equip you to make space for the voices on the margins.

In the spaces where I operate, I am someone with a relatively significant degree of social power, but I am not immune from the reality of imposter syn
Carrie Kuba
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book!

This book offers such practical ways for us to leverage our voices to impact our communities. I appreciated the weaving in of the story of Queen Esther, thus providing an example of how women are not one dimensional as influencers, but instead, have such depth and variety. The book offers practical ways in which we can raise our voices effectively as well as supporting one another in our diversity of voices.
I highly recommend this book.
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
I heard Kathy speak at the Festival of Faith & Writing and witnessed the impact of a willing voice, and I jumped at the chance to read her book and see her words on the page.

"At some point in our lives, we learn to communicate, whether verbally or non-verbally. But most of us are also taught to silence ourselves or to stay out of the conversation for self-preservation. We are taught to avoid conflict, keep the peace, and keep our personal opinions to ourselves because we're told that speaking o
Carrie Kann
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
Book #3 of my "Spiritual Formation Books from Minority Authors" series.

This book was phenomenal. Kathy Khang is a wise, brave voice speaking up with authority to champion for the voices that are often silenced. She clearly lays out why having diverse voices matters, and left me wanting to be more brave and champion my sisters and brothers who have long been silenced.
Breanna Chov
May 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Kathy Khang did good writing this book. It was more than I originally imagined- she included a plethora of ways we can use our voices, prepared us for hurdles and failures, and brought us into her own journey of finding her voice. I love that it was conversational, engaging, and easy to read. I’m humbled, challenged, and excited to continue to find my voice.
Andrea Humphries
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Given today's social and political climate, I can't think of a more practical and needed book than Raise Your Voice. In Part 1, Kathy Khang walks us through some of her own journey learning to raise her voice. In Part 2, she provides the concrete steps to help the reader do the same. Kathy is smart and funny and makes the reader feel at ease, even as she's challenging you. I appreciated the way the whole book is grounded in Scripture and the way she related situations we're currently facing to t ...more
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Kathy Khang is a writer, speaker, and yoga teacher.

Kathy is one of the authors of More Than Serving Tea (InterVarsity Press, 2006) and blogs at , tweets @mskathykhang, posts at, and partners with other bloggers, pastors, and Christian leaders to highlight and move the conversation forward on issues of race, ethnicity, and gender within the Churc

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