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Audacious Voices

Audacious Voices Cover

Inspiring and hopeful, Audacious Voices: Profiles in Intersectional Feminism (published in November 2018) is a collection of twelve stories from alums of the will program, a feminist educational model that centers social justice. The authors featured in this book are working, in their own unique ways, to make their communities more equitable—and their stories illustrate how different elements of the will program influence and inspire them to act with such intentionality.

The authors demonstrate how educators and students can intentionally connect a feminist education with activism beyond the classroom through a feminist educational model called will . This model is flexible and transferable to many different kinds of schools and organizations. Rather than provide a detailed explanation of program elements, the authors direct interested people to this website for more information.

Author-activist Courtney E. Martin writes in The New Better Off that the times we live in may break our hearts, but they don’t have to break our spirit; it’s that spirit that these stories capture, alongside the power of a feminist educational program that engenders such spirit. Emphasizing hope, empathy, resiliency, and solutions by showcasing the transformative power of inclusive leadership, advocacy, and mentorship, Audacious Voices reminds us that real change is possible, even in the most difficult of times.

Alum Voices

“Looking back on will, I can honestly say that it gave me the tools to analyze the world around me from different perspectives and to ask big questions. will helped me to identify my work.  And by “work,” I do not mean my career, though it is inextricably intertwined in my work. Rather, it is how I fit into the world and what I can give back. will taught me that I could effect change. Because of will , I learned that I could use my voice and be an agent of change. Unequivocally, will pushed me in the direction I was meant to go and equipped me with the tools needed to make that path my own.  I do not know of a more powerful and lasting gift you can give a young woman.”

—Jennifer Stolarski, will program alum whose story is part of Audacious Voices

What People are Saying About "Audacious Voices"

Timely and prescient, Audacious Voices reminds us that students have long held the keys to unlocking a more just future for everyone. Audacious Voices demands that we listen, and reminds us to believe in the power of social change. 

—Allison Kimmich, former Executive Director, National Women’s Studies Association

Audacious Voices weaves a combination of stories, reflection, analysis and praxis into a sharp feminist retrospective for us to witness, learn from and share.  Over the years the will program has cultivated an amazing set of students and learners, and it’s a testament to the power of that program that it has informed much of their lived experience, leadership and work; and that we get to bear witness to their many paths towards transformation, and their visions for our feminist futures.

—Paulina Helm-Hernandez, former co-director of Southerners on New Ground

In Audacious Voices, Holly Blake and Melissa Ooten have gathered the personal stories of students who participated in a single feminist program that has now spanned several decades at the University of Richmond. The result is a moving testimony to the transformations, both public and intimate, that are possible only when we put feminist theory into practice.

—Daisy Hernández, Assistant Professor, Department of English, Miami University