The Op Ed Project – Diversity of Voices

Public Voices Thought Leadership Program

A Successful Example of “Learning By Doing”

The Department of History and Government with the Op-Ed Project

2012-2013

Op Ed ProjectHosted in the Department of History and Government, Texas Woman’s University is proud to be a leader in increasing the diversity of voices and ideas in the world today as they sponsored the year-long Public Voices Thought Leadership Program, a part of the Op-Ed Project. Along with Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Fordham, Northwestern, and Emory, Texas Woman’s University worked with the journalists and editors of the Op-Ed Project to train women (who are currently only 20% of opinion page writers) to share their knowledge and expertise first through the writing and publication of Opinion Editorials and then through other medium such as radio, television, and even testimony before the state legislature.

Texas Woman’s University, following their commitment to civic engagement, worked with the generous funding of the Boone Family Foundation and the Embry Family Foundation to bring the program to the Dallas area. With the help of the foundations TWU was able to create a unique program that has become a model for future Op-Ed Project programs. While other Universities restricted the opportunity to be a fellow to only their own faculty, TWU saw the chance to reach into the community and lift the voices of women leaders of Dallas area non-profits. The combination of TWU faculty fellows and non-profit fellows has been electrifying.

The success rate of the TWU Public Voices Thought Leadership Fellows has been far and away the most successful of any Op-Ed program. The TWU fellows had a 400% success rate publishing fifty opinion pieces, as well as appearing on radio and television. The women placed their work in The Dallas Morning News, CNN, The Atlantic, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Christian Science Monitor, Aljazeera, and more. One fellow stood with the Mayor of Dallas as he called on men to end violence against women, another testified before the state legislature, and yet another was the prominent voice in an NPR program on immigrant laborers.

The TWU fellows have found their voices and learned the practical skills they needed to get those voices heard on a national and international level. The TWU Public Voices Thought Leadership Program is the ultimate example of how TWU’s commitment to civic engagement and its QEP “Learn By Doing” can help change the lives of individual women and better the world.

The Department of History and Government is currently seeking funding to help continue the program for another two years.

For more information on the national Op Ed project see: http://theopedproject.org/

The Texas Woman’s University Public Voices Thought Leadership Program Fellows for 2012-2013:

About 4twualumni

Director of Alumni Relations, Texas Woman's University, Denton, Dallas and Houston Texas
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