I joined two colleagues to talk about our activism with Literary Women in Action for KUT, Austin's NPR station, on December 30, 2016. Listen to Writers Channel Skills and Passion Into Action Post-Election.
I was featured in Vanderbilt Magazine in 2016, where I talked about my work with Free Minds and how my experience at Vanderbilt helped contribute to my career serving students who need a second chance at education. Cool fact: A Vanderbilt mom read this article and contacted me, wanting to get involved. She's now helping build a new Clemente Course in Philadelphia.
I was delighted to be asked a million little questions about my life and Austin for the Things I've Learned section of Austin Monthly magazine in January 2016. Read about my takes on overalls, divorce, and building a classroom in this story, which required braving a photographer's studio for a full-length portrait as well.
Free Minds was featured on KLRU's American Graduate series, focusing on higher education issues in Central Texas: Free College Class Lowers Barriers to Education for Adults.
Free Minds graduate Estephania LeBaron made a video about Free Minds featuring her Class of 2014 classmates. It's terrific!
You can see this fantastic short documentary from Austin Community College's Arts and Humanities Division. Filmmakers John Herndon and Drew Thomas have gone on to win big awards for their feature film Frame Switch in Berlin and Milan!
Early in the program's life, the University of Texas featured Free Minds on the UT home page, and made this beautiful video to accompany the story.
Minds on Fire by Rose Cahalan in The Alcalde, the University of Texas alumni magazine, captures the essence of Free Minds like no other piece ever has!
With Texas Impact, I have provided training in Storytelling for Social Change at the United Methodist Women in Texas Legislative Event and the Texas Lutheran Legislative Conference. These events prepare members of faith communities to advocate on issues with their elected officials, and my workshops are designed to help them use the power of storytelling to make a greater impact.
In November 2017 I was named a Public Voices Fellow at UT Austin through the OpEd Project. I'll receive a year of classes and mentorship as one of a cohort of 20 to place opinion pieces and develop as a thought leader. I've had a number of op-eds published, including two in the Texas Tribune and one in the Huffington Post. (Find them on my Writing page.)
I helped organize a League of Women Voters event at Austin Community College focused on Innovative Education for the Austin Community on October 25, 2017. I facilitated a panel with college administrators, a board member, and students.
I helped plan and facilitate a Storytelling for Activists panel for TX21 Indivisible and community members, preparing people to share their personal stories with staffers at legislator offices, at rallies, and with news medial in October 2017.
My op-ed about healthcare and the problem with crowdsourcing, "GoFundMe Is No Substitute for a Good Health Care System," was published in the Austin American-Statesman on June 14, 2017.
I taught a free a workshop on writing op-eds and getting your voice into the conversation for a group of community activists on Saturday, March 11, 2017, from 1:30-4:30pm, my third such workshops since the election.
I discussed meaningful work and my journey to it on a panel on February 17, 2017, at St. Edward's University, for a group of 70 freshman honors students. A consensus about our group of five professionals that included an animator, an artist, a recruiter for Google, and a novelist? "Don't just sit there. Try something!"
I was part of a panel for the Writer's League of Texas on Thursday, February 16, 2017, titled, "How to Unite, Ignite, and Get It Right: Writing About Social Justice." I joined Nan Cuba, Alejandro Puyana, and Writer's League moderator Michael Noll for a rousing discussion at Book People about what it means to write with a mission. We discussed creating characters instead of caricatures, how to avoid didacticism, James' Baldwin's warnings about sentimentality, and the market for op-eds. A video is forthcoming.
My op-ed about student transcript holds, "How Colleges and the Government Deny Poor Students a Second Chance," appeared in the Washington Post on August 19, 2016.