“When women and girls are safe, empowered, prosperous, expressive and authentic, so is society.” ~Mary Pierce Brosmer
Women Writing for (a) Change® was founded in 1991 by Mary Pierce Brosmer, a practicing poet and former English teacher. She developed WWf(a)C to encourage women to find their voices, speak their truths and tell their stories in a world in which they were often silenced. Mary’s first writing circle was a weekly writing class, using circle practices to create a safe and nurturing space for women to share their writing and the truths of their lives.
Through the years, WWf(a)C class offerings have grown in response to demand. WWf(a)C has expanded and deepened its reach and offerings, while staying true to the original vision and values.
A world that nurtures creative expression and silences no one.
WWf(a)C adheres to a set of core values as articulated below by the organization’s founder, Mary Pierce Brosmer. We follow these values in all our classes and programs:
We are both writers and members of the circle who hear the words of other writers. Our regular presence to one another, taking ourselves seriously, showing up, paying attention, being prepared for each class, really listening—these are a few of the gifts of being in community. Writing does not exist in a vacuum—it exists in a reciprocal relationship with others—those who hear and respond to the words sent out. At WWf(a)C, there is reverence for our time together.
We believe there is joy in the act of creating, that there is pleasure in the beauty of words, and intimacy even in silence. When women and girls are free to express themselves, they are a powerful force for change and for healing.
We acknowledge that both openness and the setting of healthy boundaries are required for art to be made and communities to grow and deepen. We believe we can care for others without forgetting to care for ourselves.
WWf(a)C is committed to learning and teaching how women can mentor and be mentored, can bring together the wisdom and authority of elders with the wisdom and authority of novices.
WWf(a)C recognizes the connections between: art and politics, art and spirituality, art and life, writer and audience, history and the present, the present and the future.
WWf(a)C welcomes all women and girls who come to our programs and extends to them kindness and respect. We believe that diversity enriches our lives, and we welcome differences in race, class, culture, sexual orientation, life experience, writing style and skill, opinion, personality, and belief system.
Below are some important milestones in the WWf(a)C history.
- In 1996 Young Women Writing for (a) Change began offering summer day camps for girls and teens. These writing camps inspire and encourage girls who love to write, in age-appropriate groups from 9 to 21. Mini-semesters during Fall and Spring keep girls connected during the school year.
- In 1999, WWf(a)C created a Foundation to widen accessibility and include more diverse
participation through outreach programs, radio podcasts, and scholarships to WWf(a)C programs. WWf(a)C reaches out to a wider community through collaborations and partnerships to create writing circles for homeless teens, individuals with developmental disabilities, adults with Down Syndrome, and the elderly, to name a few.
- From 1999-2005, Women Writing for (a) Change on the Radio published the words of its writers to a four-state audience with a radio show on NPR affiliate WVXU, 91.7 FM. WWf(a)C continues to widen accessibility through podcast programs, reaching thousands via the internet.
- Between 2004 and 2009, The Feminist Leadership Academy of Cincinnati (FLA) trained and licensed 54 individuals in the WWf(a)C methods and practices. Some FLA graduates established Women Writing for (a) Change schools in other states, including Colorado, Vermont, Indiana and Alabama. Many FLA graduates apply WWf(a)C methods and practices in business, nonprofit, and educational settings.
- In 2006, Women Writing for (a) Change Foundation launched a capital campaign to purchase our present home at 6906 Plainfield Road in Cincinnati, OH. The campaign was completed in 2007.
- In 2007 Consulting for Change was created as an LLC by Mary Pierce Brosmer to help businesses and nonprofits craft more conscious and sustainable organizations through the use of writing, community-building and other practices inherent to the WWf(a)C model. In 2009, Mary published her book Women Writing for (a) Change: A Guide for Creative Transformation with Sorin Press.
- In 2009, Mary Pierce Brosmer sold her business to the foundation, and Women Writing for (a) Change became one not-for-profit entity. The 501(c)3 organization continues to further the WWf(a)C mission.
- In 2013, the Leadership Academy for women was offered again as The Conscious Feminine Leadership Academy. The Young Women’s Feminist Leadership Academy was offered for the third time, and is specifically geared for young women in high school.