Summer 2021 Class Update
Spring is literally and metaphorically a time of growth and renewal. This spring, we also welcome the COVID-19 vaccines that will help all of us stay better protected. Slowly and carefully, we can begin to emerge from isolation and find new ways of being in the world together.
Although the progress being made is promising, critical safety protocols are still in place regarding assembly in groups. Masks are still necessary, as is some level of physical distancing. Every day, we’re getting closer to the time when we can gather in-person at Women Writing for (a) Change. But we’re not fully there yet. The delivery method for Summer programming will vary:
- In June, one-week Summer Camp offerings are VIRTUAL for Grades 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12.
- In July, one-week Summer Camp offerings are IN-PERSON for Grades 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12.
- Adult Summer Core Classes are VIRTUAL for all sessions being offered (Tue AM, Wed PM, Wed All-Gender PM, and Thu AM). These eight-week series take place in June and July. The Sat AM series will return in September.
- Soon-to-Be-Announced Summer Craft Classes will be VIRTUAL.
- Other Upcoming Summer Specialty Offerings, yet to be announced, may be IN-PERSON or VIRTUAL.
We are eager to welcome back large numbers of community members in-person and, with the approach of September, hope to offer a return of regular programming to the building. We anticipate being able to offer both in-person and virtual writing circles, moving forward from summer.
When in-person, we will adhere to the most current protocols for the state of Ohio in order to maintain the health of our writers, facilitators, and staff. That will require consideration of our community practices and flexibility in navigating time and space spent together for the good of all. As we demonstrated in our sudden and necessary transition to Zoom last March, this community is expansive in its ability to hold whatever comes our way and to come through it stronger. Thank you for your support and participation!
We look forward to having you in our circles this summer.
Lisa Rocklin, Executive Director
With November fast approaching and winter enrollment beginning soon, it’s necessary to assess what’s best for the continued health and safety of our writing community as it relates to COVID-19. The State of Ohio’s current recommendations remain the same as they pertain to Women Writing for (a) Change: gatherings of ten people or less for extended periods of time; wearing masks when spending time with people beyond your personal household; and physical distancing of at least six feet when indoors. The projections lean toward higher outbreaks during the winter. Finally, a vaccine is not yet approved and widely available.
As much as we miss being together in physical space, we believe the right course of action at this time is to continue with VIRTUAL PROGRAMMING through the end of May 2021. This will allow writers in our long-term series classes to make fully informed enrollment decisions for the winter and spring sessions. As we add stand-alone or short-term programming to the schedule for spring, we will assess the most current health protocols and COVID-19 trends prior to opening class registration.
We continue to seek best practices that sustain meaningful and intentional virtual writing circles. We are pleased with the positive responses we've received from writers in the community over the past six months, and appreciate the supportive feedback that contributes to making the experience better for everyone. Thank you!
Lisa Rocklin, Executive Director
Women Writing for (a) Change
A Note from Executive Director Lisa Rocklin, about Fall Programming
In-Depth Article by Connie Springer: Covering History of WWf(a)C and Recent Wine & Art Event
Fox19 Interview with Lisa Rocklin
Lisa talks about our November 5th, 2019 Day of Giving Challenge: what it supports and how to participate.
Great Interview with Lisa Rocklin and Q102's Jeff Thomas!
Here's a great interview with our incoming Executive Director, Lisa Rocklin, from a Q102 podcast earlier this year. In the interview, Lisa discusses how her passion for writing eventually led her to Women Writing for (a) Change.
(Photo courtesy Q102)
Our Next Executive Director: Lisa Rocklin Shares her WWf(a)C Story
Recently, a gentleman I encountered at a public event asked me to explain the name of Women Writing for (a) Change, which had always confounded him. “Change from what? Change for what?” he inquired. It was brave of him to ask. I told him simply, for a change in self; for a change in perception of self in relation to others; for change that brings people together in an authentic way through the sharing of words—their own words in their own voices.
For me, that ‘change’ began as a recommitment to welcome personal writing back into my hectic life as a high school English teacher. My time was spent on everyone else’s writing but my own. After my first sampler class in 2006, I began signing up for weekend offerings and the Summer Core Class. I had no desire at that time to publish; I simply wanted to check in with myself through my words. I wanted to write poetry again; I wanted to write personal memoir. And there was nothing I was expected to prove or validate by attending writing circles. I just needed to show up with my writing and my commitment to be a good listener, a fully engaged participant, and an equal member in a circle of peers. My writing voice found a home here.
In 2015, I enrolled in the Conscious Feminine Leadership Academy in the hope of deepening my understanding of the work of Women Writing beyond the walls of 6906 Plainfield Road. How could I learn to take this way of being into my personal life and my classroom? How would the process change my perception of self? In what environments might I be able to facilitate and hold space for others in the way that I had been so skillfully held by many facilitators over many years and circles?
Those questions continue to be answered in an evolution that keeps me growing, both personally and professionally. This learning has allowed me to lead writing circles in the school where I worked, for both students and colleagues. I have facilitated outreach writing circles for incarcerated women and students at risk for or facing homelessness. I have written with and listened to youth in weeklong summer camps where voices arrive as 4th graders and quite often continue to flourish annually until they’re 12th graders. I have facilitated writing circles that weave reflective writing with art, music, history, nature, social justice, creativity, comedy, and grief. As a writer, I have pushed my comfort threshold by attempting stand-up comedy, spoken word poetry performance, and online poetry platforms where rejection is frequent but the satisfaction of submitting the work for consideration is exhilarating.
As is true for so many members of our community, Women Writing for (a) Change continues to foster my growth and leads me to take on new roles. After transitioning from a 21-year career as an educator to the position of Assistant Director of the organization in August of 2018, I am honored to accept the role of Executive Director beginning in January of 2020. My friend and mentor, current Executive Director Diane Debevec, inspires me with her leadership, collaboration, grace, and wisdom. As we work side-by-side through 2019, I am grateful for everything she has done and continues to do as the holder of this unique organization.
Women Writing for (a) Change has a certain magic to it that I have yet to find anywhere else. Founded by Mary Pierce Brosmer in 1991, it has been well tended by many gardeners. It is part of the landscape of a vibrant writing community here in Cincinnati and in other cities around the country, where affiliates have bloomed. It’s something the world needs. I am grateful to continue its tending and growing in the circle we make together as a community. It has been my pleasure to get to know so many of you in this community and I look forward to meeting more of you each day to learn how we can continue to best serve your writing lives.
(Please scroll down for Letter from Diane Debevec, Executive Director, Women Writing for (a) Change)
(Photo by Suz Fleming)
Important News from Diane Debevec
Dear WWf(a)C Community,
During the summer of 2017, the Women Writing for (a) Change Board of Trustees and I entered into a discernment process around the timing for me to leave the role of Executive Director. We all worked together openly and honestly, to make the best decision for this community and organization we are so passionate about. At that time, I realized that the needs of the Women Writing community required that I stay on. The Board and I, instead, worked toward hiring an Associate Director with succession planning in mind.
Over these past years, we as a staff and Board have been engaged in creating organizational stability and preparing for the future. We’ve all been working tirelessly toward those goals, and we have succeeded in what we set out to accomplish. I know that the time is now right for me to step back and refocus my energies on other passions. I will be leaving my position as Executive Director at the end of this year.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am delighted to share with you that WWf(a)C’s new Executive Director will be Lisa Rocklin. Lisa has been involved with Women Writing for the past 13 years in many capacities. Having first joined us as a writer in many classes and retreats, she is a 2015 graduate of the Conscious Feminine Leadership Academy, and has been facilitating WW classes since 2016. In July of 2018, Lisa was named WW’s Associate Director. Over the past year, Lisa has demonstrated her talents, strengths and natural capacities as a leader for this community. Her life and work experience in the world give her a unique combination of skills to lead WWf(a)C into the future. In the remaining months of this year, Lisa and I will work closely together to ensure a seamless transition. (See Lisa's bio here.)
While I write this message as part of the transition, please know that I will continue to be deeply committed to the Cincinnati school, the leadership, and the work of WWf(a)C. I will remain an active and supportive member of the community during and after I leave my ED position. Please join me in welcoming Lisa to this exciting new role, and in celebrating WWf(a)C as we continue to have a positive impact in the world.
With deep gratitude,