the cusp of the Obama age, we kicked off the annual Mixed
Roots Film & Literary Festival celebrating stories of
the Mixed experience through film and literary readings
on Loving Day 2008. Rebecca Walker set the tone for the
weekend's festivities with her amazing and energizing inaugural
address, "Tipas for Hapas." Her opening remarks
made for an unforgettable night and a grand beginning to
this annual event. Thank you Rebecca!"
--Heidi Durrow & Fanshen Cox,
co-founders and co-producers Mixed Roots Film & Literary
was both a pleasure and blessing to have Rebecca Walker
visit us at Saint Joseph's University. She arrived on one
of the coldest days we've had in Philadelphia but her spirit
and positivity warmed the hearts of our entire university--
staff and students alike. Rebecca's message of pursuing
action leading to a better and improved experience for women
was embraced by those in attendance, a diverse crowd representing
the universal reach of her message. Prior to meeting Rebecca,
I had not read any of her books, but after a brief conversation
with her I counted that as a major disadvantage. I instantly
became intrigued with her idea of 3rd Wave Feminism and
the thought process behind What Makes a Man, her book on
masculinity. I hurried to my office and ordered her texts
even before she left campus."
Yehudah, Program Coordinator, Office of Multicultural Life,
Saint Joseph's University
had the privilege of having Rebecca lead a session at The
North Carolina Conference for Women in Charlotte, North
Carolina. In a room filled with more than 300 women of varying
ages, races, occupations and socio-economic backgrounds,
Rebecca was able to engage us, educate us, listen to us,
and bring every voice, mind and heart into the room. She
created a feeling of intimacy and brought almost a spiritual
quality to our conversation. She is clearly so intelligent
and well-spoken, yet also is able to relate to the 'every
woman' in all of us. We could have listened to her for hours
and still not gotten enough."
McFayden, Head of Human Resources and Corporate Relations,
Wachovia Corporation, NC Conference for Women Co-Founder
Walker brought a new and different voice to the table at
our discussion, urging everyone involved - participants
and audience - to challenge stereotypes of young women,
to avoid automatically casting intergenerational discourse
in terms of conflict and to remember the most marginalized
constituents in any conversation of women's and family issues.
Rebecca is not afraid to call things as she seems them,
and does so in a way that invites learning, growth and respect.
Rebecca broadens the conversation, inviting us to broaden
our own definitions of family, of support, and of community."
--Melissa Weiler Gerber, Executive
Director, Women's Way
"As keynote speaker for the United Minorities Council's
annual Celebration of Cultures, Rebecca was wonderful! She
was profoundly generous with her spirit, sharing her light
and engaging the students, faculty and staff in an intimate
and inspiring conversation. As the tragedies at Virginia
Tech had occured only a day before our event, Rebecca offered
sincere consolation and genuine concern for our well-being
as members of the university community. Speaking on her
own ideas of openness, she challenged and encouraged the
audience to embrace a new consciousness in human relationships,
so that we may collectively forge a path to a peaceful universe.
Rebecca's presentation was thought-provoking and spiritually
uplifting, and it was a thrill to be in her warm presence.
--Aichlee Bushnell, United Minorities
Council, University of Pennsylvania
"As the opening and closing speaker for the first annual
Gulf Coast Women's Expo, Rebecca inspired women in our area
to cultivate our most valuable resource: openness. Her mind-stretching
words were a welcome challenge to peel back layers of preconception,
scale the walls of judgment and embrace humanity with open
hearts and open minds. Women from all walks of lifegeneration,
religion and colorcame together and were equally moved,
perhaps closer to one another, by the profound message Rebecca
shared. With a rare combination of wisdom and warmth, Rebecca
held the audience close in her hands like a nest of new
birds all leaning in to hear more. Rebecca's voice at our
event was immeasurably valued, desperately needed and deeply
--Denise M. Berry, Online Director,
Pensacola News Journal
was fabulous! Her warmth, spirit, and compassion filled
the room. She was a joy to work with and to hear. Our students,
faculty, and staff all enjoyed her willingness to share
her insights and listen. When someone asked a question,
it was as though they were the only person in the room.
Her generosity of spirit was appreciated by all. Many thanks!"
--Lisa Webb, Associate Dean of Students,
Director of Ethnic Student Services, Lewis and Clark College
candid presentation to the students in my Fathers and Daughters
course and her lecture to students and faculty were inspiring,
entertaining and enlightening. Weaving her own experiences
as a biracial daughter and feminist into the larger tapestry
of racism, homophobia, anti-semitism and sexism, she captured
students and faculty at both an emotional and an intellectual
level - a rare feat for any speaker to university audiences.
--Dr. Linda Nielsen Wake Forest University
Professor of Women's Studies
had the pleasure of inviting Rebecca Walker to a seminar
on Masculinity in Sweden in September 2006 and this event
has had an enormous impact. The definition of what makes
a man has been on the public agenda ever since in
all our major newspaper, national radio and in an increasing
number of seminars and debates at universities and organizations.
Rebecca opened up a whole new dimension to the topic and
her informal, candid style of speaking truly illustrated
how the meaning of power should be redefined.
--Catharina Hansson, editor-in-chief,
Leva magazine, and organizer of the Masculinity event at
Gothenburg International Book Fair 2006
was an excellent keynote speaker for UPS' Diversity Theme
Year 2006-2007, "Intersections of Identity." Her
informal tone and style created a warm, comfortable environment
in which the audience was able to ask meaningful and sometimes
difficult questions. We were enchanted for two solid hours,
and I heard nothing but positive feedback after the event.
--Clay Harmon, Coordinator Diversity
Theme Year Program 2006-2007 "Intersections of Identity"
University of Puget Sound
regularly organize talks and workshops with international
authors in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. One of my personal
highlights of 2006 was Rebecca Walker's visit. Not only
was she charming and a delight to spend time with, but she
gave an inspired talk on her life and work to an attentive
public: you could have heard a pin drop in the room. She
also led a workshop on The Art of Memoir while she was here
which I attended. I was not only impressed by her professionalism
and knowledge but amazed at the effect she had on people.
Her words found a resonance within every single participant;
many of whom were so touched by her personal attention and
encouragement that they now regularly meet up to continue
their writing. I have never had so much positive feedback
from any of our visiting authors. People are still talking
about her...I look forward to welcoming her back sometime.
--Pip Farquharson, Director, Amsterdam
Walker stepped onto the stage and immediately set the tone
for the next couple of hours. She asked people to move toward
the front, so we could all see one another and easily speak
to each other. Then she read from Black, White, and Jewish,
pausing between selections to offer us the back fill, the
story around the writing. Heartfelt and honest, her words
and voice offered us an intimate window into her life. We,
in turn, were moved to respond with open hearts and personal
questions. We had become collectively like family, just
by being in the room where Rebecca read. It was a wonderful
event. Thank you.
-- Sharon Hoshida, Acting Director,
UCSB Women's Center.
Womens Narratives of Success Project is an opportunity for
women from Smith College to consider the paths that suit
their own values, talents and needs and embrace the
unexpected (and unplanned turns). In November, 2006, we
kicked-off with an inaugural event featuring a panel of
esteemed women who share their individual journeys and personal
experiences. Rebecca Walkers conversation with our
students was filled with real stories of her relationships,
family and cultural expectationsand anxiety about
living up to themas well as risk-taking and decision-making.
She was brave, warm, genuine and honest her participation
was essential to the success of the day and I thank her
for generously giving of her heart and soul.
--Peg Pitzer, Director, Events Management,
had the pleasure of working with Ms. Walker during the Queer
Shabbaton in Amsterdam. At this annual gathering for LGBTQ
Jews, she talked about her turbulent life and work. Ms.
Walker managed to capture the audience for hours with her
stories full of pain and strength, all told in beautiful
prose with her rich voice. In another, more interactive
workshop Ms. Walker immediately touched the participants
on the deepest level and successfully triggered them to
tell their own stories and map out their various identities
and journeys. It was breathtaking. At the Shabbaton Mrs.
Walker showed us what she is: a storyteller, a social critic,
a teacher, a wandering source that reaches out and is full
of love, understanding and inspiration for many. In short,
--Gideon Querido van Frank, President
Rebecca Walker presented her keynote address at the Asian
Women's Shelter event, her message of love resonated throughout
everyone in attendance...staff, board, volunteers, supporters
and victims of domestic violence. It wasn't just about the
words...it was her acknowledgment, her expression of understanding
and her sheer essence that made her message exceptionally
powerful. As an organization committed to eliminating domestic
violence by promoting the social, economic, and political
self-determination of women it is imperative that these
women feel and understand what it means to be loved not
only by those close to them but also by those in support
of them. Having a persona such as Rebecca show her support
validated this need.
--Patty Dingle, Board Chair, SF Asian
spoke to a room of 250 readers and writers at the Women's
Literary Festival in Santa Barbara. From the moment she
began, the environment felt wonderfully intimate. Her manner
of speaking was warm and personal. She had each person's
full attention as she spoke to the social and cultural experiences
that move her to write. She offered fresh, enlightened and
articulate perspectives related to our mission of celebrating
diversity, literacy and social justice. During Q & A
people praised her work and the healing effect it had on
their lives. We were thrilled to have Rebecca Walker in
our festival program."
--Founder, Jennifer Adams, Santa Barbara
Women's Literary Festival
Rebecca come and speak at Kingswood-Oxford was great! Rebecca
began our community discussions on awareness, understanding,
and acceptance of diversity. She focused her comments on
the creation of an identity that created a space for empathy
and understanding. Her discussion spurred great conversations
in Spanish, History, Science and English classes. When she
spoke with a smaller group of students about the writing
process, students were impressed by her honesty and the
thoughtfulness with which she approached every one of their
comments and questions. Overall, during her brief visit
Rebecca made a tremendous and positive impact on the community."
--Yom Odamtten, Departments of English
and History, Kingswood-Oxford School
Walkers workshop gave me the tools to grow and to
thrive as a creative spirit. As an American expatriate living
in the Netherlands, I spent an inspiring afternoon reading
and writing with Rebecca at the majestic Openbare Bibliotheek
Amsterdam (Amsterdam's Public Library). From the start,
Rebecca immediately connected with our intimate group of
writers. She successfully organized a safe space for us
to investigate our feelings about expressing our creativity
via the written word. Rebeccas tools and techniques
gave me the foundation to structure my memoir in an affective
manner. The workshop continues to influence me, guiding
me as I work towards the next level of writing my memoir."
Armstrong de Vreeze
feel very, very blessed to have had an opportunity to work
with Rebecca Walker. After the first day of the workshop
I turned to my one of my peers and said, "I think my
life as a writer will change after this week's workshop."
She responded, "I think mine already has." I'm
not trying to be melodramatic, but Rebecca set a tone during
the week that allowed us to reveal our depths as memoirists.
She taught us to consider the "I" in the piece--to
consider how we as writers relate to the people, places
and situations we write about. We discussed technique and
craft as it applied to our work. She led us in writing exercises
that illuminated our workshop pieces and provided new ideas
for future work. I feel like I take myself and the material
I am working on much more seriously after a week in her
an amazing experience it was taking Rebecca's memoir class.
I was so impressed with the way Rebecca reviewed the work,
she was so caring and sensitive, yet at the same time provided
motivation and thoughtful guidance. It was one of the best
experiences I've had with a writing teacher. It wasn't just
the advice Rebecca gave about writing, which was, of course,
very useful. But what made the course and our one-on-one
session so unique was how Rebecca looks at the craft itself;the
spiritual approach to writing that helped us to self-discovery."
Walker leads workshop in a thoughtfully stimulating fashion.
She commands respect through a rich voice (both as teacher
and writer), but deploys her authority through the measured
approach of inquiry. Rebecca brought out the best in us,
fostering an active and stimulating inquiry on craft, but
also reasons to write.
was by far the best workshop I've had. I am convinced Rebecca
set the tone for the workshop: an open, academic, place
of trust. I so appreciate how she encouraged us to go deeper,
to uncover those suppressed parts of ourselves. This was
a risk-taking workshop, one which was wholly successful."
leadership was the best I've had in a MFA workshop. When
I think about what Rebecca did (or didn't) do to effect
the workshop, I believe it was her ability to "zero
in" on the heart of each piece -its
strengths and weaknesses- that made all the difference."
changes in Rebecca's workshops. I arrived in Thailand in
flurry of readings, checklists, long-haul flights, five-minute
deadlines, and myriad writing projects, for 10 days with
sitting around our outdoor breakfast table in Chiang Mai,
discussions were guided by calmness, thought, precision,
and technique - and silence, occasionally, where we could
and reflect. As a result, we became time-travellers. We
deliberately and smoothly through our own lives as writers,
seemed to be Rebecca's invincible spaceship which was the
memoir and the vehicle of language.