Transforming lives through expression.


Our Bold Voice Collaborators are standing by.


We're rolling out a portfolio of online courses, coaching, consulting services, special events, and bold thought partnership designed to power true stories and amplify the voices of storytellers of all types—from novice to professional.

Why?

Because stories matter. Stories heal.

In a moment of extreme isolation and disconnection, we humans need community, connection, and ways to express what feels unexpressable. Our method is a unique blend of coaching for personal transformation, community support, knowledge transfer, and public impact. We're here to help humans find, hone, and share stories, publicly.

We're powered by a collective of writers, filmmakers, journalists, publishing executives, poets, and other creative thinkers who share the common goal of amplifying voices and ideas that can save and serve our world. We're here to inspire the confidence and share the knowledge and skills that enable emerging and established changemakers to speak, write, and deliver their truth.

We live to collaborate. Right now, we're partnering with the Economic Hardship Reporting Project to tell the stories of essential workers; the Women's Business Development Center to tell stories of women business owners; and The National Park of Emotions, a participatory art project inviting people from around the world to map the terrain of their emotional experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn more about our collaborators and the services we offer, and join us as we grow.

Meet the Collaborative

Deborah Siegel-Acevedo PhD, Founder, is a writer, TEDx speaker, ICF-certified coach, and a consummate collaborator. She has collaborated to create several innovative multimedia initiatives in the writing and publishing space, including She Writes. Deborah is the author of Sisterhood, Interrupted: From Radical Women to Grrls Gone Wild (Palgrave Macmillan) and co-editor of the literary anthology Only Child (Harmony/Random House). Her essays appear in anthologies including The Good Mother Myth, Click!, ​and the litmag TriQuarterly, and her commentary appears in The Washington Post, The Guardian, CNN.com, The Forward, Kveller, Slate, The Huffington Post, The American Prospect, Ms., More, Psychology Today, and elsewhere. An Adjunct Faculty member in the College of Communication at DePaul University, she teaches courses on personal and public narrative. She has taught opinion writing through The OpEd Project at colleges and universities nationwide.

Shawna Franks, Artistic Director, is a professional actor as well as a public speaking and performance coach. Her method is rooted in an organic process, drawing from an alchemy of techniques gleaned during her many years of acting and vocal coaching for the theatre. She currently works with TEDx speakers, live lit performers, and both seasoned and first-time keynoters and presenters, helping speakers show up, reveal what’s inside them, and put it all on the stage. Shawna’s acting credentials include the leading role in Grand Concourse at Steppenwolf Theatre--and many more. She is a graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago, where she began her acting career. She has been coaching speakers at TEDxDePaulUniversity for the past five years.



Emma Ballish, Community Manager, is also a writer, performer, a cat AND dog person, a chef, and she just looked up “synonyms for hippie.” Moving from Northeast Ohio to Chicago, she had big dreams of becoming the next Ellen Degeneres, but given the shift in her concerns and interests, she has bigger dreams. Inspired by the symbiotic learning-teaching ideology she engaged as a swim instructor and as a child-care specialist, and inspired by the creative communities she unexpectedly found herself in as a student at DePaul University where she graduated with a Communications and Media degree, she is now on an ever-lasting journey to create, understand, engage, and grow, with others. She yearns to immerse herself and others into the unexplored realities that storytelling offers, and she can’t wait.





Laura Mazer, Editorial Adviser, is a literary agent at Wendy Sherman Associates, Inc.. Previously, Laura was the executive editor of Seal Press, a boutique imprint of the Hachette Book Group, where she edited bold voices in adult nonfiction. Her New York Times bestselling books include So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo and From Cradle to Stage: Stories from the Mothers Who Rocked and Raised Rock Stars by Virginia Grohl. Prior to that, Laura was the managing editor of Counterpoint and executive editor of its imprint Soft Skull Press, where she edited literary and contemporary fiction and narrative nonfiction.
Before joining the book-publishing industry, Laura was managing editor of the global news agency representing some of the most influential opinion writers and editorial cartoonists of the day, including Hillary Clinton, Arianna Huffington, Molly Ivins, Ann Landers, and Mike Luckovich. A longtime advocate for underrepresented voices, Laura sits on the board of The OpEd Project and teaches publishing seminars at Left Margin Lit, a writing center in Berkeley.

Gina DiPonio, Strategic Consultant, is an award-winning creative nonfiction writer whose work has appeared in The Sun, Hypertext, Contrary Magazine, Three Hawks Review, Hair Trigger, and elsewhere. She’s been guiding students for nearly twenty years at institutions including the Columbia College Creative Writing Department and the University of Chicago Writer’s Studio.






We're making headlines!
Read about BVC here:

"Author Carrie Goldman was inspired by the [workshop's] prompt to 'write about a moment of realization you've had during the pandemic.' The prompt sparked her article, It's OK to Watch 'Schitt's Creek' With Your Kids, which was published in the New York Times, and has been shared 80,000 times and counting."


Raising voices in partnership with: