By Lori, Maya, and Jos
“Feminist blogs have quietly churned out feminist leaders for the last decade. While some may be looking for the “Next Great Feminist Leader,” we realized early on that’s not the kind of leadership 21st Century feminism needs. Many of us are leaders in our fields, working online and off to bring stories, complexity, and new voices to our work. We’ve indirectly proven that leadership looks different in the age of mass participation and global movements. There is no one leader; there is instead the sum of all of us.” – Samhita Mukhopadhyay
Samhita has been an incredible Executive Editor and mentor to all of us. Her stepping down comes at a time when the Feministing crew is reflecting on our history and looking forward to what’s next for the feminist blogosphere. Feministing will turn 10 years old in April, and it’s been an incredible decade of organizing, action, analysis, and dance parties. Together, we’ve done a ton of amazing things–getting racist anti-choice billboards taken down, protesting “rape cops”, and calling out sexism in national elections, to name a tiny handful. We come from humble origins, and today are so grateful to have built up a steady readership of over half a million visitors per month. In the midst of wonderful success and community, it’s also been a challenging decade, as Feministing has been run on a shoestring budget, without the infrastructure we need to pay our team members decently and achieve some of our most ambitious goals.
As we move into the next phase of Feministing, we’re re-structuring some of the ways we work. We are honored to announce that long-time Editors Lori Adelman, Maya Dusenbery, and Jos Truitt will be taking on the roles of co-Executive Directors moving forward. This new position recognizes the large amount of non-blogging work it takes to keep the site running–both the behind-the-scenes management and the IRL speaking, marching, organizing, and general rabble-rousing.
Feministing is more than a blog–it’s a hub for feminist thought and action, a place for young people to access the larger movement, and a way for organizations and activists to reach each other. That’s why one of the first things we’ll work on as co-Executive Directors is a broad relaunch to help the site better carry out this vision. The relaunch, in addition to making our work more sustainable, will facilitate more of the content you love–including original, analytic think pieces–and the community you seek. We’re going to take the momentum of the last 10 years and build something that will be strong through the next 10 and beyond. We’re excited to share details about our vision for Feministing in the days to come.
For now, a bit more about our new roles: The three of us will each be overseeing specific areas of Feministing’s work: Lori will be focused on Outreach and Partnerships, Maya on Editorial and Operations, and Jos on Development and Policy. But our shared Executive Director titles acknowledge that we work collaboratively to realize our goals for the site. There is no one figurehead shepherding Feministing. We are all equally committed to this community and blessed to be working together to continue to create a space that serves the needs of young feminist and social justice-minded folks.
We’re building off a decade of amazing work. We are so grateful to the leadership of former Editors Jessica Valenti, Courtney Martin, Ann Friedman, and Miriam Perez for building this site into the powerhouse it is today. We’re especially thankful to Samhita Mukhopadhyay and outgoing Managing Editor Vanessa Valenti–without their continued mentorship and cheerleading, we wouldn’t be able to do any of this. Holy crap, that’s an amazing group, right? We’re standing on the shoulders of some serious ass-kickers.
We’ve been writing around these parts for a while now, but here’s a little bit more about who we are:
Lori Adelman has been with Feministing since 2009, and covers a range of topics including reproductive justice, race, gender, global health and the media. In addition to Feministing, she has written for outlets including The Grio, Rookie, On The Issues, Salon, RH Reality Check, and Jezebel, and has “appeared” on NPR and WBAI radio. Lori also currently works in the Global Division of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, providing communications and advocacy support to partners in Latin America and Africa. She has previously worked at the United Nations Foundation on the Every Woman Every Child effort, at the International Women’s Health Coalition, and as an intern in the Women’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch. Lori received her B.A. from Harvard College in 2008. She is terrible at Photoshop but working on it.
Maya Dusenbery is a writer, editor, and fact-checker. She’s been with Feministing since 2010, and likes to blog and speak about abortion access, sexuality, economic justice, masculinity, and her favorite TV shows. A Minnesota native, she studied political science at Carleton College and then fought the good fight for reproductive rights in New York City for a few years, where she worked at NARAL Pro-Choice New York and the National Institute for Reproductive Health, and as an intern at the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States. Most recently, she spent a year learning to be a real journalist as an editorial fellow at Mother Jones magazine.
Jos Truitt is a writer, speaker, consultant, and printmaker. She joined the Feministing team in July 2009 and became an Editor in August 2011. She blogs about topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and GIFs. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school. She was introduced to the reproductive justice movement while at Hampshire College, where she organized the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program’s annual reproductive justice conference. She has worked on the National Abortion Federation’s hotline, was a Field Organizer at Choice USA, and has volunteered as a Pro-Choice Clinic Escort. Jos completed her MFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in Spring 2013, and currently uses her art skills to make fake movie posters.
We’re so excited to share our plans with you soon. We recognize that this site belongs to all of you–that it’s a community, and that Feministing has been successful because of its big, extended blog family. We want you, our readers and supporters, to be the guide for how this site moves and grows. After all, Feministing exists to uplift the voices and action of young feminists. So as we share our vision over the coming weeks, we welcome your critique and suggestions to help us keep making this space useful, fun, and valuable to this community. Thank you for your readership, your Community blogging, your commenting and tweeting and liking. Here’s to the next 10 years of Feministing!