For Immediate Release

For more information, please contact:

Amy King, VIDA Executive Board



March 14, 2016 —VIDA: Women in Literary Arts is thrilled to welcome five new Advisory Board members: Jennifer Baumgardner, Soraya Chemaly, Corinne Segal, Cheryl Strayed and Jamia Wilson!

These accomplished feminist activists and writers will serve on our Advisory Board as mentors and advocates, lending their years of expertise and experience as we continue our work on behalf of women in literary arts.

Jennifer Baumgardner is a journalist, activist, filmmaker, and lecturer whose books include Manifesta, GrassrootsLook Both Ways: Bisexual PoliticsF’ em!, and Abortion & Life. She is the Executive Director/Publisher at the Feminist Press and the co-founder of Soapbox Inc., a feminist speakers bureau that, among other activities, produces Feminist Camps. Her most recent documentary is It Was Rape (2013) and she is the creator of the I Had an Abortion Project, which includes a film, a book, and T-shirts. Originally from Fargo, ND, she lives in New York with her husband, two sons, and two Abyssinian cats.

Soraya Chemaly is a writer and activist whose work focuses on the role of gender in culture, politics, religion and media. She is the Director of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project and organizer of the Safety and Free Speech Coalition, both of which are involved in curbing online abuse, media and tech diversity, and expanding women’s freedom of expression. In 2013, she won the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s (AEJMC)’s Donna Allen Award for Feminist Advocacy and the Secular Woman Feminist Activism Award. In 2014, she was named one of Elle Magazine’s 25 Inspiring Women to Follow on Twitter. Soraya serves on the boards of several organizations dedicated to improving media diversity, including Women, Action and The Media; In this Together Media, and the Women’s Media Center. She writes and speaks regularly about gender, media, tech, education, women’s rights, sexual violence and free speech.

Corinne Segal is a writer and editor based in Washington, D.C. who writes about arts and culture for PBS NewsHour. She is the author of a weekly online series which features interviews and poems from some of her favorite poets as well as the Syrian Voices series, which spotlights Syrian artists working around the world. Her writing has been excerpted by the Poetry Foundation, The Rumpus and The New York Times, among others. She holds a B.A. in English from Tufts University.

Cheryl Strayed is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling memoir WILD, the New York Times bestsellers TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS and BRAVE ENOUGH, and the novel TORCH. Her books have been translated into forty languages around the world. WILD was chosen by Oprah Winfrey as her first selection for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0. The Oscar-nominated movie adaptation of WILD stars Reese Witherspoon as Cheryl and Laura Dern as Cheryl’s mother, Bobbi. The film was directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, with a screenplay by Nick Hornby. Strayed’s essays have been published in The Best American Essays, the New York Times, the Washington Post Magazine, Vogue, Salon, The Sun, Tin House, and elsewhere. Strayed is the co-host, along with Steve Almond, of the WBUR podcast Dear Sugar Radio, which originated with her popular Dear Sugar advice column on The Rumpus. Strayed holds an MFA in fiction writing from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

Jamia Wilson is many things: An activist. A feminist. A storyteller. A mediamaker. But more than anything, she is a natural-born thought leader. As Executive Director of Women, Action, & the Media, the former YTH Executive Director, TED Prize Storyteller, and former Vice President of Programs at The Women’s Media Center, Jamia has been a powerful force in the social justice movement for nearly a decade. As a leading voice on feminist and women’s rights issues, her work and words have appeared in and on several outlets such as New York Magazine, The Today Show, and The Washington Post. She’s also a staff writer for Rookie and has contributed to several books such as Madonna and Me: Women Writers on the Queen of Pop, and I Still Believe Anita Hill. But what we’re most excited about is her own book that she’s currently writing about Beyonce and feminism. (Yes, really.) It’s no surprise she was named in Refinery29’s “17 Faces of the Future of Feminism.”