Past Events Gallery :: Amy Richards

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Came to Eckerd April 11th, 2007

When Amy Richards graduated from Barnard College in 1992, she did not know that her summer project would be the beginning of her career as a feminist activist, writer, and organizer. Amy expected to use her degree in Art History to work in a museum or gallery. Instead, after she organized Freedom Summer ’92, a cross-country voter registration drive, Amy went on to co-found the Third Wave Foundation, a national organization for young feminist activists between the ages of 15 and 30.

For a decade, Amy led Third Wave as it grew from a small grassroots organization into a national institution. At Third Wave, Amy created and sustained the organization’s program areas—grant-making, public education campaigns and a national membership—and initiated projects such as "I Spy Sexism," a public education and postcard campaign encouraging people to take action on the injustices that they witness every day, and "Why Vote?," a series of panel discussions on funding for the arts, education, reproductive rights, and affirmative action. Through this leadership, Amy became a spokesperson and leading voice for young feminist issues. This launched her on the lecturing circuit and brought her invitations to appear in videos, books and media interviews offering her perspective on current events and especially youth and feminist culture. Amy has appeared in a range of media venues including Fox’s The O’Reilly Factor, Oprah, Talk of the Nation, New York One and CNN. Amy was publicly distinguished as a leader in 1995 when Who Cares magazine chose her as one of twenty-five Young Visionaries. She has gone on to win accolades from Ms. magazine, which profiled her in "21 for the 21st: Leaders for the Next Century,” Women’s Enews, which in 2003 named her one of their “Leaders for the 21st Century,” and the American Association of University Women, which recently chose her as a 2004 Woman of Distinction.

As Amy moves into her thirties and away from her commitment to Third Wave, she makes her living as a lecturer, writer and consultant. Amy was the interim director for Twilight: Los Angeles, a film by Anna Deavere Smith, where she oversaw a national educational program that addressed race in America . She has also consulted to Scenarios USA on the distribution of their teen educational videos, to Gloria Steinem on her writing and political commitments, and to the Columbia School of Public Health on the long-term negative health consequences of welfare reform. Amy is also the voice behind Ask Amy, the online advice column she launched at feminist.com in 1995.

Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future , Amy’s first book, which she co-authored with Jennifer Baumgardner, was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in October 2000. Amy and Jennifer completed their second book, Grassroots: A Field Guide for Feminist Activism, and together they also created Soapbox Inc: Speakers Who Speak Out, a lecture agency for “speakers who speak out.” Amy’s writings have also appeared in The Nation, The LA Times, Bust, Ms. and numerous anthologies, including Listen Up, Body Outlaws and Catching A Wave. Insight Guides recently hired Amy to write a shopping guide to New York City. She is also very involved with the organizations on whose boards and advisory committees she serves, Third Wave, Ms. Magazine, Choice USA, the Sadie Nash Leadership Program, feminist.com and Planned Parenthood of New York City.

She is at work on a book about feminism and motherhood called Opting In.

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