This Mellon Foundation funded project connects Mills College students with local and national poets, performers, writers, and scholars to collaborate around transformative art and critical and oppositional scholarships.
We Are the Voices (WATV) brings visiting artists and public humanities scholars to campus and to virtual space to broaden the conversation about pressing social and intellectual issues that affect Mills students and our local community.
Part of the project includes two reading series--Social Listening and Bay Area Bookseller Voices--that feature cutting edge poets from the Bay Area and beyond. It also showcases artist and scholars’ conversations and lectures that are open to the public and hosted at Mills Performing Arts venues and virtual sites.
Guests have included Alicia Garza, Robin Kelley, Nikhil Pal Singh, Savannah Shange, Brandi Thompson-Summers, Juliana Spahr, Alli Warren, MK Chavez, Maw Shein Win, Renee Cox, Britteney Black Rose Kapri, Jayy Dodd, and Jordy Rosenberg.
Through the Oakland Writers and Artists in Community and Context course, creative writing and digital humanities undergraduate students connect with local artists and writers and collect and curate material for a living archive of the city’s past and present as a hub for artists whose works have introduced innovative forms of expression as well as new approaches to community, sustainability, and progressive social justice values.
As part of WATV, Mills creative writing and literature graduate students serve as Community Collaborators who focus on building partnerships with local writers, literary groups, museums, and publishing collectives to develop performance series, workshops, and digital humanities projects.