To Our Public Voices Fellows: A New Year’s Intention

Michele Weldon and Courtney Martin

Martin and Weldon, PVF leaders at Princeton University, respond to the question: Why do you do what you do.

As part of The OpEd Project’s Public Voices Fellowship programs held at respective universities, fellows receive weekly missives chock-full of breaking news, ideas and encouragement to get them reading and writing. Written by the program leaders, here’s the last missive that Courtney Martin wrote to her Princeton fellows. Though addressed to them, we’d like to think that all of our former and current fellows can draw inspiration from this note for the year to come. To our fellows setting intentions for the New Year, let your intention be to pique greater interest in the public sphere by adding your voice to the conversation.

“Dear Fellows,

This is your last missive–can you believe it?! It’s been such an amazing year, getting to know you and your bright ideas and passionate arguments. You’ve written about everything––from mommy porn to the World Bank, breastfeeding to space travel, Olympians to entrepreneurs. You’ve had doc filmmakers, bookers, literary agents, and radio hosts call you for further engagement. You’ve helped amazing schools get much-needed attention, influenced federal funding and public health policy, challenged corporate conglomerates, and, no doubt, changed a few minds and hearts along the way. What a range! What an impact!

Michele Weldon and I hope you’re reflecting on what this experience has meant, what questions you’re still living with, and what you’d like to integrate into your life moving forward. Bring the good, bad, and the ugly to us tomorrow so we can hash it out in our last day together. Of course we’re not really letting you go––we hope you’ll continue to be part of the Op-Ed Project movement.



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