HERSTORY WRITERS WORKSHOP INC

Breaking silence to change hearts, minds and policies

Centereach, NY   |  www.herstorywriters.org

Mission

Founded in 1996,  Herstory Writers Workshop provides opportunities through guided memoir writing that empower women from all walks of life (regardless of age, race, religion, financial status or sexual orientation, whether incarcerated or free) to turn their intimate stories into works of art crafted so that others can hear.   Herstory is committed to providing an environment of intensive instruction which, in addition to creating literary works, upholds our values of empathy, inclusiveness, self-guided healing, safety and the search for social change in the expression of voices that historically have been most profoundly silenced.

Ruling year info

1997

Principal Officer

Erika Duncan

Co Principal Officer

Erika Duncan

Main address

2539 Middle Country Road Fl 2

Centereach, NY 11720 USA

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EIN

11-3377741

NTEE code info

Other Art, Culture, Humanities Organizations/Services N.E.C. (A99)

Women's Rights (R24)

Prison Alternatives (I44)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Writing Workshops in the Community

These are quality memoire writing workshops in English and Spanish for women of all ages who wish to tell their stories.  We offer both tuition-based and community-supported workshops.  Our day-long concentrated workshops help both professional and beginning writers apply proven literary techniques to overcome obstacles and explore tactics for proceeding with their own writing.  Workshops are hosted by libraries, universities, high school programs, human services organizations, civic and professional groups.

Population(s) Served

Since 2003 Herstory workshops have become a favorite offering in Suffolk County's Correctional Facilities.  The "dare to write so another person will care" has markedly impacted family and peer relationships, leading to changes in life plans on release, as well as a decrease in recidivism.  Captain Helen Geslak of the county's correctional system calls Herstory "the most effective program ever attempted in Riverhead."  Former inmates often continue as Herstory Outside members in our community-based workshops.

Population(s) Served

Spanish-speaking women come together in Herstory workshops in libraries and other settings, where they find access to an inner voice that is encouraged to speak its own language, especially in communities that are riddled with intolerance and hate crimes.  Our bilingual workshops provide participants an opportunity to learn one another's languages and build writing skills as they hear one another's stories.

Population(s) Served

Herstory's classroom visits, mini-forums and readings in community-based and educational settings feature personal readings by Herstory writers, including former inmates, and create the ripple that magnifies the impact of their art.  Invited program featuring Herstory writers on topics including immigraiton, restorative justice, domestic violence and pay equity work to change hearts and minds, to improve tolerance and open a dialogue with future decision makers.

Population(s) Served

In addition to our anthology-format journals and magazines featuring Herstory's prison and Latina writers, Herstory has published two member-written memoirs and a manual that offers gackground and applications of our empathy-based method.  Readings, classroom presentations and educational discounts are available. 

 

Says Erin Gruwell, author of Freedom Writers Diary:  There are many charismatic teachers, but Erika Duncan (Herstory's founder and artistic director) is one of the few who can deconstruct and articulate their methods.  Her manual Paper Stranger:  Shaping Stories in Community effectively demonstrates the methodology to teach compassion-based listening and story construction. The tools she has developed are dynamic and versatile, and are based on the simple challenge -- to shape each piece of your story so that the reader will care.  This book will act as a complete kit for teachers looking for something new because it is a passionate testimonial to the power of well-crafted stories.  It is a unique handbook and tool for empowerment!"

Population(s) Served

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Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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Financials

HERSTORY WRITERS WORKSHOP INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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HERSTORY WRITERS WORKSHOP INC

Board of directors
as of 12/07/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Laurel Janssen Breen

Former Assistant Chair, Department of Nursing, St. Joseph's College

Term: 2019 - 2022

Erika Duncan

founder and artistic director, Herstory Writers Workshop

Devin Thornburg

Education Department, Adelphi University

Ana Figueroa

Treasurer Policy Council & Volunteers Supervisor at LI Head

Eileen Ryan

Berkman, Henoch, Peterson Peddy & Fenchel PC

Adrián Pérez-Melgosa

Director of Graduate Studies & Humanities Institute at Stony Brook University

Stephen Marks

Professor of Health and Human Rights at Harvard University

Joseph Page

Constituent Liason for Council Member Karen Koslowitz

Jacqueline Thomas

Transformation Facilitator for Hempstead School District

Liena Gurevich

Associate Professor of Sociology & Criminology Program Director at Hofstra University

Cherice Vanderhall

Law Offices of Cherice P. Vanderhall, P.C., Executive Director, Amistad LI Black Bar Association