College of Liberal Arts

Public Voices Fellowship

The Public Voices Thought Leadership Fellowship Program is a bold national initiative to dramatically increase the public impact of our nation's top underrepresented thinkers, and to ensure that their ideas help shape the important conversations of our age.

Founded in 2008 by Katie Orenstein, The OpEd Project is a social venture aiming to shift the dynamic of public discourse and increase gender equity and greater diversity in thought leadership and public debate by mentoring women and minority men at universities, community organizations, non-profits and corporations.

The program has enjoyed spectacular results. Participants have published pieces in influential newspapers and magazines such as The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the influential TED blog. They have made appearances on CNN, NPR Radio, and CNBC. Fellows have shared their research before Congress, advised the White House, received prestigious grants, and made important contributions to domestic and foreign policy debates.

Many top universities across the nation—including Stanford, Yale, and Princeton—have used this program to increase the public visibility of their faculty, and The University of Texas at Austin has participated in the program for the past two years (Cohort 1 in 2014-15 and Cohort 2 in 2015-16).

Each cohort of 20 UT Austin faculty members has access to the following activities and resources:

• Four creative, interactive day-long seminars designed to encourage thinking and to amplify expertise
• One-on-one support, editing and coaching from professional journalists
• Monthly calls with media insiders, including TED, The New York Times, CNN and Wikipedia
• Follow-up access to media mentors

Housed in the Warfield Center for African and African American Studies, this program is a multi-college, multi-department effort at The University of Texas at Austin. Some of the selected participants include scholars in the McCombs School of Business, College of Liberal Arts, College of Fine Arts, the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement and the Moody College of Communication.

For questions about the program, contact: 
Daina R. Berry, drb@austin.utexas.edu, 512-471-4310 or

Cherise Smith, cherise_smith@mail.utexas.edu, 512-471-1784

For media inquiries, contact: David Ochsner, dochsner@austin.utexas.edu, 512-475-9712


Watch fellow Daina R. Berry discuss her research on slavery in the American South.

Published Op-Eds

2014-15 Cohort

2015-16 Cohort