WE WILL NOT BE SILENT is an artist/activist collective that has been in existence since 2006. Through the creative use of language embodied on shirts and emboldened on signs held up in public spaces, we respond to current social justice issues, encouraging creative, direct public actions where many people can participate.
We Will Not Be Silent held a workshop series at the Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute as part of its summer program for young women. The Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute encourages young women to engage as agents of change in their world by connecting with others and through activism in their communities. The We Will Not Be Silent workshop series focused on the meaning of COURAGE and how to embody it, starting withSophie Scholl of The White Rose, a non-violent student resistance group in Nazi Germany, from which we take the imperative, WE WILL NOT BE SILENT. Many of the young women who participated in the workshop said one of their favorite parts of the workshop was the Amy Goodman interview with Bree Newsome, who recently scaled the flagpole at South Carolina’s state capital building and took down the Confederate flag. Together, as a group, we explored the potential power of using one’s voice in public space: first by creating a sign collection which addressed issues important to each member of the group, then by carrying the signs into the streets of Irvington, NY, where the institute is located. The reaction was immediate: applause, honking, picture taking, and many, many questions leading to meaningful exchanges between the people we encountered and the young women who took the bold step to express themselves in their own strong voices.