In this second year of the Alice Paul Center’s “Story Corps” project, we are reimagining open expression, inclusion and argument. In today’s volatile climate, free speech and safe space are often imagined as mutually exclusive—as rigid and reactive binaries. What happens to our world and our willingness to engage it if we work from the premise that public engagement is by definition neither truly free nor truly safe? We believe this premise can open up possibilities for new ways of imagining what it means to engage in open expression, to practice inclusion, and to disagree.

In honor of Women’s History Month and QPenn, we’re asking that you share a story about a moment, space, or person that exemplifies new ways of blurring the categories free speech and safe space. How did this experience inspire you, support you, teach you, or challenge you?

Not an experience you’ve had? Then we ask you to share your vision, advice, or strategies for creating spaces and practices for inclusive, open expression and disagreement.

“Rethinking Free Speech & Safe Space” submissions can take the form of short essays, poetry, drawings, videos, podcasts, or other creative media.  A selection of submissions will be featured on the APC-GSWS website during Women’s History Month, March 2019. Submissions need not be from women identified people to be featured on our website. Details for submissions can be found below.

We welcome and encourage submissions from the entire Penn community.

Submissions will be accepted between February 1st and March 23rd.

Submission criteria:

  • All participants must complete the online submission form and upload the materials through the link below
  • Written submissions must be no more than 250 words
  • Video and podcast submissions must be no longer than 2 minutes. Please record in the best quality you can, ideally 720/1080/HD
  • Any images must be in high resolution, ideally at least 1280 x 1280
  • If your submission is selected by the committee to be highlighted on the APC website and includes an image of a person or people, they are required to sign a University Video and Photograph Authorization release forms.

Please note:

  • All submissions will be linked to your name and other identifying information and, therefore, are NOT anonymous, but your name need not be included on the website if your submission is selected.
  • All submissions will be viewed by the members of the APC selection committee.
  • Submissions will not be returned, but you may request, in writing, that it be removed from the review process within 48 hours of submission (

 Please direct questions to: